Gummy Bear Breast Implants
Form-stable breast implants offer shape and durability for a low-maintenance look
Form stable or “gummy bear” implants are the newest addition to the silicone implant family. Like silicone gel implants, they contain a cohesive silicone filling. However, the silicone in form-stable implants is thicker and allows the implant to maintain its shape and, at times, dictate the shape of the breast.
While Dr. Pancholi prefers smooth, silicone gel implants for the majority of patients, form-stable implants can be a good option for patients with very thin breast tissue or who would otherwise benefit from a shaped implant. Dr. Pancholi is highly experienced with both options and can help you choose the right one based on your needs and preferences.
Advantages of form-stable silicone implants
They maintain their shape
Your breast appearance after augmentation is influenced by the interplay of two opposing forces. The first is the pressures of breast tissues/muscles upon the implant, and the second is the ability of the implant to resist these pressures and maintain its shape. Traditional saline and silicone gel implants are often influenced more readily by these tissues and can become distorted in shape, appearance, and position over time. Gummy bear implants are better at resisting these forces, maintaining their shape, and thereby directing the shape of the breast.
They keep their position
Smooth-surfaced saline and silicone gel implants tend to slide to the bottom of the breast. This results in a constant downward pressure, which eventually results in the breast moving downwards and to the side. Silicone and saline implants with textured shells are better at maintaining their position, but the saline or silicone moving back and forth inside the implant makes them wrinkle and ripple.
The combination of form-stable gel and textured surface helps gummy bear implants both stay in position and minimize the sagging and sideways movement many women complain of. While all shaped (teardrop) implants have this textured surface, round gummy bear implants come in both smooth and textured forms.
They achieve a smoother look
With their increased stability, gummy bear implants are the least likely to fold or wrinkle. If you have little natural breast tissue to cover the implant, you will find this property significant. While saline is known to have some amount of rippling, softer silicone gel implants also may not offer a totally smooth breast look for those with little breast tissue or who need implant placement above the chest muscle. Those seeking to optimize a smooth breast contour may find gummy bear implants to be the best option.
Disadvantages of form-stable implants
Increased risk of BIA-ALCL
Form-stable implants have textured shells, which have been associated with a higher risk for breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a very rare cancer of the immune cells. For this reason, Allergan’s BIOCELL textured implants have been pulled from the market. Remaining textured implants on the market, from Mentor and Sientra, have a considerably lower risk (about 1 in 86,000). BIA-ALCL is fully treatable with breast implant removal if detected early, and the risk is very low, but it is still something to consider.
Limited incision options
As many of our patients love the transaxillary (underarm) incision, which completely eliminates a scar on the breast, one limitation with the gummy bear implant is that the inframammary incision must be used, leaving a scar in the bottom breast fold. This scar is easily concealed by a swimsuit, but is a breast scar nonetheless.
Higher surgery cost
Cost may also be a limitation, as gummy bear implants cost a little more and placement of the shaped style requires a skill set different from that of traditional implants. Dr. Pancholi’s extensive experience with these implants and the above-mentioned benefits also tend to place this implant in a premium position.
…but lower maintenance cost
Unlike silicone gel implants, for which we recommend proactive replacement at ~10 years as the risk of rupture increases, form-stable silicone has a very low risk for moving outside the implant shell in the event of a rupture. Therefore, replacement is not recommended unless you desire a change, or in the event a patient experiences problems.
Compare your implant options at a consultation
The best way to learn what type of implant is best for you is to talk to a cosmetic surgeon experienced in breast augmentation using a variety of implant types. As a noted Las Vegas breast specialist, Dr. Pancholi can help you determine which implant will best achieve the look you desire. Call or contact us online today to schedule an appointment.