Gummy Bear Implants
Dr. Craft is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Question: I just heard about something called "gummy bear" breast implants. What are they and how are they different from other implants?
Answer: "Gummy bear" is a nickname for a kind of silicone breast implant that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this year. The implant is made of high-strength silicone gel which is cohesive and form stable, meaning it cannot lose its shape. It earned the "gummy bear" nickname because, if cut in half, the implant remains soft yet holds its shape, just like a gummy candy would.
These recently approved, high-strength silicone gel implants, which have been used in Europe for years, have been receiving a lot of attention. Their ability to maintain their form means they do not wrinkle or fold, and women who have complained about a "watery" sensation with other implants may find the cohesive gel implant more comfortable. Also, this newest type of implant requires incisions comparable to other silicone options, so the surgical experience is similar to previous augmentation or reconstructive procedures.
Best for women with little or no breast tissue or those with asymmetry in their breasts, the high-strength option may be preferable because the implants are reported to feel softer and look more natural. Women undergoing reconstructive surgery may see this as an added benefit. Also, the array of sizes, including round and anatomical choices, offers more potential customization to the patient.
While these new implants add to the list of choices, other implants still remain safe and offer an attractive result. A woman considering reconstructive surgery or breast augmentation should discuss all available options with her physician to determine what will yield the most natural outcome based on body style and personal preferences.