"Highly cohesive", "form stable", and "gummy bear" are terms used to describe a variety of exciting new breast implants. Actually, these implants have been available in much of the world since 1992. The U.S. clinical trials for these implants began in 2001, and in February 2013 they received FDA approval. So while they are new and exciting to us, they are already old news to patients and surgeons in Europe, South America, and much of Asia.
What are Gummy Bear Implants?
Dr. Teitelbaum has one of the longest and broadest clinical experiences with these implants of any plastic surgeon in the United States.
Great breast augmentation results come from the surgeon, not the breast implant
While cohesive implants are excellent and have certain advantages, a great breast augmentation is about the surgeon and not the implant. No breast implant guarantees a great shape, freedom from rippling, avoidance of hardening, or any other problem that can occur. Gorgeous breasts are created through outstanding surgery.
While understanding that the inherent advantages of these implants may help you achieve a better result, do not allow just the enthusiasm around them alone sway you. Satisfied patients with cohesive gel implants have learned the advantages and disadvantages of these implants and decided that they are right for them.
Advantages of Cohesive Gel Breast Implants
- There appears to be a greater ability to control shape, particularly with breasts that have little shape to themselves.
- There is less of a tendency to ripple (though rippling has more to do with a patient’s tissues).
- Cohesive implants are a bit firmer than standard silicone gel breast implants. The only patients who seem to notice this are patients with looser and relatively pendulous breasts.
- These implants are thin at the top and thicker at the bottom, mimetic of an ideal breast.
- The implants are not sewn into place; instead they rely upon the pressure of the tissue around them.
- They also appear to have less of a tendency to harden (capsular contracture), break less frequently, and seem to be lasting longer than regular silicone breast implants.
Disadvantages and Risks of Cohesive Gel Breast Implants
- If the implant were to rotate, then it could create a distortion. This rotation is a risk not present with round implants and understandably concerns some patients.
- If the implants are too small, the breast does not look properly filled.
- If highly cohesive breast implants are too big, the breast looks very stuffed and stiff.
- Gummy bear implants require that they be sized properly. Standard gel implants can mold themselves to fit a breast, thereby giving more options in sizing.
Women looking for beautiful breasts should always insist upon breast implants that are the best fit for their breast envelope, and this holds particularly true for gummy bear breast implants. The advantages of implants such as the Natrelle Style 410 and the Mentor CPG are numerous. At your consultation, Dr. Teitelbaum can give you his opinion as to their suitability for you.
Cohesive gel differs from standard silicone by being more "cross-linked."
That cross-linking between the molecules of silicone make it a bit thicker and firmer, enabling it to maintain its shape. The term "form stable" refers to the tendency of these implants to have a constant shape. But if an implant were truly form stable, it would feel unacceptably firm. So though this term is often used, no implant is truly form stable. Dr. Teitelbaum prefers describing them as "relatively form stable" as compared to implants with less cohesive fill whose shape can easily be deformed.
Once a gel was developed that could hold a shape, it became possible to make a great number of shapes in a particular volume. One manufacturer even has twelve shapes for each given volume. This gives the surgeon unprecedented control of breast shape, allowing greater possibilities in creating a shape that is most attractive for a woman or to correct preexisting deformities of a woman's own breast shape. A key concept that Dr. Teitelbaum teaches other plastic surgeons is that, "A regular breast implant is shaped by the breast; a highly cohesive implant shapes the breast."