fbpx Gummy Bear Implants: A New Generation of Breast Augmentation

Breast Health - Procedures | February 16, 2021, 10:22 CST

Gummy Bear Implants: A New Generation of Breast Augmentation
Cohesive silicone breast implants are safe, but complications are possible.

Written by

Abigail Nilsson
P.W. Payne, M.D.

Reviewed by

P.W. Payne, M.D.
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Cohesive silicone breast implants are tear-shaped implants with a silicone outer casing and a semi-solid silicone interior. Because the interior silicone resembles the inside of a gummy bear, the implants have become known as “gummy bear” implants.

Like traditional silicone implants, gummy bear implants feel natural to the touch, arguably even more so. Physicians can adjust the amount of silicone inside a gummy bear implant to create different levels of firmness for different aesthetic effects. For example, having more gel inside generates a firmer and more voluptuous result.

One important attribute of gummy bear implants is they are less likely to leak if ruptured, and even if they do, the gel is less likely to spread and cause internal damage.

Who is a candidate for gummy bear implants?

The Breast Size Satisfaction Survey, published in 2020 in Body Image journal, showed that around 71 percent of women were unhappy with their natural breasts. Many women opt for breast augmentation to increase the fullness and shape of the breasts, enhance self-image and confidence, and improve the balance of breast and hip contours.

Candidates for gummy bear implants usually include individuals who are at least 22 years old and have fully developed breasts. They should be physically healthy, non-smokers and free of underlying health conditions, such as obesity or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, which can affect the healing process.

Like traditional silicone implants, gummy bear implants feel natural to the touch, arguably even more so.

Anyone considering cosmetic surgery should also weigh the emotional aspects of the procedure. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has an important reminder for prospective patients: “Breast augmentation is a deeply personal procedure, and it’s important that you’re doing it for yourself and not for someone else, even if that person has offered to pay for it.”

The average cost of gummy bear implant surgery ranges from $6,000 to $12,000. The total price can vary greatly, though, based on the physician, anesthesia and operating room facilities, among other expenses.

Surgical complications and safety considerations

Elective surgery is always a serious decision, and with implants in particular, there are many possible complications to consider.

Capsular contracture can occur when the implant rotates out of position and causes the breast to look or feel wider than normal. A surgical procedure is required to correct this problem.

Infection can result from any surgery. It is important to follow your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions and report any incidence of fever, swelling, extreme pain, foul-smelling discharge from the site, or if the area around the incision is hot to the touch.

Breast implant illness can occur immediately or years after the surgery. Signs and symptoms include pain, fatigue, muscle and joint pains, rashes and skin irritations, breathing and sleeping difficulties, and concentration or memory problems. Once the implants are removed, the symptoms usually subside.

Breakdown or rupture is less common now, but still an issue. In the past, implant casings made from plastics often broke down rapidly, resulting in the contents, such as saline, leaking into the body and requiring surgical intervention. However, this is less common with gummy bear implants: The new silicone elastomers are texturized on the outside to decrease movement and friction of the implant as the surrounding tissue adheres to it. The cohesive nature of the gel inside the implant bonds together, allowing the inside of the implant to maintain its desired shape and position.

Elective surgery is always a serious decision, and with implants in particular, there are many possible complications to consider.

In good news, experts and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have deemed silicone to be safe and nontoxic, and it has also proved to be significantly more durable than other synthetically manufactured products.

The life span of the gummy bear implant is presumed to be more than 10 years. They will most likely need to be replaced over time.

Recovery time & activity

Any surgical procedure, even if it is minimally invasive, is considered traumatic to the body, which means it will take time to heal. Recovery time is different for everybody, but most surgeons agree the average healing time for gummy bear implants is six to eight weeks.

Following surgery, patients typically feel discomfort, tenderness, swelling, or have bruising and decreased sensation, which subside within a couple of weeks post-op. For about a month, only light activity is recommended. Strenuous lifting should be avoided—even just picking up a heavy purse.

Breast augmentation is a life-changing procedure, with many pros and cons to consider. Every patient has unique needs, desires and physical limitations, and the best way to start exploring your options is by consulting with your physician.

Written by

Abigail Nilsson
P.W. Payne, M.D.

Reviewed by

P.W. Payne, M.D.

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