Shaped Silicone Breast Implants ("Gummy Bear" Implants)Thursday, February 5th, 2015, 3:07 am
More and more women are asking about shaped silicone gel breast implants. There are other names that people use for these types of implants, including "form stable", "cohesive gel", "gummy bear", and "5th generation" implants. As the name suggests, these implants have a shape to them; they are not round. Shaped silicone breast implants provide a different look than round breast implants. They have a tapered shape, being a little thin at the top and thicker at the bottom. Because of this shape some people think of a "tear drop". These are called 'form stable' implants because, unlike round implants, when you place shaped silicone breast implants on a firm surface, they maintain their shape. Round breast implants, on the other hand, do not maintain the same shape in the upper part of the implants when they are placed on a firm surface. Women who choose shaped silicone gel breast implants typically are hoping to achieve a somewhat tapered appearance of their breasts, with a gradual transition from the chest to the breast. Shaped silicone implants may not provide the same projection (front-to-back dimension) as a similar volume round implant. The look that 375 cc shaped silicone implants provide may be moderately different than the look obtained from 375 cc round implants, with less projection but perhaps more height with the shaped breast implants.
The reason that shaped silicone gel breast implants maintain their shape is that the silicone gel is formulated differently than the silicone gel in round silicone breast implants. The gel is more firmly bonded in these implants than round breast implants. While not an exactly accurate analogy, it is kind of like the difference between having jello in a ziploc bag versus having water in a ziploc bag. If these two bags are placed on a table, the bag with jello will have more height to it than the bag with water. The jello is bonded differently than the water. People sometimes refer to shaped implants as "gummy bear" implants because if a shaped silicone implant were to be cut in half, the silicone does not leak out. It is a similar consistency to a gummy bear candy. If a round silicone gel breast implant were to be cut in half, the silicone would eventually leak out and the implant would lose its shape.
Women who choose shaped silicone breast implants choose them because they are looking more for a shape rather than a size. Women who want to wear a certain size bra, perhaps a full C or D cup, may be happier with round implants. While shaped silicone breast implants may also provide a full C or D cup result, there are some nuances in using these implants that need to be thoroughly discussed.
I participated in one of the original studies that led to FDA approval of shaped silicone gel breast implants (Allergan style 410 implants) and have been using them for several years. If you come visit with us in the office regarding breast augmentation we will certainly talk with you about all of the breast implant styles available. We do not choose the implants for you, but instead help you understand the differences between the different breast implants and how they may affect your final look. Call the office and come learn about breast implants!