You may have heard about one of the hottest new trends in breast implants, gummy bear breast implants. Actually called form-stable gel silicone breast implants or highly cohesive gel implants, the FDA just approved these new silicone implants in March 2012. These innovative implants were developed in the 90s, but since then, have mostly been available outside of the country, only available on a limited basis in the U.S. by plastic surgeons conducting clinical trials.

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Gummy Bear Implants?

Dr. Grant Stevens, a well-known surgeon from Marina Del Rey, California, came up with the cute and memorable nickname while trying to explain the benefits of the new silicone gel in these implants. The advantage of the new gel is that it is very strong and cohesive, so when an implant is cut in half, it retains its shape. Dr. Stevens originally compared the gel to squares of jello; he realized that the gel also acted just like gummy bear candy, and this comparison stuck.

How Are They Shaped?

While the nickname may make you imagine brightly colored, bear-shaped, fruit-flavored forms, the implants themselves look much less exotic. In the U.S., they are manufactured by a company called Sientra and are available in both round and tear-drop forms. The round, form-stable implants are ideal for women who have already had breast augmentation surgery and want to either replace their older implants or change the size of their implants.

Safer And More Lifelike

Surgeons like Stevens, who have placed over a thousand of the implants in clinical trials, believe that these high-strength silicone gel implants are safer for patients because they are less likely to rupture, and if they do rupture, the gel will stay in one place. Stevens explains that the implants have a more natural appearance and firmer feel.

In fact, one happy patient told ABC News that her partner did not realize that her breasts were augmented until she told him. Other patients have had their saline implants or older silicone implants replaced with the gummy bear implants to achieve a more natural result.

More Advantages

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the gummy bear implants have even more advantages over traditional silicone or saline implants.

  • Longevity: They last longer than other implants.
  • Shape: They hold their shape better
  • Lift: They resist the pull of gravity more effectively. 
  • Risks: They are associated with a lower risk of capsular contracture, a complication of breast augmentation surgery that may occur when scar tissue around the implant hardens.

Which Implant Is Best For You?

While the decision to have breast augmentation surgery is a highly personal one, your choice of implant should be made with your surgeon. Surgeons caution that every woman’s anatomy is different. Because there are no one-size-fits-all breast implants, we encourage you to learn as much as you can about your implant options and talk with your surgeon to find the one that is right for you.