Posted on: September 7th, 2013
TEARDROP (ANATOMICALLY) SHAPED BREAST IMPLANTS
Breast augmentation is a very popular surgery that is safe and reliable with wonderful results. Patients now have several choices for implants. These include saline, silicone gel and the new anatomically shaped implants (Gummy Bear). All of these implants provide good results, but each implant has advantages and disadvantages.
Saline implants are cheaper than the silicone gel products (approximately $800 less expensive). The main advantage this implant has over silicone is the detection of a leak. Since a saline implant is like a water balloon, a rupture in the shell will cause the implant to deflate. Therefore, every woman will know when a rupture occurs. No ultrasound or MRI is needed to detect a leak since the rupture is obvious. The main disadvantage of a saline implant is that it is firmer and not quite as natural feeling as the silicone products.
Silicone gel implants were first used 50 years ago. The earlier devices had some problems including a high frequency of rupture and silicone gel bleed. They were very soft and naturally appearing. The newer silicone gel products have a thicker shell and less likely to rupture. The gel is more cohesive (thicker) than the earlier devices. These devices come with a smooth surface and a textured surface. An MRI or ultrasound is required to detect a leak. They were re-approved by the FDA two years ago to be used in all women. We believe the rupture rate is approximately 3% over the first ten years and will probably last twenty to thirty years.
Anatomically shaped implants (Gummy Bear) are the newest devices recently approved by the FDA. Reported benefits to these implants include more natural/proportionate breast shape, improved longevity, decreased likelihood of capsular contracture, decreased likelihood of postoperative rippling and a lower incidence of re-operation. Gummy Bear breast implants is a slang term referring to this implant since when it is cut in half, it won’t leak similar to cutting a gummy bear in half.
These teardrop shaped breast implants are made of high strength silicone gel. This material is very dense, resulting in a semi-sold form. The main advantage to these implants is that because they are semi-solid, they maintain their shape and remain in an upright position when they are positioned in the breast. These implants have been designed to replicate the look and feel of a natural breast. They are more naturally shaped and will lack the excessive fullness in the upper breast that is seen commonly with round implants. Even though these implants may rupture, no free silicone is delivered into the breast pocket or tissue that occurs with a round silicone gel implant.
In summary, a patient has choices for breast augmentation. Each implant has advantages and disadvantages and it is up to the woman to make her own choice.
Please contact Dr. Wald with any questions/comments or to schedule a consultation.