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What are Gummy Bear Implants?

"Gummy bear implants" refers to silicone breast implants which have textured surfaces and are usually shaped rather than round. The most well-known gummy bear implant in the US is likely Allergan’s 410 style breast implant. Mentor’s version is their CPG (Contour Profile Gel) implant. Sientra also sells a full line of textured, shaped implants.

All of these implants have 2 things in common: they all have a textured rather than a smooth surface, and they are all filled with a thick form of silicone gel called “highly cohesive gel.” These implants are also known as form stable implants, because the gel is so thick that it maintains the shape of the implant. The other feature all gummy bear implants share is their textured surface. To simplify, as explained when discussing capsular contracture, the body forms scar tissue around any implant. When the implant surface is textured, the scar tissue essentially grows into the “nooks and crannies” of the implant. In essence, this type of scar tissue reaction to the textured surface causes the capsule to act like Velcro, with the implant being less likely to move. This type of scar tissue growth also seems to break up the direction of the scar tissue and thereby lowers the incidence of capsular contracture.

What are the pluses of using Gummy Bear Implants?

Gummy bear implants have a lower incidence of capsular contracture.

They also have a lower chance of moving lower over time ("bottoming out").

What are the minuses of using Gummy Bear Implants?

Because they are shaped, gummy bear implants have a real risk of rotation.

Although the risk of capsular contracture is lower, all gummy bear implants feel stiffer.

Because the implants don’t move, they appear less natural in movement, including when running or jumping.

Are there any safety concerns using Gummy Bear Implants?

There have been recent safety concerns regarding textured implants, including gummy bear implants. These center around a condition called ALCL (anaplastic large cell lymphoma). This is a rare form of lymphoma (cancer) which, according to recently released data, is associated (albeit very rarely) with textured breast implants. The exact increased risk for developing ALCL is unknown, but some respected scientists estimate that it might be as high as 1 in 4000-5000. There seem to be zero confirmed cases where there wasn’t a textured implant in place at some point.

In general, Dr. Rapaport does not recommend gummy bear or textured implants for the overwhelming majority of women seeking cosmetic breast enhancement in his New York plastic surgery office.

"Most women I see want breasts that feel as soft and natural as possible, and that move naturally with them. Gummy bear implants just don't measure up on those issues," says top NYC plastic surgeon David Rapaport. "When you add to that recent concerns about a possible increased lymphoma risk, even if rare, this further lowers my interest in being involved in using these implants."

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