Teardrop shaped breast implants, also know as Gummy Bear Breast Implants, are becoming more popular since they received their FDA approvals recently.
Gummy Bear Implants are great devices, but they aren’t for everyone. They have their own unique set of pluses and minuses when compared to smooth round silicone breast implants, so make sure you have all the facts before you commit to one or the other.
Why all the hype about gummy breast breast implants anyway?
- The silicone gel is not liquid. Because the silicone in modern day breast implants is solid, leaks are essentially a thing of the past. Don’t let the term ‘solid’ fool you though because the gel is incredibly soft and feels very natural.
- The silicone is highly-cohesive. The term “highly-cohesive” refers to the silicone’s ability to stick to itself which keeps it in one place even if the shell core gets damaged. As you can see in the video below where a silicone implant has literally been cut in half in our office, the gel inside the shell stays returns to it’s original position no matter how much it gets shaken or squeezed.
- The silicone is form stable. The teardrop gummy bears are form stable devices, which means that the gel is even more highly cohesive than round implants. That means that the gel keeps its shape inside the implant shell when it’s inside your breast and that keeps the majority of the volume of the implant at the bottom. Some see this as an advantage of the teardrops, but others don’t, so make sure you ask your surgeon whether or not he thinks this will produce the result you’re looking for.
Who should consider teardrop shaped breast implants?
- Women who want an extremely natural result. Gummy Bear implants give a very natural slope to the breast that some women love, but some don’t. Make sure you have a visual definition of what the word ‘natural’ means to you before your consultation (i.e. bring some photos of what you’re looking for with you). That word means very different things to everyone, so it’s important that you be as specific as possible when discussing this issue with your plastic surgeon. In my practice, I have found that more women who actually prefer the cleavage and slope of a round implant over the ultra natural teardrop, so I make sure I spend a lot of time on this portion of the consultation so that we’re on the same page before we make a decision about which implant to use.
- Women who don’t much natural breast tissue. Gummy Bear breast implants have most of their volume at the bottom of the implant so this is where the greatest amount of stretching occurs. This is an advantage for women who literally have no natural breast tissue and no definition of their inframammary folds (creases under the breasts).
- Women who have very noticeable asymmetry of their breasts and chest wall. Teardrop shaped implants offer more choices for your surgeon to use to correct significant asymmetry, especially if one breast is significant wider or narrower than the opposite side, or if the inframammary folds are in very different spots on the chest wall, both of which you can see an example of in this photo.
Who should NOT consider teardrop shaped breast implants?
- Women who have breast implants already. Gummy bear implants are textured, which means that they have a rough surface that encourages your natural tissue to stick to the implant. If you already have breast implants, you also have a smooth capsule around your implants that will not allow the textured surface of a gummy to stick to it. This means that it will be able rotate freely inside the pocket, which will be noticeable from the outside because the implant has a top and a bottom (you don’t need to worry about this with a round implant). The only option for women have implants already but want to exchange them for teardrops is to have a procedure called a capsulectomy. A capsulectomy removes the existing capsule and reestablishes a fresh surface for the new textured implant to stick to. A capsulectomy adds cost, risk, and recovery to the operation though, so make sure you discuss it with your surgeon before going forward with it. It may not be worth the tradeoff just to get a teardrop implant.
- Women who want a sexy shape and cleavage. If you are having a breast augmentation to make your breasts match your sexy and outgoing personality, you will not be happy with the shape of a teardrop implant. Round implants can look just as natural, but also give you the ability to push them up for sexy cleavage anytime you want, which is something that can be difficult or impossible with gummy bears.
- Women who want a periareolar or axillary incision. Teardrop implants can only be placed through an inframammary incision (in the fold under the breast). If you would prefer an incision in another location, this is not the implant for you.
What are the main advantages of teardrop shaped breast implants?
- They have the most natural shape. There’s no question that gummy bear implants have the most natural shape possible, but for some women, they end up being too natural. Every women has a different visual of what “natural” means, so keep in mind that teardrop implants give results that are on the extreme end of natural.
- They have the highest gel cohesiveness. Gummy bear breast implants are form stable devices, which means that they have the highest level of gel cohesiveness. That does not mean that round implants are not cohesive though… they certainly are. Just as the shape can be an advantage or a disadvantage to certain women, so can the cohesiveness. The ultra high cohesiveness makes the implants feel firmer, so it can be a tradeoff compared to the ultra soft feel of a smooth round implant.
What are the main disadvantages of teardrop shaped breast implants?
- Their shape can be too natural. The teardrop shape may be a big disappointment if your definition of “natural” doesn’t match up to the extremely natural appearance these implants produce, so it’s important to have a visual representation of what your goal result would look like so your surgeon can guide you in choosing the right implant.
- They require a larger incision. Because gummy bear implants are textured and firm, they require a larger incision for placement.
- They can only be inserted through an inframammary incision. Gummy bear implants can only be inserted carefully and safely through in inframammary incision, so if you would prefer a periareolar (around the nipple) or axillary (in the armpit) incision, this is not the implant for you.
- They could rotate. Because gummy bear implants have a top and a bottom, you will notice a change in the shape of your breast if the implant rotates. If this happens, it will require another surgery to fix the problem.
- They feel firmer than round smooth implants. Gummy bear implants are textured which causes the implant to stick to your natural breast tissue, and that gives it a firmer feel. Round smooth implants are much softer and many women describe them as feeling more natural.
- More expensive. Because of their higher gel cohesiveness, their textured surface, and their form stable technology, gummy bear implants carry a premium price over round smooth implants.
If you have any questions gummy bear breast implants, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please feel free to call our office at 917-703-7069 or send us a message by clicking here.Nicholas Vendemia, M.D. Plastic Surgeon New York
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com, Manhattan Aesthetic Surgery LLC