Cohesive Gel breast implants are arguably the greatest thing to come onto the market where breast surgery is concerned, be it breast augmentation or breast reconstruction. Currently, all FDA approved breast implants are filled with a cohesive silicone gel. Cohesive, meaning it clings to itself; it’s soft solid and doesn’t flow like water. This is good in that if punctured, the core cannot leak out or “migrate” as it is called.
Now, just so we’re clear; simple, cohesive gel implants are not the same as Gummy Bear implants, which are classified as “highly cohesive.” Gummy Bear implants are also not FDA approved in the U.S. So what are the differences and what are the similarities?
There are two main similarities.
- Both have a soft silicone shell.
- Both have a soft silicone interior.
Gummy Bear implants, however, being highly cohesive have more of a defined shape, which it holds to, and has “memory” meaning it returns to it’s manufactured shape after pressure (such as squeezing) is applied. Typically teardrop shaped, so as to maintain the natural, projection at the bottom as desired, mimicking real breasts. These can rotate in about 10% of cases, causing deformation and must be corrected by repositioning of the implant. Another term for this is “form stable.”
Although the advantages of the Gummy Bear implants are apparent, women should be cautious in going abroad to seek these implants. Women should be aware of low quality Poly Implant Prothèses (PIP) breast implants like those commonly used in European and South American countries. The PIP implants are made with non-medical grade silicone, and have failure rates of 10% at one year, vs. the less than 1% in 3 years of U.S., medical-grade silicone implants.