Women often find that making the choice between silicone gel vs. saline breast implants to be the biggest challenge when it comes to breast augmentation. And, as if two options weren’t tough enough to choose between already, now there’s a third contender: form-stable highly cohesive silicone gel implants, more commonly known as gummy bear implants. Beyond their funny name, gummy bear implants are creating a lot of buzz, thanks to some key advantages they offer over other implants.
1. Natural Breast Shape
Gummy bear implants are anatomically shaped, so they’re thicker at the bottom and tapered towards the top, like a teardrop. This profile better mimics the natural contours of the breast compared to the standard round implants, making them popular for women who want the most natural-looking breast augmentation results possible.
2. No More Wrinkles
Saline implants are fully liquid and regular silicone gel implants have a texture that’s similar to jelly, but form-stable implants feel a lot more like the gummy bear candies that are responsible for the implants’ eponymous nickname. The thicker, more cohesive silicone gel is firmer than regular silicone implants, which means they’re much less susceptible to wrinkling, folding or rippling.
3. Organic Feel
From outer shell to cohesive gel, gummy bear implants are specifically designed to blend seamlessly with surrounding tissue in every respect. This makes form-stable implants ideal for my patients who have very little existing breast tissue, because additional tissue coverage over the implant isn’t as necessary for natural-feeling results. For this reason, I often recommend gummy bear implants for use in breast reconstruction, although of course they can deliver beautiful results in cosmetic breast augmentation as well.
If you feel like your eye area looks noticeably older than the rest of your face, you might benefit from cosmetic surgery… but which procedure should you choose? While guidance in finding the right option to help you meet your cosmetic goals should be on your list of must-haves for a good facelift surgeon, there are a few test questions you can ask yourself when you can’t decide between a brow lift and an eye lift.
1. Are You More Concerned with Droopy Lids or a Heavy Brow?
When the upper brow loses elasticity and takes on a heavy appearance, a brow lift can effectively raise the forehead back to correct excessive overshadowing of the eyes. However, when the eyelids themselves become droopy, an eye lift may be needed to eliminate excess skin.
2. Are Frown Lines or Under-Eye Bags More Prominent?
Brow lifts can do wonders for deep frown lines that develop in between the eyebrows and just above the nose by tightening the muscles that support the brow. When bags under the eye become overly prominent, an eye lift can remove fatty under-eye deposits and help lift and firm the delicate skin below the lash line.
3. Do You Look More Tired or Angry?
This is the question can really help you distinguish what procedure will help you the most. Patients who describe themselves as having a tired appearance typically benefit the most from an eye lift, while patients who feel they always look angry or stressed (even when they aren’t) usually need a brow lift.
Remember, an eye lift and a brow lift are complementary surgeries that are often performed together. If you answered “yes” to all these questions, having both procedures might deliver the best results.
Facing breast cancer and a subsequent mastectomy can be a very emotional process, and patients can often feel confused and overwhelmed by the different options for breast reconstruction. It’s important to remember that there is no one best method of reconstruction, and there are pros and cons to each approach. Here’s a closer look into the facts behind common breast reconstruction methods to help you understand the primary differences.
Tissue flap reconstruction is a method of rebuilding the breast using skin, fat and muscle from a donor area of the patient’s own body. With the flap method, much of the reconstruction can often be accomplished at the same time as the mastectomy, although follow-up procedures will likely be necessary in order to achieve a properly positioned, natural-looking breast or to complete nipple reconstruction.
Using a breast implant to recreate the breast is a fairly simple procedure that requires less surgery time and a shorter recovery than flap-based procedures. Implant-based breast reconstruction can sometimes be entirely performed at the time of the mastectomy. In other cases, only the initial step of placing temporary tissue expanders can take place. Tissue expanders are used to create enough space in the breast pocket for the final implant,.
A Combined Approach
Another option is to combine the best of both reconstruction methods in order to create the new breast. In this combined approach, a smaller implant supplies the primary foundation while muscle and tissue add another layer of coverage for a very natural final result. This method eliminates the need for tissue expanders while at the same time limiting the amount of additional tissue and muscle that need to be donated from elsewhere on the body.
While today’s implants definitely offer more beautiful and natural results than at any other time in history, constant innovation is an integral part of any specialty field, and that includes plastic surgery. Here’s a look at some of the breast augmentation advances we might see in the future.
Lightweight Silicone Implants
Although silicone implants look and feel very much like natural breast tissue, one of their biggest downfalls is their weight. A lighter weight silicone breast implant has been developed by two Israeli brothers and is currently awaiting FDA approval. The weight savings are due to tiny microchambers within the silicone that are filled with air to reduce the overall implant weight and increase patient comfort.
Dual-Chamber Saline Implants
Traditional saline implants commonly lead to visible rippling, firmness and a rounder profile compared to silicone implants. A new type of saline implant, not yet FDA-approved, is hoping to change all that. The IDEAL IMPLANT® is a saline implant with improved edges to limit rippling and several additional implant shells nested inside that are designed to move more naturally and give a softer feel and look.
The next generation of breast implants may be no implant at all. Fat transfer breast augmentation, which transplants fat from other places on the body into the breasts, has recently gained FDA approval and is increasing in popularity. Although there are limits as to how much the volume of the breasts can be increased and the results are currently inconsistent, the idea of a truly natural breast augmentation is understandably appealing.
When considering any surgical procedure, there’s nothing wrong with doing a little investigation to see if there’s a nonsurgical alternative first. However, today’s market is crowded with dubious claims of miracle treatments, many of which offer limited benefits and may be quite risky. Perhaps you have heard of the so-called BOTOX® breast lift, a nonsurgical “solution” for lifting and firming the breasts using the familiar injectable. What’s the truth about using BOTOX® for boosting breasts?
The BOTOX® Breast Lift
While most familiarly touted as an anti-wrinkle treatment, there are actually many other uses for BOTOX®, including as a remedy for migraine headaches, underarm sweating and eye twitching. Is the latest “breakthrough use” for BOTOX® a temporary treatment for droopy breasts?
In theory, when used this way, BOTOX® relaxes the pectoral muscles and provides a temporary lift. In reality, the quantity of BOTOX® required to see any effect would likely be prohibitively expensive for most patients, and any results would last only a few months. Furthermore, this treatment would likely only work if your breasts are about a B cup or smaller.
Though it would be nice to have a simple, nonsurgical method to permanently lift the breasts and create a fuller, more youthful bust line, this off-label usage of BOTOX® simply isn’t it. A breast lift (with or without implants) remains the safest and most reliable way to create a fuller, firmer look with results that can last for many years to come.
Your best bet for boosting your breasts is to stick to the proven methods perfected over many years of surgical practice. One day, we may have a one-shot wonder treatment for sagging breasts, but until then, a skilled and experienced breast augmentation surgeon can create beautiful results with more trusted techniques.