Silicon, saline, or gummy bear implants, which one is right for you?

April 14, 2014
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Breast implants continue to improve in quality and safety standards thanks to their status as the most studied medical device in the United States. With 7 different implant types approved by the FDA, there is an almost staggering level of choice available for consumers and it can be difficult to choose which ones are best for each individual. Consulting with your surgeon is a great way to weight the options but sometimes it is best to have a basic understanding of the options in order to help you make a decision.

Breast Implants

There are three basic types, each with a few variations. Each has its advantages and disadvantages and it is essential for patients to be aware of these factors so that they can form realistic expectations.


Saline implants are made of a silicon shell which is filled with a sterile saline solution. They feel firmer than silicone gel and come with a variety of options including:

  • Round for a fuller appearance;
  • Contoured for a mature breast shape;
  • 3 projection profiles; and
  • Both smooth and textured options.

These implants are great because they are a less expensive option than their silicone gel counterparts and then can be filled to the ideal amount during surgery thus requiring a smaller incision. Some drawbacks to this type are that they can feel less natural and are more prone to ripping and leaking.

Silicone Gel

Made with a silicone shell full of silicone gel, these implants feel more like natural breasts. They come with a few cosmetic options such as:

  • A round shape for a fuller appearance;
  • 3 projection profiles; and
  • A variety of sizes to suit the patient’s body.

This type is great because the look and feel very natural with the closet match to real tissue currently available. They can also be used safely for over 20 years in most cases. Unfortunately they are more expensive than saline implants and they do require a larger incision as they come pre-made.

Highly Cohesive Silicone Gel

Also known as “gummy bear” implants, these are made with a high-strength silicone gel inside of a texture silicone shell. They feel similar to gummy bears in that they are slightly firmer than natural breast tissue but remain pliable. These implants also allow for some customization with a range of options including:

  • A teardrop shape for natural breast contour;
  • A variety of heights and sizes; and
  • Several profiles to fit each patient’s body.

Because these implants can be shaped, they look very natural. They also will remain in place better than other types but some may find they too firm and they do require a larger incision than saline implants.

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