Dr. Eliopoulos Chats About Silicone Gel Implants
Apr 12, 2018 @ 1:00 PM — by Dina Eliopoulos
Spring is here and you know what that means… bathing suit season is around the corner. Not surprisingly, spring tends to be a very busy time here at the Center for Plastic Surgery with patients eager to undergo breast augmentation surgery to be well healed in time to enjoy the summer months. However, truly this procedure is popular all year round. Back in the fall, one of our newsletters focused on the differences between saline and silicone implants. This month, I thought it would be helpful to update patients about silicone implants, especially since most of our patients are choosing silicone over saline. We now are fortunate to have several different types of “gummy bear” silicone gel implants. While this gives us an even better ability to customize a patient's breast enhancement based on their personal goals and anatomy, it also can sometimes be a bit confusing for patients to understand the differences between these “gummy” gels.
Over the recent years, the term “Gummy Bear” has been used to describe the newer generation of silicone implants, which are more "cohesive”. The more “cohesive” the silicone gel, the more “form stable” it is. These highly cohesive gels are designed to maintain upper pole fullness, and provide more shaping to the breast, since they better maintain their overall height and projection when it is in the body. The more cohesive the gel is, also the less likely we are to see a visible wrinkle from an implant on the skin surface. Also, the more cohesive the gel, the more the gel is likely to "stay in place" within the breast capsule if one was to develop a rupture of their implant. The trade off for this increased cohesivity is a slightly firmer feel while still much softer than saline implants.
The Natrelle Cohesive Collection of Silicone Gels by Allergan
In 2013, Allergan’s highly cohesive gels first became available in an anatomic teardrop-shaped device. Now this same highly cohesive gel can be found in the round shape that many of our patients desire. This round highly cohesive gel is called Natrelle INSPIRA Cohesive, and truly is the “gummiest of all.” I like to use this implant for my smaller breasted patients who are really looking to maintain fullness in the upper portion of their breast and minimize possibility of wrinkling and feeling the edges of the implant.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the Natrelle Inspira which is still a cohesive gummy gel, but the least so, and therefore is our “gummy gel”. I may recommend this gel to patients who are looking for less upper pole fullness, or who have a more defined, maybe teardrop shape to the breast which might blend better with this slightly softer implant.
And right in the middle of these 2, is our “gummier” implant, the Natrelle INSPIRA Soft Touch. It is the most recent gel to join the club of the Natrelle Cohesive Collection and offers the best of both worlds, with some of the benefits of each of its bookend sister gels. The Soft Touch cohesivity level falls in the middle of the cohesive spectrum. So, it provides some of the softness that patients love in the Inspira, while still offering some of the benefits of a bit more upper pole fill.
If you are still slightly confused, no worries. That's what your consultation is for. Even before you come in for your consult, our Patient Coordinator, Erin, will be happy to give you some information about breast augmentation surgery. In the office, you will also be able to hold the 3 gels in your hands, so you can see and feel the subtle differences. I like to think of these 3 gels as “3 shades of red”, each slightly different but still so close that none are a wrong decision. After we talk and I examine your breasts, I will recommend to you which of these 3 silicone gels might be the best option for you based on your goals and anatomy.