One of the most exciting and possibly overwhelming parts of preparing for breast augmentation is choosing breast implants. At his New York practice in Westchester, Long Island, and NYC, Dr. Scott Newman helps patients choose the breast implants that will best provide the most satisfying, natural-looking results.
What are the benefits of breast implants?
Women attain a variety of benefits from breast augmentation with implants, which commonly include:
- Correcting changes that occurred during pregnancy and after breastfeeding
- Significantly improving the way clothes fit
- Elevating feelings of femininity
- Increasing symmetry in breast size and shape
- Boosting confidence and self-esteem
- Providing the option for removal if lifestyle or preferences change in the future
- Gaining back definition after a major weight loss
Meet Our Surgeon
Dr. Scott Newman
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Scott Newman is a nationally recognized specialist in breast and body surgery. His refined expertise extends to reconstructive and facial plastic surgery, as well as nonsurgical aesthetics. The innovator of the technology that became VECTRA® 3-D imaging, Dr. Newman is always looking for ways to improve his patients’ safety, comfort, and results. This drive has made Newman Plastic Surgery one of the most technologically advanced practices in the country.Meet Dr. Newman Request Your Consultation
Saline breast implants are normally filled with a sterile saltwater solution, which is similar to the type used for intravenous administration. Next, the outer shell of the implants is made of a rubber-like material known as silicone elastomer. Currently, women over age 18 are eligible for saline-filled breast implants.
What are the benefits of saline breast implants?
- Safe and natural fill material
- Volume can be adjusted after implant placement
- Peace of mind in case of a leak or rupture
- Feel slightly firmer than silicone gel implants
- Require a slightly smaller incision than silicone implants
A silicone breast implant is a type of gel-filled implant that features a silicone outer shell. Filled with silicone gel, these implants come in a great variety of sizes and have either textured or smooth shells. Silicone is a thick, sticky fluid that closely mimics the feel of natural human fat. Most women who opt for this type of implant feel that their breasts look and feel like natural breast tissue.
With that, silicone breast implants are typically approved for breast augmentation procedures in women that are at least 22 years of age and for breast reconstruction in women of any age. It is not uncommon for silicone breast implants to be utilized in revision breast surgeries to improve or correct the result of previous surgery.
What are the benefits of silicone breast implants?
Breast implants filled with silicone tend to:
- Feel more like real breast tissue
- Lower chances of wrinkling and rippling
- Be suitable for women with modest breast tissue
- Have a reduced risk of downward displacement due to their lightweight properties
“I was a small B-cup and I wanted fullness, especially near the top of my breasts. Dr. Newman understood what I was looking for and gave me exactly what I expected.”Barbara in Scarsdale
Gummy Bear Implants
Gummy bear implants have nothing to do with gummy bear candy, and Dr. Newman takes issue with the term. Some people think that these implants are made of many small pieces of silicone, while others believe the implant is similar to a large version of a gummy bear candy; these concepts are completely wrong. Gummy bear implants are merely a new version of silicone breast implants. There are some qualities of these silicone breast implants that are simply different than traditional silicone implants.
As one of the most experienced breast plastic surgeons in the country, Dr. Newman has extensive experience with every type of implant currently available. His opinions are not shaped by what he is told by the breast implant manufacturers; they are based on his experience using these implants, both inserting them and, in some cases, removing them. There are advantages and disadvantages to these implants as there are for any choice of implants. During your consultation, he will take the time to explain these differences in order for you to make an educated decision about what is best for you.
What are gummy bear implants?
Gummy bear breast implants are merely another variety of silicone implants. When we discuss the materials available to fill breast implants, we talk about how “cohesive” the material is, which basically refers to how viscous and thick the material is, as well as how much the material will “stick” to itself. Sometimes plastic surgeons refer to gummy bear implants as “cohesive gel” implants, and this is technically incorrect. All silicone gel implants are “cohesive”; just some material is more cohesive than others. The gummy gear category of silicone gel implants merely suggests an implant that is a bit more cohesive.
To simplify the concept, imagine traditional gel as an extremely thick liquid—almost pasty in consistency if you hold just the gel in your hand. Similarly, imagine the gummy bear implant as an extremely soft solid like Jello. The main difference is that the liquid silicone implant, no matter how thick, is still a liquid and has the ability to flow like a liquid. The gummy bear implant, no matter how soft, is still a solid and has the properties of a solid. As an example, imagine a bowl full of water (liquid), and you’re given a knife and asked to slice it in half. It’s kind of a silly concept because, as a liquid, it just mixes back together. Now imagine a bowl of a very soft solid like Jello. Using the same knife, you could easily cut it into 2 pieces, and the pieces will remain separate.
How are gummy bear breast implants different from traditional silicone gel implants?
Keeping in mind that the gummy bear implant contains a solid material, you can understand that the gel itself has a shape. Although this gel is somewhat held in shape by the “wrapper” that encloses it, the material has a shape even without the wrapper. Traditional gel implants, on the other hand, have a shape that is very dependent on the wrapper. Intuitively this sounds like a big advantage for the more solid implants. The truth is that once inserted in the typical under-muscle (submuscular) position and exposed to the forces exerted by this muscle, the shape of the gel deforms easily.
Why gummy bear implants? Who are they for?
The gummy bear implant with its more cohesive gel is of some advantage in patients with very small natural breasts or in cases of breast reconstruction after breast cancer where a patient has no natural breast. In these cases, the shaped or anatomical implant can give a fuller bottom to the breast, which in certain cases, may be more desirable.
Some doctors feel that there is less wrinkling or rippling with a gummy bear implant. But Dr. Newman disagrees, noting that rippling is often an issue with saline breast implants, especially in thin patients. However, with silicone implants, the incidence of this rippling is decreased. Dr. Newman has found the incidence of rippling is no different when using a gummy bear implant compared to a traditional silicone gel implant.
One obvious disadvantage with gummy bear implants is that they are the firmest of all silicone implants. This firmness is sometimes noticeable at the bottom of the breast where the implant could feel very different than the overlying natural breast tissue.
How is breast augmentation performed with cohesive gel implants?
The procedure with gummy bear implants is similar to the procedure with other implants. Anatomically shaped gummy bear implants are asymmetric as there is more gel on the bottom. These implants, therefore, have the ability to turn in their pocket. For this reason, all anatomically shaped implants have a textured coating. This rough coating encourages scar tissue to adhere to the shell of the implant and “lock” it in place to reduce this risk.
When using anatomically shaped implants, Dr. Newman typically puts a dressing on that helps support the sides of the implants. This external compression helps assure that the implant stays in its desired position during the first few days after surgery.
Gummy bear implants usually require a slightly larger scar than traditional gel implants. Dr. Newman uses an insertion funnel to place all types of silicone implants. This insertion device puts less force on the implant and minimizes the scar size.
Featured in the Media
Expertise and innovation attract attention. Dr. Newman has performed thousands of cosmetic breast, body, face, and skin procedures over his decades in practice. He has earned awards from The Aesthetic Society® (ASAPS) for his innovative techniques and has spoken about emerging technologies to respected colleagues at national meetings. Both the New York and national media trust Dr. Newman for his specialized expertise in both surgical and nonsurgical aesthetics.
Are gummy bear implants better?
Having used virtually every implant on the market, Dr. Newman thinks traditional silicone gel implants are superior in most cases. The goal is to use an implant that best augments the breast with minimal risks and as natural a feel and appearance as possible. In his experience, round MENTOR® MemoryGel™ implants give superior results for most patients. There are cases where the advantages of the gummy bear anatomical implants outweigh the disadvantages, such as for post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. Occasionally, he sees a cosmetic patient who would benefit from gummy bear implants.
IDEAL IMPLANTS have an innovative, patented design that offers the feel of silicone gel implants with the safety of saline implants. Instead of having a single outer shell, these implants have an outer silicone shell that encompasses multiple baffle shells nested within each other and 2 separate chambers filled with saline. This structure controls the movement of the saline to minimize wrinkling, rippling, and folding. The outside edges of the implant are lower than other implants for a natural-looking transition between the implant and chest wall. In the rare instance of a rupture, the implant rapidly deflates, and the harmless saline filling is absorbed by the body.
Breast Implant Comparison
|Saline||Safe and natural fill material |
Volume adjustable after placement
Peace of mind in case of a leak or rupture
Require a slightly smaller incision than silicone gel
Most affordable type
|Feel firmer and less natural than silicone gel |
Heavier than silicone gel
Wrinkling, rippling, sloshing
|Silicone gel||Feel natural|
Reduced risk of downward displacement
Filling holds together in case of rupture
|More expensive than saline|
Require slightly larger incision than saline
Silent rupture possible
|Gummy bear||Good for patients with very small breasts or for breast reconstruction||Firmer than silicone gel |
Require slightly larger incision than silicone gel
Silent rupture possible
|IDEAL IMPLANT||Feel natural|
Safe and natural fill material
Volume adjustable after placement
Peace of mind in case of a leak or rupture
|Most expensive type|
Does breast size after breast augmentation correlate with the number of cc in a breast implant?
No, it usually does not. It depends on the breast size you plan to begin with. With that, the final cup size does not directly correlate with the implant size. The main goal is to make the implants proportionate to your:
- Breast size and shape
- Amount of natural breast tissue
- Chest wall diameter
It is imperative that you do not over-augment your breasts as there is a risk of causing distortion and making them look too large for your body and chest wall.
Should I worry about major sensory changes like loss of nipple sensation?
It is not uncommon for patients to experience some sensory changes after receiving breast augmentation. However, there is typically nothing to worry about as sensation usually returns to normal within about 3 to 6 months. Do not be alarmed, as it is acceptable to have some nipple sensation loss from any breast augmentation procedure. The ratio of sensory loss is approximately 5 to 10%.
Do you have to replace breast implants every 10 years?
The majority of breast implants have an average lifespan of up to 15 years.
How can rippling in saline breast implants be prevented?
An effective way to prevent or minimize rippling is to insert saline implants below the muscle. In addition, the patient must have sufficient breast tissue, and the implant should not be underinflated or oversized. There is no rippling with silicone implants and the IDEAL IMPLANT regardless of placement above or below the chest muscle.
How long should you wait to replace or remove a ruptured silicone implant?
It is rare for implants to need replacement. However, if needed, the patient should undergo treatment within several months from the diagnosis. By choosing a reliable surgeon, ruptured silicone implants are extremely unlikely to happen.
To review the many options and choose the right breast implants for you, request a free consultation with Scott Newman, MD, FACS, or call Newman Plastic Surgery & Laser Center at (914) 423-9000 for an appointment.Back to Top