Article: Types of Breast Implants: Furry Brazilian, Gummy Bear & Teardrops

Sep 19, 2011 by

It’s always great to find a doctor, clinic or surgery center that details the choices of breast implants and how they might help a patient. I found this website with a nice write up about gummy bear breast implants, teardrop shaped breast implants and even Furry Brazilian implants.

Note- I do not know this clinic, am not promoting their services and have never received any compensation from them.

Please have a read of their entire page, here are a few highlights with comments:

The variety of options is overall beneficial with respect to optimizing results, but also introduces additional variables into the decision making process as opposed to a “one type fits all” approach, as it is prevalent in environments with limited availability of breast implant types  (e. g. women considering a breast augmentation in the US are limited to saline filled implants and a narrow variety of silicone implants). And, naturally, with the number of options the number of urban legends and misconceptions increases.

The foremost fact about breast implants is that there is no “best breast implant” for breast augmentation and breast enhancement. If that were the case, all the others would not be around. There are just improved choices in the context of what the desired function of the implant is in the context of the surgery required for its insertion (position of incision, plane of the pocket for the breast implant above or below chest wall muscle, shape and tissue distribution in the non augmented breast amongst others).

Oh be still my beating heart! Some truth talk! Finally I found a clinic that wants to dismiss urban legends and states the USA limits women’s choices in breast implants. This is wonderful and accurate, women outside the USA have the ability to choose from a much greater selection of implants that are safe and superior to what can be found in the USA. Women outside the USA can choose Polyurethane foam breast implants- with the emphasis on CAN choose if they feel the Polyurethane foam implant and benefits are ideal for them.

“Gummy bear” implants got their nickname from the perceived feel of the implant resulting from being filled with so called cohesive silicone gel. The cohesiveness results from various degrees of cross linking (polymerization) of the silicone molecules. Cross linking eventually produces a jello like substance, which does not run out and keeps its overall shape even if the “shell” (the container enclosing the gel) is removed. This characteristic allows the creation of “form stable” breast implants having say the shape of a teardrop, which – being an anatomic implant – resembles a breast with a gentle upper take-off from the chest wall and a full lower aspect, or a more conical shape of a very projecting breast with a sharper take off from the upper chest wall resembling more the appearance of the famous rescue swimmers.

Nice point, Gummy Bear implants are something I have not detailed in this website. Where the Gummy Bear silicone stands at this time: most high quality implants are cohesive silicone gel, I say most as there are some low price, low quality implants that are still the “runny” silicone. The primary reason for the cohesive silicone is safety- if the shell of the implant breaks or ruptures, the cohesive silicone will likely stay in place; the cohesive properties keep it from breaking apart rapidly. There are many good pictures of Gummy Bear Silicone gel implants cut open that show how the silicone doesn’t move even when the implant shell has been cut.

Gummy Bear Cohesive Silicone inside a Polyurethane Foam Shell

So form stable implants make it possible to distribute the overall volume of the silicone gel in the shell differentially having more in the lower pole as in anatomic implants or more centrally, depending on what the breast implant is intended to accomplish. The shape is stable no matter which way the breast implant is turned and thus is stable in its form no matter whether the patient stands up or lies down or assumes any position in between. Due to the cohesiveness of there are no ripples, folds or similar visible on the breast implant and this characteristic is maintained once the gummy bear, tear drop or furry Brazilian breast implant is inserted during breast augmentation. Together with the natural feel of the breasts after augmentation the latter is of great advantage when the breast implant is placed directly above and not under the chest wall muscle.

The Gummy Bear cohesive gel will also give a more natural feel than saline- a woman’s breast does not feel like contact solution, the gummy bear silicone feels more natural due to the density and movement. The same is true for lower quality “runny” silicone, they do not have the same feel or movement as the gummy bear cohesive silicone.

Now “gummy bear” implants which have an asymmetrical shape like a “teardrop” implant have to stay in the correct position after breast augmentation. By changing the surface of the shell from smooth to “textured” by creating a large number of small pits during the manufacturing process the interface between the surface of the implant and the soft tissue of the pocket – the so called capsule – becomes like a velcro strap holding the breast implant in position. Capsules do form around all implant types, but exhibit subtle differences depending on the implant type. It was assumed that “texturization” of the shell would result in a softer capsule, but the scientific data to support this belief are inconclusive.

I have written a few entries regarding dropping or being subject to malposition, moving or rotation. This is a major issue that can affect over 5% of women and is a key issue that should be considered and address when using anatomical shapes- like teardrop. A round implant can rotate, the shape round shape means the rotation will not implant the overall look. But, if a tear drop shaped implant rotates or moves, it will be a significant issue as the shape of the augmented breast will be changed. This is a major advantage of Polyurethane foam breast implants- they form a superior bond with the capsule that prevents rotation, malposition and movement.

The exception is the “furry Brazilian” implant, which is coated in polyurethane microfoam to provide surface texturization resulting in a feel similar to suede. The available scientific data (e. g. Vázquez G, Pellón A. Polyurethane-coated silicone gel breast implants used for 18 years. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2007, Jul-Aug;31(4):330-6; Handel N, Cordray T, Gutierrez J, Jensen JA. A long-term study of outcomes, complications, and patient satisfaction with breast implants. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2006 Mar;117(3):757-67, …) shows the lowest rate of problems with the capsule in the long run while achieving outstanding aesthetic results.

And there is the “payoff” paragraph and what I have been on my soap box about- Polyurethane foam silicone gel implants form a better, safer capsule and have the lowest rate of capsular contracture. Is this important, you bet as capsular contracture is the number one local complication for women with breast implants. While women in the USA don’t have an option to reduce their rate of capsular contracture by choosing a different implant type- women in over 35 countries do…and are choosing Polyurethane foam covered gummy bear implants.

The latter two considerations – avoidance of longterm implant related problems and excellent aesthetic results – are my two overriding concerns. So if there is something like a surgeon’s pick of breast implants for breast augmentation and enhancement- the “furry Brazilian” is definitely on top of my list.

Well said.

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