Toronto Plastic Surgeon Discusses Positive Experience with Innovative Gummy Bear Breast Implants
Development of advanced breast implant offerings over the past few years such as the cohesive silicone gel (‘gummy bear’) implant has led some plastic surgeons to see a surge in popularity of these implants for breast augmentation. Having offered the ‘gummy bear’ breast implants at his Toronto plastic surgery practice, Dr. Lawrence Tong says he is extremely satisfied with the results achieved, and plans to continue offering them as an important option for elective breast enhancement surgery.
Cohesive silicone breast implants (also nicknamed ‘gummy bear implants’) are the latest generation of breast implants. Although these implants have been available in Canada for a number of years, Dr. Lawrence Tong, a plastic surgeon in Toronto, says the vast majority of them are used for breast reconstruction following mastectomy. The implants have some notable aesthetic and safety advantages when compared to traditional silicone implants. Despite this, the popularity of gummy bear implants still lags behind traditional silicone implants for cosmetic breast augmentation. Following his experience with using cohesive silicone implants for breast augmentation in Toronto, Dr. Tong believes they offer significant benefits for many patients, and has seen the implants become an increasingly popular option at his practice.
Cohesive silicone implants originated from the desire by implant companies to create a silicone implant that could maintain a natural teardrop shape. To accomplish this, the silicone composition was chemically altered, making it firmer (more cohesive). Dr. Tong says there are significant aesthetic advantages to these implants. “The shape tends to be more natural, there is less rippling, less capsular contracture, and the long-term appearance tends to be more stable.” In addition to improved appearance, the cohesive gel also imparts a significant safety advantage: decreased implant rupture rates, and virtually no silicone leakage in the event that a rupture does occur.
“Traditional silicone implants do not actually leak if the shell ruptures or fails, but they can change shape, or may become progressively firmer, necessitating removal and replacement surgery. Because a cohesive silicone implant behaves more like a solid, the implant is less likely to rupture, change shape, or leak silicone –even if a rupture were to ever occur.” says Dr. Tong. These unique physical characteristics are what led to their ‘gummy bear’ nickname.
According to the latest statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, silicone breast implants are more popular than their saline counterparts by a 62% to 38% margin. With the increased preference for silicone implants amongst patients nationwide, Dr. Tong says that ‘gummy bear’ implants satisfy the demand of his Toronto breast augmentation patients who want the natural look and feel of silicone, but also, the peace of mind of an implant with effectively no silicone leakage.
In December 2011, a new line of cohesive silicone implants, made by Allergan, became available in Canada. This line is unique in that it has a cohesive silicone implant with a round shape and smooth surface. Prior to this, cohesive gel implants were only available in a teardrop shape with a textured surface. The textured surface is designed to prevent unwanted implant rotation, but it also results in a breast that does not move as naturally as a breast augmented with a traditional smooth surfaced implant. Dr. Tong says, “The Inspira® breast implant line from Allergan offers the safety characteristics of a cohesive gel implant, together with the natural mobility that has been somewhat lacking in the textured implants.” Dr. Tong has already started to use this latest implant in select patients, and has been excited with the good results thus far. “The smooth surfaced gummy bear implant fills a void that I feel was not previously being addressed.” He cautions though, that no single implant can satisfy every patient’s needs. Each patient has different requirements, and a variety of implants need to be offered to address a variety of concerns.
After witnessing the aesthetic potential of gummy bear breast implants, and receiving such positive feedback from his patients, Dr. Tong says that he is excited about the future of breast augmentation outcomes. As plastic surgery innovations are constantly being adapted and perfected, he adds that patients will continue to see quality results and safe, effective procedures in the field of plastic surgery.
About Lawrence Tong, MD, FACS, FRCSC
After attending undergraduate studies at the University of Western Ontario, Dr. Lawrence Tong graduated medical school from the University of Toronto. He completed his training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Michigan Medical Center, and served on the Providence Hospital/Wayne State University Plastic Surgery teaching staff, mentoring plastic surgery fellows in training. Dr. Tong is board-certified in plastic surgery by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. He has also been invited as a guest panelist for the “YPS Fresh Faces Panel” at the 2010 National meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Located at 199 Avenue Road in Toronto, Canada, Dr. Tong’s practice, Yorkville Institute of Plastic Surgery, can be reached at (416) 972-0999. He can also be contacted online via the website www.myplasticsurgerytoronto.com.