What’s So Great About Cohesive Gel Breast Implants?

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Serving Areas Near Houston & Sugar Land, TX

Aug 08, 2011

Society’s interest with breast augmentation and breast implants has been recorded since at least the 1940’s, but probably began much earlier in history. A PBS documentary about breast implants advised during the Second World War that some Japanese women performed a “do-it-yourself” type of breast augmentation with paraffin, non-medical grade silicone, and other substances in the hopes US military troops would find larger breasts more attractive. The breast implant has come a long way from there. In fact, two Texas plastic surgeons (Doctors Gerow and Cronin) developed the first silicone breast implant in the 1960’s. It is safe to say that the breast implant is the most studied medical device in the history of modern medicine. The technology for breast implant materials has improved over the years, and today the three main classes of implants include: saline, silicone gel, and cohesive silicone gel. While all three types are utilized by plastic surgeons and FDA approved, there are differences among them. The popular media refers to the cohesive gel silicone breast implant as “gummy bear breast implants”, but rest assured that they are made from state-of-the-art medical materials. Cohesive silicone breast implants are a stable form material as the term cohesive implies. The gel itself is semi-solid, which means that women can expect a more controlled distribution of the implant fill, and a more consistent breast appearance over time. Because the risk of capsular contracture and shell rupture may be concerns for some patients, the cohesive silicone gel can provide some relief. Studies indicate that there are fewer occurrences of capsular contracture, reoperation rates, and that if the shell does rupture the silicone remains cohesive and in shape.