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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery > Gummy Bear Implants

Gummy Bear Implants Cost


How Much Do Gummy Bear Implants Cost?

 
 average costClinical Trial: $6,000-$12,000 

Gummy bear implants are a new type of cohesive gel breast implant that are firmer in texture than the silicone-filled implants currently on the market, and that have not yet received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They are available in the United States only through clinical trials.

Typical costs:

  • Breast augmentation with "gummy bear" implants as part of a clinical trial typically costs about $6,000 to $12,000, including the surgeon fee, anesthesia, implants and facility fee. Breast augmentation with the saline or silicone implants currently available in the United States costs about $4,000 to $10,000, including an implant cost of about $1,000 to $1,300. According to Marina Plastic Surgery Associates[1] , which is participating in clinical trials, the patient pays the cost of the surgery, which is the same as with other styles of implants, and the cost of the implants. Tammy Wu, M.D.[2] , a plastic surgeon involved in the clinical trials, states that they cost about twice as much as saline implants, for a total of at least $2,000 just for the implants.
  • Breast implants typically are not covered by health insurance unless they are being used to reconstruct breasts, typically after a mastectomy. Potential costs for a patient covered by health insurance would include doctor visit copays and coinsurance of 10% to 50% for the surgery.
Related articles: Breast Augmentation, Breast Reconstruction

What should be included:
  • At an initial consultation, the surgeon will determine whether the patient is a suitable candidate for "gummy bear" implants. The patient must be an otherwise good candidate for augmentation, must be willing to participate in follow-up for 10 years and must live close to the surgeon.
  • During surgery, the patient will be placed under general anesthesia. The surgeon then will make an incision, usually under the fold of the breast, and place the implant. Because a "gummy bear" implant cannot be squeezed through a small opening, the incision typically is longer than with other types of implants and usually cannot be placed in the armpit crease. Patients typically take several days off from work, and full recovery takes about a month.
  • Gummy bear implants now being used in clinical trials are typically anatomical, or teardrop shaped, to look more natural. Round "gummy bear" implants are not now available in the United States.
  • Although "gummy bear" implants are still being investigated, advantages are presumed to include: they are expected to retain their shape, are probably less likely to leak silicone into the body and seem to have lower incidence of capsular contracture, a hardening of the breasts caused by scar tissue around implants. Presumed disadvantages include: a firmer feel than traditional silicone implants, higher cost, a longer incision required, and the risk of the implant rotating. CohesiveImplants.com has more information on possible advantages and disadvantages[3] and frequently asked questions[4] .
Additional costs:
  • Any type of breast implant might need to be replaced in the future if it ruptures, usually after at least 10 years. The lifespan of "gummy bear" implants is not yet known, but some surgeons predict they will last longer than other types of implants. When implants fail, manufacturers typically replace them and may also pay a stipend of $1,000 or more toward the replacement surgery. For example, Mentor[5] and Allergan[6] offer warranty programs.
Discounts:
  • With clinical trials, regular follow-up doctor visits are required, typically for 10 years. Patients usually are provided with a voucher to pay for the follow-ups.
Shopping for gummy bear implants:
  • It is best to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon about getting "gummy bear" implants. Both the American Society of Plastic Surgeons[7] and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery[8] offer referral services. A plastic surgeon can determine whether a patient is a good candidate for "gummy bear" implants. CohesiveBreastImplants.com offers names and contact information for surgeons[9] participating in trials.
  • The FDA offers an FAQ on breast implants, including gummy bear implants, and information about ongoing clinical trials.
  • For patients considering participating in a clinical trial, the surgeon will disclose possible risks. However, it is important to understand that the risks of "gummy bear" implants are still being studied. The general risks of breast augmentation include: reaction to anesthesia, infection, scarring, breast pain, changes in nipple sensation, scar tissue around the implant and dissatisfaction with results.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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External Resources:
  1.  www.gummybearbreastimplants.com/
  2.  www.surgerytoday.com/gummybearbreastimplants/
  3.  www.cohesiveimplants.com/gummy-bear-implants/
  4.  www.cohesiveimplants.com/faqs/
  5.  www.mentorwwllc.com/global-us/breast.aspx
  6.  www.cppwarranty.com/coverageInfo.aspx
  7.  www1.plasticsurgery.org/find_a_surgeon/
  8.  www.surgery.org/consumers/find-a-plastic-surgeon
  9.  www.cohesiveimplants.com/expert-cohesive-surgeons/
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