Many of Dr. Teitelbaum’s patients choose him to be their surgeon because of his expertise with cohesive gel implants (also known as “gummy-bear implants” because the gel has a consistency similar to that of the candy). These have been widely used in Europe since 1993. US clinical trials began in 2001, and finally approval of these implants is expected in 2012. Between 2001 and the approval, the implants are only available to patients and a select group of surgeons participating in clinical trials.
Dr. Teitelbaum is the only surgeon in the state of California who participated in the clinical trials of all three cohesive implant manufacturers. He has over a decade of experience and has implanted more than 1300 such implants. Because of his excellent results in a wide variety of breast types, Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently requested lecturers on this topic in the United States, and he has traveled to places as far away as Asia, Europe and Africa to share his cohesive breast implant expertise with other surgeons.
These implants have several advantages and disadvantages. While beautiful and natural results can be achieved with any breast implant, Dr. Teitelbaum believes he has greater control to create a more beautiful shape with these implants. They are more resistant to developing folds that can be either seen or felt. Studies show a lower rate of scar tissue formation, leakage, and chance of needing another operation than standard silicone gel implants. While many patients perceive these implants as “leak-free”, in fact it is possible for them to break, though the gel is so stiff that it does not appear to migrate.
They are slightly firmer than standard silicone implants, but it is that characteristic which allows them to maintain a shape and to have possibly enhanced durability. Since they are thin at the top and thick at the bottom, they must maintain their orientation. If a round implant rotates, then there is no change in appearance, but if a teardrop rotates then it can create a distortion. This is a risk that exists with these cohesive implants that does not exist with the round implants.
They work best in patients who wish to have a proportional augmentation, because they do not look as good when sized much above or below what is ideal for the breast. In loose and highly mobile breasts, they tend to feel more firm than they do in breasts that are already very firm.
Dr. Teitelbaum is an enthusiastic supporter of this new technology, and developed the educational material that one implant manufacturer will use to credential surgeons who wish to use them following FDA approval. In fact, he was even videotaped performing surgery to demonstrate to other surgeons the ideal way of using these implants. As excited as he is about these implants, he does not believe they are ideal for everyone. He always works with each patient to determine exactly what size and type of implant is right for her, and would never automatically recommend cohesive implants. When you come in for your consultation, you and Dr. Teitelbaum can explore if they might be right for you. In the meantime, we encourage you to visit Dr. Teitelbaum’s special website, www.cohesiveimplants.com, to learn more about this exciting new technology and all it has to offer.
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