Breast implants are available in different sizes and filled with different materials (saline or silicone), but they are also available as round or shaped. What’s the difference?
- Round implants are circular on the back. The larger sizes have larger diameters and they tend to have a half-moon shaped profile. The amount that a round implant “sticks out” (projection) varies between moderate (flattest), moderate plus or high profile (has the greatest projection). Each of these profiles has particular advantages for a woman depending upon her build, breast geometry and desires for the final look.
- Shaped or “teardrop” implants are generally taller than they are wide and they are fuller in the bottom portion of the implant. There is an array of implant shapes available with differing height to width ratios. Some may even be wider than they are tall. Each of these combinations is suited to one particular breast shape or another.
Making the Choice
So who should get a shaped breast implant and who should get a traditional round breast implant? Most importantly go with the recommendation of your American Board of Plastic Surgery certified plastic surgeon. He/she is interested in your getting the best result possible and will advise you how best to accomplish that. There are, however, some considerations that come into play.
Shaped breast implants tend to be slightly firmer than round implants. Shaped implants tend to give the upper portion of the breast a smoother transition from the chest to the upper portion of the breast. The slight increase in firmness of the shaped implant helps maintain the fullness of this upper portion of the breast and resists the effects of gravity. The upper portion of round implants tends to collapse downward slightly from the effect of gravity. Thus there is a slightly more noticeable transition from the chest to the breast.
The greatest benefit of shaped implants is in breast augmentations in very small breasted women. In these cases, the shape of the implant contributes to the shape and form of the breast. In situations where there is a large amount of breast tissue compared to the size of the implant, the benefit of the shaped implant is decreased.
One of the disadvantages of a shaped breast implant is that it has the possibility of rotating within the pocket created for the implant. If the rotation is significant this may be visible. The risk of this happening should, however, be very small. A plastic surgeon skilled in the placement of shaped implants should have no trouble creating a pocket for the implant which will hold the implant in a stable position and minimize the risk of implant rotation.