Breast Implant Shapes
The shape of breast implants is an important consideration for women seeking the best outcome from breast augmentation. Shape makes a difference in the fullness and positioning of the augmented breasts. During the planning phase of care, we work with you to help you determine the best shape of implant based on your desired result, while also taking into consideration the amount of natural breast tissue that exists, the placement configuration of implants (over or under the muscle), and incision type.
What Types of Implant Shapes are Available?
The two basic breast implant shapes are round and teardrop. Breasts and body types differ greatly from woman to woman, so the ideal breast implant shape for each patient must be determined with care.
• Round breast implants are a common choice among women who want to add volume, cleavage, and height to their breasts.
• Teardrop breast implants may be preferred among women who are interested in the most anatomically similar implant type. The gentle slope of the teardrop breast implant achieves this.
Advantages/Disadvantages of Each Type
Round Breast Implants
One of the benefits of round breast implants is the minimal risk of rippling, when a smooth texture is selected. Round implants are also a near-perfect, symmetrical sphere. Therefore, should the implant rotate within the pocket, the breast will not appear misshapen. Finally, round breast implants are appropriate for both above and below the muscle placement.
The primary disadvantage of round breast implants is that fullness is symmetrical, though only slightly. With standard saline and silicone implants, it is believed that gravity pulls a bit of fullness downward to the bottom of the breast implant when a woman is standing. When lying down, the same gravitational effect causes a relative flattening and outward slant to augmented breasts. Some women feel that the natural curvature of the breasts is altered with the amount of top-fullness created by round implants.
Teardrop Breast Implants
Teardrop shaped breast implants are made to replicate the natural curvature of the breasts, with a gentle slope at the upper part of the breast and more fullness at the bottom. This shape may provide the best results when a textured shape is selected, because texture inhibits the rotation of the implant within the pocket.
What is the Implant Profile?
A great way to think of implant profile is to consider how you would appear in side-view with your selected augmented breasts. In the world of breast implants, profile and projection go hand-in-hand. Projection has to do with how far the augmented breasts will stand out from the chest wall.
Breast implants generally fall into the category of low-profile, moderate-profile, and high-profile. Many women instinctively choose moderate-profile implants, and this projection is typically quite appropriate for the average body size and height. However, we put more consideration into the choice of profile in order to ensure our patients obtain the natural look they desire. Our experience affords us the insight to recognize the value of high-profile implants for women with narrow breast, for example. Many women are surprised to learn that low-profile implants may create more upper-volume and projection than high-profile types. Profile selection is a matter of mathematics. During your consultation, we will review all profile types with you and compare them to your measurements, body type, and the breast shape you wish to attain.
Implant Texture Types
Breast implants are available in smooth or textured varieties. Initially, the theory was that textured breast implants would decrease the instance of capsular contracture. However, through multiple studies research has suggested that neither type of textured implant has a greater or lesser chance of capsular contracture occurring.
Where texture comes into play is in the area of firmness (textured implants are thicker) and visibility. Teardrop shaped implants are available only in textured form due to the risk of rotation. When the textured outer wall of the implant adheres to breast tissue, there is a lower risk of the implant rotating in the pocket. This is not a concern with round breast implants, which may be smooth or textured. According to statistics, smooth, round implants are the most commonly chosen variety.
What is Capsular Contracture?
Capsular contracture is the term used to describe the formation of scar tissue around one or both breast implants. When scar tissue form, the breast become firm and may become tender to the touch, depending on the severity of tissue thickening. The tighter scar tissue closes in around the implant, the more distorted breast shape may become.
There is no clear evidence of what causes capsular contracture in some women and not in others. It is believed that inflammation is the direct cause of contraction in normally smooth muscle tissue.