Breast Implant Shapes
When choosing breast implants, shape is an important consideration. The shape that is selected will make a difference in the fullness and positioning of the augmented breasts. The goals of the patient need to be assessed along with the amount of natural breast tissue, where the implant will be placed and the incision technique to be used to establish the best shape option.
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
Of the two breast implant shapes, the round breast implant is the more common type used for breast augmentation. Many women choose round implants because they tend to provide the greatest amount of lift, fullness and cleavage. Some women, however, feel that the results produced with round implants appear artificial, so they seek out more natural-looking alternatives.
A round breast implant can have a smooth or textured surface. Due to a round implant's symmetrical shape, it does not pose the risk of implant rotation. Even if the implant shifts within the pocket of the breast, the breast will not appear misshapen because the implant is a condensed circular shape. Round implants can be placed either beneath or above the pectoral muscle of the chest. A smooth round implant has a very low risk of causing rippling, making it a good option for subglandular placement above the muscle.
Teardrop Breast Implants
As the name indicates, a teardrop breast implant, also known as a contoured or anatomical breast implant, is shaped like a teardrop. Breasts attain a more gently sloping contour with teardrop breast implants. Although the upper portion of breasts that have been augmented with teardrop implants are not as full as breasts that have round implants, teardrop-shaped implants often provide greater projection by volume.
For women who want more naturally shaped teardrop breasts, these implants may be the ideal choice. A teardrop implant may be recommended with a textured surface to prevent rotation because breasts can become distorted if the implant rotates. This is not a concern with round breast implants.
Profile and Texture
There are variations within the categories of round and teardrop shaped implants to consider as well. There are many options that will help a patient to obtain the precise size, shape and height that she is seeking. The surgeon will discuss all of these specifics in order to determine the exact implant that will meet the patient’s needs.
One important aspect of the shape is the profile. The profile refers to the amount of projection that the implant will offer the breasts. Depending upon the size of a woman’s frame and the size of the implant she has chosen, a low profile might be bested suited to ensure that the augmented breasts do not project too far out from her body. A moderate profile implant provides more projection than a low profile option. The moderate implant can fill out the breast nicely and provide volume. A high profile implant offers a greater amount of projection. This can allow for a woman with less breast tissue to have a relatively small implant yet still obtain a fuller shaped breast.
Another factor to consider is the texture of an implant. Smooth implants ripple less than textured versions. This makes a smooth implant ideal for a subglandular placement above the muscle in the breasts. A textured surface, on the other hand, tends to adhere well to surrounding breast tissue, which reduces the risk of the implant moving out of position. This can also help prevent capsular contracture, in which scar tissue around the implant hardens and can possibly result in an implant rupture.