Until recently, most patients never discussed breast implant shapes or profiles with their plastic surgeons. If you chose a certain size breast implant, you would receive a predetermined amount of forward projection from that size implant. Now, you can choose a breast implant size and, if you like, have that size implant stick out more or less than the base diameter would usually dictate. Choosing breast implant shape may seem complicated since manufacturers have so many styles in their lineups. However, it’s really only a matter of making two choices. The first choice is the breast implant shape; the second choice is the implant profile. Shape refers to the actual shape of the implant, round or anatomical. Profile refers to the distance the implant projects off the chest wall. The third Choice is the the surface of the implant
Because women’s breasts take many sizes and shapes, and because goals for breast enhancement vary from patient to patient, there are different breast implant shapes available. For some women, the round breast implant provides the best results; for others, a better choice is an implant shaped like a teardrop. The appearance of breasts is highly affected by breast implant shapes.
- The patient’s body type
- The amount of breast tissue the patient has.
- Breast implant placement
- Surgical incision choice
Round Breast Implants
Of the two breast implant shapes, the round breast implant is the most common type used for breast augmentation. A round breast implant is shaped like a flattened sphere. Certain types of round implants can enhance the forward projection of the breasts, which would otherwise require larger breast implants with wider bases. For women who desire fullness in the upper poles of their breasts, the round breast implant is a good choice.
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. The cost of a round breast implant is generally less than a teardrop(contoured) breast implant.
Tear Drop Breast Implants
As the name indicates, a teardrop breast implant, also known as a contoured breast implant, is shaped like a teardrop. Breasts attain a more gently sloping contour with teardrop breast implants. Although the upper poles of breasts that have teardrop implants are not as full as those of breasts that have round implants, teardrop-shaped implants often provide greater projection by volume. Of the two breast implant shapes, a teardrop breast implant is more expensive than a round breast implant, a consideration for those concerned with breast augmentation cost. A teardrop implant requires a textured surface to prevent rotation because, with teardrop implants, breasts can become distorted if the implant rotates. This is not a concern with round breast implants.
After you have made the choice to have breast implant surgery, you must decide between two breast implant texture options: smooth and textured. On this page, we describe the differences between the two types to provide you with a better understanding so you can make an informed decision.
There is great debate amongst surgeons which is better. Some studies have shown fewer complications – specifically capsular contraction – with textured implants, but others have shown the opposite. The shells of both saline and silicone gel breast implants are made of silicone elastomer (rubber), and the surface area is either smooth or textured. The main purpose of textured implants is to promote tissue adherence to the irregular surface and hold them into place. Therefore, a textured surface is used with contoured implants because they have a top and bottom, and rotation or movement distorts the breast shape. On the other hand, most round implants have a smooth surface because the breast shape is not affected if the implant rotates in the breast pocket.
Smooth Breast Implants
Smooth implants are used in roughly 90 percent of breast augmentation surgeries today. A smooth breast implant is able to move freely in the breast pocket in which it is placed. Many women eel that smooth implants have a more natural feel and appearance than textured implants. Smooth implants usually have thinner shells than textured implants, which makes them the softer choice of the two. Additional benefits of a smooth breast implant include implant longevity, lower patient cost, and reduced risk of rippling.
It was originally thought that the textured surface of an implant could reduce the possibility of capsular contracture, a potential complication of breast implants. However, because evidence is not clear and there is no consensus as to whether a textured breast implant actually reduces the possibility of capsular contracture, many doctors prefer to use smooth, round implants. Smooth implants are often placed under muscle tissue in order to help avoid possible capsular contracture.
Textured breast implants have an irregular surface that is intended to hold the implant in place. The scar tissue that naturally forms around the implant conforms to the textured surface and “grabs” the implant to prevent it from being displaced or turning in the pocket, which could result in distortion of the breast shape. A textured surface is used with contoured implants to prevent movement because the teardrop shape is distorted if any rotation occurs. Textured implants were designed to lessen the risk of capsular contracture, which is an excessive contraction of the scar capsule that surrounds the implant, by preventing scar tissue from forming around the implant in a uniform manner. However, studies have proven inconclusive and no firm evidence exists to support the theory that textured implants reduce the risk of capsular contracture.
If a patient requires implant removal due to capsular contracture or another complication, it may be more difficult for the surgeon to remove the implant because of the adherence of tissue to the textured surface. The shells of textured breast implants are slightly thicker than smooth implants.Textured implants are more firm and carry an increased risk of rippling that is visible or can be felt through the skin, especially for women with smaller breasts. There is also a small increase in the chance that the implant shell will rupture.
When breast augmentation patients meet with their Thailand surgeons to discuss the many implant options that are available to them, they not only need to decide on a specific sized implant, but determine the amount of forward projection that is appropriate for the patient as well. In the past, implants came with a standard projection, or profile, based on the size of the implant that women choose. Today, surgeons and patients can work together to select an implant that is not only the right size, but also provides the desired projection and cleavage.The most important criterion for profile selection is the base diameter of the breast.
This is easily measured by the surgeon with a calipers or measuring tape. The implant diameter must be less than the breast base, or it will be “squeezed” circumstantially. This will force it to scallop, or ripple around the outer edge, creating a range of other problems. Among these is visible rippling; It has been observed of much less rippling since the high profile implants became available, because the base diameter can be matched more precisely.
Low Profile Breast Implant
The low profile implant shell is wider (larger diameter) and flatter (less height or depth) than moderate profile breast implants. This implant style is commonly used for women who have a wide broad chest frame. The extra width of the implant shell will fill the chest anatomy correctly, achieving a natural look and realistic cleavage. The implant will not project as far off the body as other implant styles, making it the right choice for women who want fullness, but not an overly round and obviously enhanced look. The main criteria used to select low profile implants are the base diameter of the breast and dimensions of the chest. The implant should be smaller than the base diameter of the natural breast mound, which is often substantial in wider framed women.
Moderate Profile Breast Implant
The low profile implant shell is wider (larger diameter) and flatter (less height or depth) than moderate profile breast implants. This implant style is commonly used for women who have a wide broad chest frame. The extra width of the implant shell will fill the chest anatomy correctly, achieving a natural look and realistic cleavage. The implant will not project as far off the body as other implant styles, making it the right choice for women who want fullness, but not an overly round and obviously enhanced look.
The main criteria used to select low profile implants are the base diameter of the breast and dimensions of the chest. The implant should be smaller than the base diameter of the natural breast mound, which is often substantial in wider framed women.
Moderate Plus Profile Breast Implant
Moderate plus implants are a half step compromise between traditional moderate profile implants and popular new high profile implants. The moderate plus profile is perfect for women who want a bit more projection than is typically provided by a moderate profile, but not as much projection as is found with the high profile shell.
Moderate plus describes the distance the implant will project off the chest wall, once they are surgically placed inside the breast.
High Profile Breast Implant
High profile breast implants are a great innovation in breast implant design. First available in the early 1990’s, high profile implants have filled the specific needs of many patients perfectly, helping them to achieve a pleasing breast esthetics and an extremely natural shape and contour. High profile implants have also become a favorite of many cosmetic surgeons and are recommended to many patients due to their excellent surgical results.
High profile implants project the further off the chest wall, when compared to other common implant profiles. The high profile implant will achieve this projection by having a smaller base diameter than an identically sized (in cc’s) moderate or low profile implant shell. By decreasing the diameter of the shell, but keeping the same fill volume, the manufacturer is able to increase the depth or forward projection.
High profile implants are perfect for women with a narrower chest frame who still want a considerable size increase during their breast augmentation surgery. Instead of using a wider base diameter moderate implant, the doctor will choose a narrower high profile shell which will suit the patient’s anatomy and project out to accommodate the volume of the filler material. High profile implants are also commonly indicated for patients who are undergoing a combination breast enlargement and donut mastopexy procedure. This modified mastopexy, like many breast lift operations sometimes squares off the breast shape slightly, making it appear wider and less round. The shape of the high profile implant shell restores the rounded shape of the breast, while still allowing the considerable benefits of the mastopexy lift.
While some studies say that these high profile shells reduce visible wrinkling and rippling, the reasoning given is generally incorrect. It is not anything to do with the design of the implant which decreases this noticeable unwanted breast enlargement complication. it is simply a better anatomical fit. Wrinkling and rippling often occurs when a women with a narrow chest frame desires large implants. The base diameter of her natural breasts is smaller than the base diameter of her implants. Obviously, the implant will be compressed and distorted by the small confines of the pocket inside her breast. This distortion causes the wrinkling and rippling which can be so unappealing to many affected patients. By utilizing a proper fitting high profile implant with a base diameter smaller than the natural breast width, the surgeon can guarantee a good fit with no implant shell distortion. The patient’s size request is accommodated by the increase in forward projection creating a flawless augmented, butvery natural looking breast.
Ultra High Profile
Ultra High Profile implants available are through Mentor, this implant provides the narrowest base and highest projection. They are only available in Round shape and up to 495cc. Ultra High profile implants are perfect for women with a narrower chest frame who still want a considerable size increase during their breast augmentation surgery. Instead of using a wider base diameter implant, the doctor may choose the ultra high profile if the high profile is not enough projection. This may suit the patient’s anatomy and project out to be able accommodate the volume of the filler material.
There are two ways to increase projection in an implant. The first way is to add more volume to the implant. The other way to add projection is to make the base (diameter) of the implant smaller. Thus for any given volume, a smaller base has more projection. This is what ‘high profile’ implants do—they have a smaller diameter with a higher projection.