Implant Shapes

Implants come in different shapes, like round or teardrop (also known as “anatomical”).

Round implants, which are circular but flat, stick out from the body farther, making the breasts project more. Round implants are also good for those who want more fullness in the upper part of the breast.

Round implants are usually placed under the muscle and can give more fullness to the upper portion of the breast. Since round implants don’t move much, they almost always keep their round shape. 

Smooth round implants are the overwhelming choice of most surgeons because they tend not to wrinkle as much as textured implants. Plus, if they happen to rotate, the breast does not look abnormal. “Plastic surgeons have different opinions, but I prefer round implants to achieve a more natural shape,” says Newport Beach, CA, plastic surgeon Sanjay Grover, MD.

Teardrop implants (sometimes called contoured), slope downward just like natural breasts, which makes them look more natural. Teardrop implants also have a textured shell—if the implant happens to rotate while in the breast, the breasts can become distorted.

“However, they are only available in saline, and the sizes, widths and heights are limited,” says New York City plastic surgeon Tracy Pfeifer, MD. “But they’re a great option for those who are narrow and want a lot of volume.”

Teardrop implants tend not to be as full as a round implant. However, because of their shape, teardrop implants may provide better projection and a more natural look for some patients. They can potentially rotate, which may cause an unnatural distortion.

When choosing your size, remember that breast implants are measured in ccs—the higher the number the larger the implant. Most implants can hold at least 400 ccs of filler (sometimes more), and about every 150 to 200 ccs equates to an increase of approximately one to one-and-a-half cup sizes. To determine the ideal implant size for you, the width of your breast and tissue needs to be taken into consideration.

If you don’t have enough volume, a small implant can create fullness. To avoid the look of bony, wide-spaced cleavage, it’s important to take your natural breast width into consideration, which your plastic surgeon will measure, since cleavage, in general, greatly depends on the width of the sternum and shape of the chest wall. Keep in mind that even with an augmentation or a lift, some patients may still need to wear a bra that pushes the breasts up and toward the center to achieve the desired cleavage.

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