Breast Implant Primer – Round or Shaped
Published on January 24, 2018 by Andrew Barnett
In my last blog, I discussed the textures of breast implants to help explain how I customize my choice of implant for you. In this blog, I’ll be discussing implant shape.
For many years implants were only available in one shape – round. Not round like a ball, but round like the top of a muffin. If you put the implant on a table and look at it from the top down, it is round in shape. If you look at it from the side, the implant is flat on the bottom and curved over the top. Implants are placed in the breast with the flat surface against your ribs and the curved side towards your breast.
Manufacturers have tried for years to switch plastic surgeons to teardrop shaped implants, claiming that the ideal breast is naturally teardrop shaped. While I can’t argue with that, the question is, does a teardrop shaped implant create a more attractive breast then a round implant?
Think of a plastic bag filled with water: if you hold it at the top of the bag, you’ll notice that the bag takes on a teardrop shape – more water at the bottom of the bag, and less towards the top. That’s what happens with a round implant – due to gravity, it naturally takes a teardrop shape when a woman stands up, but when she is lying on her back, it becomes more round (muffin top) like a natural breast. Round implants act like teardrop implants when a woman is upright – and that’s what you want.
Large studies have been performed where plastic surgeons are shown before and after photos of women with either teardrop shaped implants or round implants, and the surgeons are asked which implants the women have. The studies have consistently shown that the surgeons can’t determine the implant type – the teardrop and round implants look the same after surgery!
What are the negatives of teardrop shaped implants? Teardrop implants cost approximately twice as much as round implants. If the teardrop implant rotates after surgery, the breast shape will be negatively impacted. Finally, teardrop-shaped implants have a textured surface which creates certain problems (see my earlier blog on textured vs smooth breast implants). For these reasons, I rarely recommend teardrop implants.