What Shape Breast Implants Are Best For Me ? (Round or Anatomic Shaped?)
Studies have proven the difference between round and shaped implants of the same size is undetectable in many women, therefore either round or anatomic shapes produce a similar result. In the upright (standing) position, round implants assume an anatomic shape. However, shaped implants are different than round devices not only in shape, but also in texture. To maintain their shape, anatomic implants are less fluid, more viscous, semi-solid, cohesive, or “form stable.” Their “gummy bear” type texture ripples less than traditional silicone gel implants. Because of their texture and/or their shape, anatomically contoured devices are a superior choice for some women.
In deciding which shape is preferred for you, your desired result is considered, as well as specific chest wall, breast, and skin characteristics.
Anatomic shaped implants behave differently in your body than round implants. While round implants tend to assume an anatomic shape when upright, the fullness they maintain at the upper breast depends on your skin surface area, skin elasticity, volume of your natural breast, and distribution of your breast tissue.
Because shaped implants are less fluid, the upper portion of the implant (tapered end) when upright does not settle down gravitationally. For someone with a tighter skin envelope, a round implant will maintain fullness of the upper breast in standing position. For women with a relaxed skin envelope, the shaped implant maintains fullness of the upper breast when standing better than most round silicone gel breast implants. Anatomic shaped implants may have a round base, an elliptical base with a horizontal axis for women with wide breasts and/or a broad chest, or an elliptical base with a vertical axis for tall women or women desiring naturally sloping fullness of the upper breast. To maintain their anatomic shape, these implants are filled with cohesive or highly cohesive silicone gel, and have a thick and/or “gummy bear” type consistency. These implants provide predictable shape and projection, and are available in a sufficiently large variety of shapes and sizes to fit most combinations of breast shape, size, and skin elasticity very well. There are many implant styles still awaiting FDA approval to fulfill the requirements for even more women.
One disadvantage of anatomically shaped implants is that because they’re less pliable, they cannot be passed through a small opening and properly oriented, so insertion through the armpit or a small areola may not be possible. Round implants with higher profiles produce a voluptuous breast shape that is desirable for many, but they do not fit all breasts well. If there is mild post pregnancy settling down of the nipple toward the lower breast, shaped implants may better permit augmentation without a formal breast lift. Likewise, women with a broad chest whose breasts are situated low, just above the rib margins, may achieve more comfort and a more natural look with transversely oriented elliptical devices which prevent lowering of the infra-mammary crease that may be required for round implants in such patients.
Dr. Steve Laverson has worked extensively with both round and with anatomically shaped saline and silicone gel implants, and will suggest the device that best matches your situation and your preferences.