*Disclaimer: This blog was written and published in Spring 2018. Since that time, surgeons have shifted away from using textured implants due to connections with BII (Breast Implant Illness).
You’ve been contemplating a breast augmentation in the Philadelphia area for a while, but find yourself in a dilemma. Should you go with the perkier and more voluminous round implants or instead choose the more discrete and natural looking shaped implants? While round implants may be the most common type of implant and the first to spring to mind when you think about an enhancement, advancements in both technology and implant design have spurred the development of even more options to choose from.
Whether you have naturally small breasts or have experienced a loss of volume due to pregnancy, weight loss or aging, a breast augmentation can improve your appearance, enhance your look and give a much-needed boost to your self-confidence. Before making a decision, there are many options to consider as implants come in a variety of different shapes and sizes! Factors such as height, width, projection and material also come into play and will affect your final result. What it comes down to is what best fits your body to deliver the look you are seeking.
So, which type of implant will make you look better? This is a decision that you will make with the help of your board certified plastic surgeon who will educate you on all your options and make recommendations based on what best suits your body type, frame and desired outcome. However, you should have a basic understanding of the differences between round and shaped implants and the kind of look you can expect to achieve with each.
If you desire more lift, cleavage and fullness, round implants may be the better choice. Round implants, which look like a compressed sphere, are typically more uniformly sized and vary in projection (from low to high) based on desired fullness. Although they have a reputation for being less natural, natural results can be achieved if the implant’s size is well proportioned to the body and the existing breast tissue.
Furthermore, if round implants happen to rotate within the breast pocket, as they are the same shape all over, it won’t distort the shape of the breast – a benefit over their shaped counterparts. Round implants also typically cost less than shaped implants and can be selected with either a textured or smooth surface. A textured implant is recommended over a smooth implant in most cases as it provides a more stable position for the implant and therefore reduces the risk of the implant shifting over time.
If you feel that round implants look too artificial, shaped implants may be the better way to go. Shaped ‘teardrop’ implants have a more natural look and as their name suggests, they mimic the shape of the breast with a sloped contour that offers more fullness on the bottom pole of the implant than the top. Shaped implants may also be the best option for patients that do not have a large amount of natural breast tissue, as they can offer more shape and natural looking results. As shaped implants pose a risk of rotating out of place, which could create a problem with symmetry in the future, they are designed with a textured surface that seals them into place as the body develops scar tissue.
When it comes to selecting your implants, choosing the right implant material is key; options include textured cohesive gel, smooth silicone or saline implants. While all three options offer their own unique advantages and disadvantages, textured highly cohesive gel silicone implants, also known as ‘gummy bear’ implants, have been found to be more durable, with lower rates of rupture. And as the name suggests, their solid, yet soft and rubbery consistency resembles that of a gummy bear, which means that even in the rare event of implant rupture, the implant will hold its shape and will not leak.
Whether you choose to go with round or shaped breast implants, this new generation of textured cohesive gel silicone has been found to maintain better long-term breast shape compared to saline or liquid silicone. Furthermore, because the implants are textured, as the body develops scar tissue to seal them into place it also lowers the risk of capsular contracture, which occurs when scar tissue around the implant hardens.
As you consider which breast implants are the best fit for you, be sure to discuss your options with a board certified plastic surgeon who can make recommendations based on your frame, body type, and aesthetic goals. This will give you the confidence to know that you are making the best and most well-informed decision for your body and will be satisfied with the final results. Contact board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Scott Chapin online, or call his Philadelphia-area plastic surgery offices at