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Round vs. Shaped Implants

Breast implants come in a wide range of sizes, styles, surface textures, materials, and shapes. For women who desire shape correction as part of their breast enhancement, it is worth considering whether to choose round or anatomically shaped (“anatomic”) breast implants. While there may be isolated situations to select one over the other, evidence implies that the shape of your breast implants has very little—if any—effect on the final appearance of your breasts.

Breast Augmentation Before and After Photo

The Pros and Cons for Anatomically Shaped Implants

Anatomic implants mimic the natural shape of the breast and are fuller at the base and flatter at the top. There are particular situations in which anatomic implants may be recommended based on certain factors, including anatomy and preferences. This would allow for unique customization in select situations. In addition, in some situations of mild drooping, they may help eliminate the need for a lift.

One of the potential risks with these implants is that they can rotate after insertion—early on as well as later in time. Such rotation could lead to noticeable changes in the appearance of the breasts because they are polar and not uniformly symmetrical like round implants. In addition, these implants are also more expensive than the round ones.

The Pros and Cons for Round Implants

The vast majority of breast implants that are used in breast augmentation today are round and this is for many reasons. These implants enhance both the lower and upper breast regions and provide the youthful fullness higher up, which many women desire. They also can create a rounder look with enhanced, attractive cleavage.

Round breast implants are more affordable than anatomic implants, and they offer a far greater number of options and flexibility allowing for greater customization of results, and are more forgiving in placement compared to shaped implants. In addition, because they are round, any possible rotation of them is an entirely inconsequential issue as the appearance doesn’t change.

There are rare downside issues of round implants as compared to the shaped ones. In some situations where minimal fullness higher up is desired or minimal roundness is sought after, the shaped implants may either be the better choice or provide more options. Finally, certain body sizes may be better addressed in some situations with shaped implants.

Does Implant Shape Really Matter?

Even though patients can choose between round or anatomic implants, implant shape appears to have little or no effect on the results of breast augmentation. A recent research study involving 30 plastic surgeons and plastic surgery nurses concluded that even these experts cannot tell the difference between round and anatomic implants after breast augmentation. The study reviewers assessed photographs of patients with either round or anatomic implants (with other implant characteristics kept as controls), but their rates of identification were only 50 percent.

This “coin toss” to correctly identify round versus anatomic implants suggests that there is no visible difference in results with round versus anatomic implants in most situations. The implication is that implant shape is not necessarily an important factor to consider. Instead, it is recommended that patients spend more time carefully selecting their implant size, material, projection style, and placement, all of which will have a much more profound effect on the look and feel of the breasts after breast augmentation.

Dr. Steven H. Turkeltaub has worked with countless breast augmentation patients over the years. He understands the complex decision-making process of selecting the perfect implants for you and can help you make an educated decision based on your preferences and anatomic needs.

To schedule your personal consultation, call (480) 451-3000 or fill out our online contact form today.