Round vs. Anatomic Breast Implants
Which breast implant shape is better for my body type?
Implant selection should be individualized for each woman based upon her desires, body size, breast size and shape, and tissue characteristics. The choice of implant shape and style will ultimately contribute to the final shape of the augmented breast, but the degree to which it does depends upon several factors and varies for each patient. Patient preference may be one reason for selecting a specific implant shape, but other times this decision is made by the surgeon based upon biodimensional planning.
Round Breast Implants
The anterior shape of this implant is circular, while the profile is rather elliptical. Both saline- and silicone gel-filled implants are available in a round shape. Round saline and round silicone gel implants are used the most frequently. For most patients a smooth, round device will provide a satisfactory breast shape. But depending upon several variables, round implants may impart a round shape to the entire breast and/or the upper pole; a look which is desired by some women, but disliked by others.
Anatomic Breast Implants (Contoured, Shaped, Tear Drop) –
The ‘anatomic’ shape of this device is built into the implant. The profile of an anatomically shaped implant resembles the shape of a normal breast; the implant tapers from a lower profile in the upper pole (less volume) to greater projection (more volume) in the lower pole. These contoured implants are available in designs with varying heights and projections. Both saline- and silicone gel-filled implants are available with an anatomic shape. All anatomic implants have a textured surface to create friction and prevent rotation. Anatomically shaped breast implants are excellent devices for women who want to control breast shape and desire a natural sloping upper pole contour.
For women seeking augmentation the anatomic implant is not the best option for everyone, and these devices are easier to use in women who have tighter breast skin envelopes. In slender patients an anatomic implant may create a more pleasing, less round upper pole with a more natural shape. In taller individuals with a longer torso, a full-height anatomic implant may fit the body better. Anatomic devices are often used in breast reconstruction following tissue expansion.
Anatomically Shaped Silicone Gel Breast Implants
Anatomically shaped silicone gel breast implants only recently received FDA approval; but have been widely used in Europe, South America, and Asia for years. Sientra received FDA approval for its portfolio of Silimed brand silicone gel breast implants on March 9, 2012. The Natrelle 410 highly cohesive anatomically shaped implant was approved on February 20, 2013. The Mentor CPG (Contoured Profile Gel) was approved June 14, 2013. There are subtle differences between these various brands of anatomic breast implants, so check with your doctor for specific details. Several comments are worth noting however. These can all be classified as highly cohesive silicone gel implants, but the cohesiveness of the silicone gel does vary among manufacturers. If you are familiar with the term “Gummi Bear ” implant, it refers to these highly cohesive contoured gel implants. The silicone gel in the Natrelle 410 and the Mentor CPG are slightly more cohesive than the Sientra models. This means less upper pole collapse when the implant is upright, and could mean a more stable breast shape over time. The 410 and CPG implants are offered in a matrix of sizes that allow selection based upon implant height (low, medium, and full) and implant projection (low, medium, full, and extra-full). The focus when using these anatomically shaped implants should be shape, not volume. For women who are interested in maximizing volume, a round gel implant will achieve that goal. At this time, the full complement is not yet FDA-approved, but the most commonly utilized implants, those with medium- and full- height and projection, are available.
NEXT TOPIC: Breast Implant Surface Texture
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