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Anatomical vs. Round Breast Implants: Key Differences

I occasionally have a patient inquire about anatomical or tear-drop shape breast implants, so I wanted to give my opinion and experience with these implants.

Anatomical implants are flatter on the top and fuller on the bottom.  Imagine cutting a tear drop from top to bottom in half.  Each half will look like the tear-drop implant.

The thinking behind this design was to give a more “natural” look to the breast, especially in the top half.  Too much fullness in the upper part of the breast is un-natural, although some patients prefer that exaggerated look.

The two main problems with the anatomical implants are the risk of rotation and the significant chance of rippling.

All breast implants have a chance of moving and rotating while inside the body.  If the implant is round, such rotation is not an issue.  However, if the anatomical implant rotates, the shape will be distorted.  Additional surgery is required to move the implant in its original position.

To minimize the chance of movement, the surfaces of all anatomical implants are textured.  This is a rough surface which is added on the implant shell.  The rough surface increases the chance of the implant becoming “stuck” to the breast tissue, and thus reduces the chance of rotation.  Unfortunately, this also increases the risk of rippling.  As the patient moves, the stuck breast tissue pulls on the breast skin, causing “ripples”.  Trust me, it is not attractive!  This problem is especially noticeable with patients with thinner skin and muscle.

Given the significantly higher cost of anatomical implants, I do not feel the theoretical advantage of achieving a natural look is worth the potential problems discussed above.  For the past ten years, I have used the smooth, round implants with a very high patient satisfaction rate. 

Michael A. Jazayeri is a board certified plastic surgeon in Santa Ana with over 10 years of experience.  To schedule a complimentary consultation, please call (714) 834-0101.

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