Breast Enlargement (Augmentation) Surgery: Selecting the Size and Shape of Breast Implants


By Mr. Adrian Richards voted ‘Home Counties Leading Plastic Surgeon’ by The Daily Mail and ‘Leading Breast Surgeon UK’ by The Independent on Sunday

Hospitals: BMI The Paddocks Clinic, BMI Three Shires Hospital, BMI The Saxon Clinic, BMI The Chiltern Hospital, BMI The Shelburne Hospital.

One of the questions that expert breast enlargement surgeons are most frequently asked is: how do you select the correct size and shape implant for you, particularly in relation to round or teardrop shaped breast surgery implants?

Choosing breast enlargement surgery implant shape and size is a very individual process which really must begin with a thorough consultation and sizing appointment. During your sizing appointment you will be given opportunity to look at, feel and actually try on different sizes and shapes of breast implants under a selection of your own clothes in order to decide on the best look for you. A wider implant may provide more cleavage but less breast fullness. A higher profile implant has more projection and fullness but less width and cleavage. There is no “one size fits all” prescription with breast implants!

As a guide, however, there are a few basic similarities and differences in the shapes of breast implants.

Round implants have a flat section which lies against your chest wall and then dome upwards. No matter which way you turn, the implant will still appear domed. A teardrop (anatomically shaped) implant, on the other hand, is much flatter in the upper aspect, filling out towards the bottom and curves more gradually to simulate the appearance of a natural breast.

Both round and teardrop shaped implants are textured. That means they’re slightly furry. Textured implants have been shown to have a much lower rate of capsular contracture (where the implant becomes hard) than smooth implants which were used 20 years ago.  Expert breast surgeons today also tend to use only the latest cohesive silicone breast implants.

Patients with less natural breast tissue tend to suit shaped breast implants whilst those with more natural breast tissue can manage with a rounded breast implant.  Nowadays, however, expert breast enlargement surgeons tend to be recommending round implants as much as possible to all patients with over two centimeters of natural breast tissue. The reason for this is that round implants have a significant advantage over teardrop shaped implants: they have a decreased risk of implant rotation and even if the implant rotates a little bit it won’t cause a problem with the shape of the breast. Patients with more than two centimeters of breast tissue usually already have reasonable breast volume and breast shape. All your expert breast enlargement surgeon is aiming to do is augment what you’ve got. A round implant tends to go slightly teardrop shaped anyway when you are standing or sitting vertically.

For patients with less than approximately two centimeters of natural breast tissue, a teardrop shaped implant will probably be advised. In this case, your expert breast enlargement surgeon is focused upon creating the breast shape. A teardrop shaped implant provides a good cleavage from the base of the breast but without the fullness of the rounded implant so, although this provides a very natural look, it is not really suitable for women with any breast droop. There is also the slightly increased risk of rotation of the implant which can distort the appearance of the breast. This is fortunately very rare.

At your sizing consultation, make sure you discuss your expectations and the look you hope to achieve with your breast enlargement surgeon. They should be able to show you before and after photos of patients who have had breast enlargement (augmentation) surgery using the size and shape of implants that you are considering so that you can get a good idea of the results that you might achieve.



This article has been written by one of our consultants.  Each consultant differs in their practice and therefore this article does not reflect the standard approach or practice of all BMI consultants.  It is important that you talk to your treating consultant about your own situation and any surgery you may undertake.



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