Photo: Getty Images
If you’re researching breast augmentation and considering taking the plunge, you may have read about anatomical, or teardrop shaped, breast implants. The shape seems to make so much sense for breast enlargement—should you consider anatomical implants?
Despite their shape, which mimics women’s natural curves and slopes, many plastic surgeons do not favor the anatomical shape over round breast implants. There are a few reasons for this.
A leading reason many cosmetic surgeons don’t choose anatomical implants is that they can become out of position inside the breast pocket, resulting in an oddly shaped breast. At least one cosmetic surgeon no longer uses anatomical implants at all, feeling that, “…in my opinion, [they] should no longer even be available to be used in any patients. All implants that are not round have a significant chance of shifting and with shifting or rotational deformity, comes a truly disfiguring appearance to the breasts that can be quite grotesque.” (Las Vegas Breast Revision 1).
Some surgeons also believe anatomical implants may lead to what’s called “fold failure” (Webplastics 1). What can happen is a gradual stretching of the bottom of the implant due to gravity acting on the filling—whether silicone or saline—leaving the smaller top portion of the teardrop shaped implant essentially empty. This can cause the implant’s shell to fold, and gradually weaken and rupture.
If you choose round implants to avoid these potential problems, will you end up with the “two rubber balls on a board” look? Not at all. In fact, achieving a natural look depends on these factors:
• Choosing the right implant diameter for your frame
• Selecting an implant volume and projection that looks natural
• Careful placement, usually totally or partly under the muscle
• Accounting for unique considerations, such as a “barrel chest”
Not only will round implants create more generous, natural looking curves for the vast majority of women, they also help to lend a bit of fullness to the upper portion of the breasts, called the “upper pole” by plastic surgeons.