Breast Implant Profiles – by Ronald H Schuster, MD, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Baltimore, Maryland

Did you know that breast implants come in different shapes and profiles? The majority of breast implants used today are round in shape (vs teardrop or anatomical – but we’ll get into that in a minute). “Round” however doesn’t mean ball shaped. The implants are really shaped more like a disc and are “round” when viewed from above. Round implants not only differ in size but also in their “profile”. The profile describes the height of an implant relative to it’s diameter. There are three commonly used profiles: moderate, moderate plus, and high. The best way to understand this is with an example: If we had two implants in front of us, both containing 300cc of volume (it doesn’t matter whether it is silicone gel or saline), but one implant was moderate and the other high profile, what would you see as the difference? The high profile would have a smaller diameter, the same volume (300cc), and therefore project higher than the moderate implant. A 300cc moderate plus implant would be in between. Why is this important? it is important to match the profile of the implant to the chest size of the breast in order to get the most natural shape and result. A woman with a narrow chest would benefit from a high profile implant so that the breast doesn’t become too wide. Sometimes a woman who already has a reasonable sized breast simply wants a little more fullness in the upper or central area of her breast. In this case, once again the high profile implant can be used to help increase the volume of the breast in the desired are without making the whole breast much bigger.

Anatomical, or tear dropped shaped implants have been around for quite some time and are generally used for special reasons. They were initially developed in order to help provide a nicely shaped breast without giving too much fullness in the upper half of the breast. The tended to be used mostly in saline implants but were certainly also used in certain silicone gel styles. While they are still used today, and in fact the newest “form stable” implants are “shaped” implants (not round as described above), they can cause some additional risk with positioning of the implant and possible ripples.

In summary it is clear that to get the best result from your breast surgery there are many different things to discuss with your surgeon. Hope this helps. Have a great Spring.

Dr. S