Breast implants used for breast enhancement and breast reconstruction come in different shapes and sizes. The two shapes are round and tear dropped (or ‘anatomic’). Round breast implants for breast enhancement are more commonly used than the tear dropped shaped breast implants.
Round breast implants come in different widths and each breast implant width has a corresponding recommended fill range or saline fill volume. So there are many different sized round breast implants. In efforts to improve breast shape, the implant manufactures have tried to offer more choices in round implants. The projection of a breast implant refers to how high or how much a breast implant projects off the chest wall when it becomes filled. The round breast implants come in low, medium or moderate, and high projections. The low and high projecting implants have limited applications in breast enhancement for the average woman. The moderate or medium profile breast implants are the most commonly used round breast implants. The high projecting breast implants are designed to have a broader range of saline fill capacity. As a high profile implant is filled more, it becomes more narrow. This narrowing characteristic and more projection is not right for most women requesting breast enhancement.
Round breast implants come in both smooth and textured shell covers. The concept of placing a tear dropped shaped breast implant centers around the idea that these shaped breast implants will improve the final result of the breast shape. This concept is much better suited for breast reconstruction than breast enhancement surgery. In reality, these tear dropped shaped implants fail to deliver a better long term result.
With these shaped implants, the lower half of the breast implant has more projection than the top half of the breast implant. The lower half fullness is suppose to mimic the natural shape of a breast. These types of breast implants also come in different sizes. Unlike the round breast implants, the tear dropped shaped devices actually have three measurements. The tear dropped shaped breast implants have a width, a height, and a projection. The width varies at the top side of the implant and the lower half of the breast implant. The height is measured from the lowermost point to the highest point and the projection is measured at the lower half of the implant. In essence, these types of breast implants can be thought of as an egg that is flat on the side that lies on the chest. These unique attributes of the tear dropped shaped breast implants require that they be positioned very precisely and not move around. Therefore, tear dropped shaped breast implants are usually textured shelled so they will not move. Unfortunately, these breast implants will often rotate over time. When these tear dropped breast implants rotate or turn to the side over time, it can lead to marked asymmetries in breast shapes between the two breasts. When this occurs, it is an example of a breast implant malposition.