Anatomical or Round - Which Has Better, More Natural Movement?

Hello! I am a very petite 32AA and I want to achieve a C cup. Because of my fragile frame, many surgeons have suggested me to get silicon tear drop / anatomical implants because i dont want the stuck on look. Do anatomical implants move like real breasts when you lie down or which kind of implant is the most "real" thing you can get?

Doctor Answers (12)

Anatomical vs. round implant


Anatomical implants are sometimes preferred in women with small breasts as they provide more projection for less volume and have less visible fullness in the upper part of the breasts. Round implants on the other hand, I feel, provide a more natural 'unoperated' look, provided you do not opt for a very large implant.

Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Breast Implants - Anatomic?


How Anatomic are
Anatomic Breast

There are many choices that the prospective breast implant patient has to make. Aside from who will be the surgeon, the patient has to think about what size implant she wants, what style, location (above or below the muscle), and which incision. The following discussion explores one of the most basic decisions concerning the implant style: Round or Anatomic?

Not so with the anatomic or "teardrop" implant. This implant was originally intended for use in breast reconstruction patients (i.e., after a mastectomy). The natural breast, of course, is not round. Instead, it is conical or teardrop-shaped, with a gentle slope at the top and more of the breast in the lower half. The teardrop implant, therefore, most closely mimics that shape and is ideal for total breast replacement. Unlike the round implant, the anatomic implant has only one correct orientation and must be lined up exactly right; if it is rotated even a few degrees it will not look right.

What about the typical cosmetic breast enlargement patient? While there are different opinions and preferences on this matter, two recent studies have shed some interesting light. At first glance, the anatomic implant makes the most sense and, indeed, it is the first choice of many surgeons. However, aside from the fact that it only comes in a textured form (and for many reasons, many patients and surgeons prefer a smooth implant - which is a topic for another time), on closer examination it may not prove to the the best choice. First of all, most patients who have even a little breast tissue already have more of it in the lower half of the breast (i.e., a little sagging). Adding more volume to that part of the breast actually compounds the "problem" rather than compensating for it. So a round implant, that has relatively more of its volume in its upper half (than an anatomic implant) actually does a better job of putting more where you need it more, assuming you'd like more of a balance.

What about that round, ball-like look that everyone hates? Well, first of all, you normally get that when you have too big of an implant for the space in question; i.e., when a woman has chosen an implant that's a little too big for her chest. It's hard not to "go for it" when you're choosing an implant size, but it may be well worth being a little conservative in this regard. After all, it's much easier to make yourself look a little larger for selected occasions than it is to make yourself look a little smaller. One woman who felt she had gone a little too big later told me that she looked great in evening wear and lingerie, but for just hanging around the house in sweats, it was a bit much. Secondly, not everyone hates that look; some people actually like it (assuming it's not too extreme).

There's more. The above discussion is based on the implants shape when they're sitting on a table. What happens in a real-live woman? This question was addressed in two recent studies* and the impressive results confirm what many surgeons have believed for a while. In a patient, a round implant often behaves more anatomically than an anatomic implant! A number of women with implants were examined radiographically (i.e., using x-rays) in both the standing and lying positions. They found that when women are standing, the implants are similar. The anatomic implant assumes an anatomic (teardrop) shape. This is not surprising, but what is surprising is that so does the round implant! When a woman is standing, gravity works on the implant to pull a little more of it down and, from the standpoint of x-rays both implants are relatively teardrop-shaped and therefore anatomic.

So what happens when a woman lies down? Well, the anatomic implant remains "anatomic;" i.e., it maintains its teardrop shape. The problem is, you don't always want that when you lie down. Natural breasts fall to the side when a woman lies down, so, ironically, the anatomic implant is less anatomic when a woman is lying down. And what about the round implant? Because it has less of a framework than the anatomic implant (which is what keep it anatomic), the round implant can, once again, respond to the forces of gravity and more closely mimic the natural breast. They found, quite remarkably, that the round implant falls to the side much more than the anatomic.

[In fairness, is should be pointed out that, with time, some women have had "dishing out" of their round implants (i.e., the become wider and flatter with time) to a greater extent than the anatomic implants do. Anatomic implants, however, because they're textured and have more of a framework, remain stiffer than many round implants, particularly smooth ones.

In sum, therefore, when you use the term "anatomic" you may need to be prepared to define it carefully. Do you mean anatomic on a flat surface like a table, or in a woman? In view of the above, one could definitely argue that the round implant is actually more anatomic than the anatomic implant!

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Anatomical v/s round implants


In order to prevent an anatomical implant  from rotating,the surface is textured

Textured surfaces are thicker,do not move as naturally as smooth surfaced implants,require larger incisions to insert,and have a higher rate of seroma formation.

Even with the textured surface ,rotation can occur resulting in an abnormal appearance

My  patients that have had their textured implants replaced with smooth implants have immediatly noticed the more natural feel of the smooth implants

Hilton Becker, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

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Round implants can achieve natural look

If you want more of a teardrop shape to your breast and have little of your own breast tissue, teardrop implants may be better. However, I have achieved great results with round as well and usually prefer it to teardrop. Ask your surgeon for their opinion

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

"anatomical" implants is a misnomer


it is not proper to call any implant anatomic - just as the "normal" breasts of different women vary greatly, so do their desired results -  there is no such thing as an anatomic implant.  the most important thing to convey to your breast implant surgeon is your desired result - he or she should be able to advise you whether that result is possible given your pre-existing anatomy.

W. Tracy Hankins, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Round versus anatomical implants



    There is not one superior implant for your shape and size.  Generally thin women who opt for larger implants no matter the type can look unnatural.   When an appropriate impant whether anatomic or round is selected for your frame they can both look and feel somewhat natural when placed in the submuscular plane.  I recommend your viewing many photos of women who have both types of implants so you can then select the look you prefer. Consult with an experienced surgeon whom you trust and can better guide you.

Dr. Pedy Ganchi/Village Plastic Surgery

Ridgewood, NJ

Pedy Ganchi, MD
Ridgewood Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Anatomic verus Round Implants


As others have stated, I am not a fan of anatomic implants either, especially for primary breast augmentation.  Anatomic implants may have a place for reconstructive breast surgery.  However, in my opinion traditional round smooth silicon submuscular implants give the best results.  


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Anatomical or Round Implants


I am not a fan of anatomical implants.  In fact, my only experience with them has been to remove them and replace them with round implants.  I feel that your best chance of obtaining the result you seek (soft and natural appearing) is to have silicone implants (round) placed under your pectoral muscles.

John Whitt, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Anatomical or round implants


It is not a hard and fast rule, but anatomical implants can give a more natural look in patients with small breasts like yourself.  This is because they have less fullness in the upper pole, which is what creates the so-called 'operated on' look.  The shape of the implant does not affect the way they feel and they may not move as much as a natural breast.

Jonathan J. Staiano, FRCS (Plast)
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Natural looking implants


it is incorrect to think that a particular implant gives a more natural or unnatural look as the other. As soon as you put in any implant, it becomes unnatural. WHat you have is natural, but it is not what you want because it is too small. The  most natural, or least unnatural, implant is the one that will will least effect the appearance of the breast. That mean an implant that fits behind the normal boundaries of your breast (i.e. width) and flattest, less round,, implant (i.e. lowest profile). The paradoxical thing is that the patients who are the snallest, want the larger jump in size, and will become the least natural. You have to choose between size and naturalness. If you want natural, go with the smallest, least projecting implant that fits your breast. If it won't give you the size you want, then you have to accept some unnaturalnes. At some point, an anatomical implant will look less round, but there are other side effects you will need to be aware of like possible rotation of the implant and rippling.

Robin T.W. Yuan, M.D.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.