What Implants Should I Choose to Replace my Teardrop Implants?

I had my first breast augmentation surgery in 2003. I was an A cup before the surgery. I am 5'7", thin build. I wanted to go with a more natural look so decided to go with the teardrop. My first surgery had to be re-done, since one of the implants did not fall. I initally had 450cc in each, which only made me a B or very small C cup. I told the doctor I wanted to go up a size for the second surgery, so I went with 550cc in one breast and 575cc in the other.

After the surgery the doctor told me my chest caves inward, which is why I had to go with such a large implant to achieve a large C/small D. I have been fairly happy, though I have some rippling, they do not feel natural, no cleavage, and they stick out under my armpit.

Since the implants I have had two children and breastfed both for about 9 months each. I have noticed a reduction in size. I am ready for new implants, but will not go with the textured teardrop again. I am wondering which is the better choice for me - a traditional round or a high profile. I do want a large C, small D look, but would like some cleavage. What implants should I choose for replacement? Also, is one a better choice than the other with my concaving chest?

Doctor Answers 18

No perfect choice

A few comments:

Round and high profile implants are not mutually exclusive. Round refers to shape of implant while high profile refers to dimension.

Because the teardops implants are textured, they will generally produce more rippling, especially if your over-lying soft tissue coverage is thin.

The most natural implants fit the natural outline of your breasts. If you go outside the periphery of your natural breast, or if you have so little breast tissue that the majority of the breast will end up being composed of the implant, the breast will end up resembling the type of implant you choose.

As for concavity of your chest wall, in general you will need higher profile implants to achieve a certain projection.However, the higher the profile , the more you require pressure to achieve projection, the more pressure on the underlying ribs and the more concavity will develop over time due to remodeling of the ribs themselves. Some times what patients want comes with a price.

Finally, projection and cleavage are different sides of the implant story. For cleavage without significant overlying soft tissue, you will need an implant width to produce the cleavage. Once you determine the width, you can see how much projection is required to give you the depth of cleavage you desire. It seems as if what you desire will come with significant side effects or possible long term consequences and you should prioritize your desires. It is possible that you will not find a perfect implant to give you all of what you desire.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

What shape of breast implants to choose?

Tear drop breast implants are usually more narrow that round breast implants. High profile breasts implants also have narrower diameter than moderate or low profile breast implants. A round breast implant will better fill upper chest wall emptiness. in order to decide the type of breast implant your surgeon has to also consider your chest wall diameter and your existing breast tissue volume.

S. Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Which Profile Is a Matter of Fit (and Shape)

You may do well with smooth silicone gel implants, but the choice of profile depends not only on your preference for shape and size, but also what will fit your chest and breast.

There are important considerations in planning your implant exchange that must also take into account the shape of your current implant pocket and the changes in your breast tissue (qualitatively and quantitatively), droop and tone.

Your surgeon can evaluate  all this with proper examination, in the context of your goals.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Use Mentor round smooth walled implants

To sunlover86,

Hi! Several points:

1) Some of the problems you have (no cleavage, implants against armpits) are due to poor surgical technique and not to the implants. How the operation is done matters more than which implants you use.

2) Having said that, I have seen a lot of problems with textured, teardrop implants, and I dont use them.

3) Don't use "moderate profile" implants, because these are really low profile, and can cause rippling. You need either moderate PLUS profile or high profile, and this is determined by how wide your chest is.

4) To find out exactly what size implant will give you a large C-small D look, I use temporary SIZERS during surgery. We sit the patient up (you are under anesthesia, of course) and put different amounts of saline into the sizers, until we find the right volume. Then we discard the sizer, and use the permanent silicone implants of the right size. This takes all the guesswork out.

5) I am not sure what your chest "caving inward' means.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Smaller diameter, high profile silicone implants would be good


Without examining you, it is hard to give specific advice. Also, with having several previous breast surgeries, it makes anything more complicated.

However, I would suggest a narrower diameter but high profile silicone implant. This will help maintain the cleavage, but also reduce the amount of implant that is affecting you in your armpit.

Good luck with your surgery.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Teardrop Implant Replacement

If you are looking to remove your tear drop shaped implants, it may be safer to replace them with round implants, especially if you want a smaller profile. It is difficult to control the size of the pocket in a breast revision which makes the rotation risk higher if you’re exchanging with a shaped implant. It may be possible to use a new shaped implant if you’re planning on placing a larger implant.

Eugene Kim, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Breast Augmentation Revision and Shape of Implant

In 2003 you would have had textured saline breast implants with a teardrop shape, and presumably you had the same type placed at the second surgery. Because the breast implant market has improved since then, you should see your plastic surgeon again to review the different types of silicone gel breast implants that are now available and what would be best for you.  I rarely use saline breast implants anymore in my own practice.

Heather J. Furnas, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Moderate Plus Silicone Implant

                  The treatment of secondary breast deformities needs to be individualized and is based on the patient’s specific anatomic findings and unique aesthetic goals. It’s impossible to make recommendations without pre-operative pictures and a physical examination. This is especially true when patients have underlying chest wall deformities.

                  The appearance of your breast has been impacted by multiple variables. These include a pectus excavatum deformity, post-surgical changes, and changes related to pregnancy.

                  Since your goals include a natural appearance, increased breast size and more cleavage, a moderate plus silicone implant would be a good option. Unfortunately without more information, it would only be speculation.

                  It’s important that you consult with your plastic surgeon and discuss these issues. After being evaluated, an individualized treatment plan can be formulated specifically for you. 

Replace with teardrop silicone

If you are happy with the shape etc of your implants and just need an exchange, why not use the teardrop shaped implants by Sientra.  The addition of Sientra on the marhket has added another choice to patients.  Call your plastic surgeon to see if these are available to you.  I have just started using them on select patients.  Good luck,

Dr. Schuster in Boca raton

Natural appearing breast augmentation with cleavage

Unfortunately the most commonly used type of implants (high profile) and the most common type of placement ( submuscular/dual plane) cannot deliver the natural 'tear drop' effect or cleavage that you desire.  Leaving the origination of the pectoralis major medially intact in submuscular placement ensures that the implant cannot be medial enough to look natural, and a flat plateau is left centrally.  There are also big problems associated with anatomic implants placed in conventional planes( they work well in subfascial carefully designed pockets).  This is why I use a very unique methof of breast augmentation that I call 'cold-subfascial augmantation.'  the placement of the implants is not 'above the muscle' or subglandular, nor is it submuscular or dual plane.  A very strong layer of connective tissue is meticulously and atraumatically dissected from the pectoralis major muscle and this tissue is used to shape and support a lower profile implant into a gentle tear drop shape.  It is the surgical dissection and not the implant itself that gives shape to the breasts.  The results sit like natural breasts and do not move like submuscular implants do with arm motion.  The fascia also supports the implant giving it relative protection from gravity and aging.  
All the best,
Rian A. Maercks M.D.

Rian A. Maercks, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.