Can High/ultra High Profile Implants Be Damaging to a Woman with Little Breast Tissue?

I read an article that suggested that high and ultra high profile implants over 350cc could potentially lead to increased soft tissue damage and chest wall deformities. I am an A cup with a small amount of breast tissue, a 28" chest, and about 12.5 BWD. I know that this issue hasn't been studied extensively, but I wonder if it is something I should consider when talking to my surgeon about profile.

Doctor Answers 11

High-profile implants are sometimes useful

The article you mentioned caused quite a bit of debate. If you have had a chance to see the original article, look at the published discussions that follow it, as they point out that the problems attributed to high profile implants occur with other types too, and there was no evidence presented that the high profile types cause them more frequently. So they do have a role, and you should discuss which type is most appropriate for you with your plastic surgeon. The process should be first choose the size you want, then the implant profile that best matches the base diameter of your breasts is selected. This may be high, moderate, or low profile, though the terms are used differently by different implant manufacturers.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

The Pros and Cons of using Large Breast Implants in Petite Women

Good question. This issue HAS been studied extensively but the findings are not always shared with patients for fear of offending and losing them. I THINK we can agree that there are physical limitations on what size / volume breast implants can be used in certain women. An A cup - never-been-pregnant woman will not have enough breast skin to allow placement of certain large implants. In addition, just placing the biggest possible breast implant in every women will NOT result in attractive long-term results but predictably in rapidly sagging breast with visible and palpable folds. The BEST Breast Augmentation results are produced when the surgeon convinces his patient to allow placement of the BEST compromise breast implant that woman's breast tissues would allow. That means, that the implant has to be covered by the existing breast tissue. The implant then AUGMENTS that breast tissue by pushing it forward. When an overly large implant isshow horned into the breast pocket (either under the muscle or under the breast) it stretches the skin put places pressure on the breast tissue causing it to waste away. As a result, such implants cause breast atrophy which reveals more of the implant and its folds resulting in saggy breasts AND visible rippling. In summary - it does not take a huge amount of skill to shove a large breast implant into a woman's breast. BUT the best results require an artistic judgement of picking the best implant for each woman for long lasting and natural results. Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

High profile breast implants

As Dr. Baxter said, the article you are referring to out of Texas caused quite a reaction because it almost implied that HP implants are certain to cause problems and are some kind of malpractice.  They are not.  They actually are quite useful in the right situation.  Certainly, if you can get the result you want with lower profiles and smaller implants there are fewer consequences to the tissues such as thinning and stretching.  But if the lower profiles won't give you the result you want, then you need to go higher.  

You want to spend a very substantial amount of time with your plastic surgeon, not their nurse or a cosmetic consultant, and see lots of photos of people (who are tall like you) and try on several profiles in garments to decide what is best for you.  I have had may people with your starting point (expressed in other posts from you) and we have been able to come up with the right implants for them.

Are UItra High Profile implants damaging to breast tissue?

I would agree with Dr. Baxter.  There is very little evidence to suggest that high profile implants have any potential for damaging breast tissue and, in reality, if you have very little shape to your breasts they actually might be beneficial.

Since you are currently in Seattle, my recommendation would be to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon such as Dr. Baxter and discuss with him your concerns.

I hope that helps!

Ultra high profile implant.

The truth is any profile implant and not necessarily a high profile implant can cause tissue damage and alterations in the chest wall over time.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

High profile implant risks

THis is not only true for high profile implants. In general, there is a battle between non-biological implants that do not change and the surrounding biological environment (muscle, skin, fat, bone). As the non-biological material produces pressure on the biological tissue, then tissue will atrophy and change shape (re-mold).  In general, the higher the pressure, the more the tissues will atrophy, stretch or re-mold.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Large Breast Implants

Breast implants should be chosen based on the patient's anatomy and tissue quality.  If a larger than appropriate implant is placed, there is good chance that the tissue will be thinned and the results will not look natural.  Additionally, the long years of a larger than appropriate implant may cause additional stretching of the skin due to gravity. 

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

Implant choices

You have an excellent question that is always best to have answered in person.  I usually use high profile or moderate plus implants in women that have narrow chest walls that want larger implants.  The larger the implant, the more potential for problems.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Implant problems

Clearly stated - larger implants have more long term complications.

That said, you need to respect the dimensions of your body to get the best results.  There is a proportionality that needs to be recognized - and respected. 

David A. Lickstein, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Can High/ultra High Profile Implants Be Damaging to a Woman with Little Breast Tissue?

Dr Baxter has given an excellent answer to your concerns, with a site discussion. Please take to your in person evaluations so you can discuss. From MIAMI Dr. Darryl j., Blinski

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.