Possible to Receive a Large Implant That is Not Filled Up That Much?

I am considering breast augmentation and have an "ideal" look in mind but not sure if it is possible: I would love to have an implant that is large in circumference to allow cleavage but only sticks out about an inch. I am a small a cup and really just looking to be filled out. Anything larger would just look obnoxious... Anyways, is this possible? I have seen many before and after pictures and don't understand why all of the breasts are far apart and stick out like melons?

Doctor Answers 15

You Do Have Choices In Implant Shapes

You do have choices among implant shapes to help you get the look you desire.

For example, from your description, it sounds like a low profile implant might be your best choice. Low profile implants are the widest and have the lowest projection ("stick out" the least) for a given volume.

It is important to understand there are limitations inherent in any cosmetic breast procedure. Your surgeon should discuss these with you during personal consultation, and help you choose the best implant and technique to get the results you seek.

In my practice, in addition to examination and measurements, I use 3-dimensional imaging  to assist in determining the preferred size and shape, and to help visualize what results we can achieve.

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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The implant should "fit" your breast

One of the most important aspects of breast augmentation is figuring out which implants will "fit" you.  The implant should closely match the natural diameter of your breast.  When you see women you can immediately pick out as "boob job" it's because they have implants that don't "fit".  Your surgeon should measure your breast diameter and let you know what size range best fits you.  Hopefully, that will match what you're shooting for size-wise.  If you are an A cup, you may want to consider silicone implants.  When you don't have much tissue to "camouflage" the implant, the saline implants can feel wrinkley and fake.

Debra J. Johnson, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Breasts, not melons

Hi, during  your consultation with a plastic surgeon, a detailed conversation about your desired shape and volume, cleavage or no cleavage, etc. along with your physical examination will be necessary to determine the best implant dimensions for you.  As for them looking like they are far apart, that is sometimes a product of the width of your breast bone/sternum (with a implant placed below the muscle).You may prefer the low profile, wider implant.  Good luck!

Vaishali Doolabh, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Size, shape, profiles, and looks with breast implants

The key to results with breast augmentation is control over the factors involved and what can and cannot be achieved with a breast implant. A breast implant, particularly a round one, is pillow volume and does not form, shift, lift, or otherwise generate any desired shape. It takes what's there and fills out from the base of the breast to make that breast look more filled out but not different. If attempts are made to use an implant to achieve a "look" that is not natural or not achievable then the patient may be disappointed. 

The width of the breast can be accurately measured upright with arms down and an implant width (diameter) can be determined that will fit and look natural (a round implant will also determine the height of filling in the upper pole which should also be appropriate). A low profile saline or gel implant (not called that) will have a forward projection that will make the breast look about a cup size larger and fill out what is needed just as a pillow would. 

I am not yet using computer imaging to show this as I am not convinced that it's accurate or realistic enough but it is certainly better than external sizers and stuffing bras. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Breast implant, breast augmentation

An underfilled implant is not a good idea for several reasons. Rippling will be much more prevalent. Also the fluid will preferentially move to a dependant location and the folds in the implant will likely lead to earlier failure.


David L. Abramson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Breast implant profiles

Without before pictures or seeing you in person, it is impossible to give you specific advice.  However, from what you describe, it seems like you may want a low profile implant.  These implants are wider for a given volume and flatter on the chest.  High profile implants are narrower for a given volume and project more from the chest.  Your board certified plastic surgeon should be able to give you appropriate recommendations.  


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Large implant, not filled much, seek low profile

The breast implants like melons is the current fad of high profile gel breast implants. In the 'old days' we almost always used a thin shelled low profile gel which would blend into the breast very softly and flow in a natural way. Those days are well over and implants now must be thick shelled, low leak, and now more moderate profiles to resist folding. Still you should look for a lower profile breast implant with a broader base diameter and we think you will like the look.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Implant size

A face-to-face consultation is required to adequately answer your question for your particular needs; having said that, it may be that a moderate (low) profile implant will give you the mild projection you desire with satisfactory fill of the skin envelope. It would depend on your measurements, skin quality, nipple position, chest wall anatomy and whether you need a concomitant lift. There are many excellent board-certified plastic surgeons from which to choose in your process of selection. It may be helpful to bring in photos of what you find attractive to help your surgeon counsel you.

Tim A. Sayed, MD, FACS
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Breast implant choice

Choosing the right implant for you is very difficult without a formal exam and consultation to review your concerns and desires.  Low profile implants may be what you are looking for.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Choosing breast implants for breast augmentation

Dear Rollie,

Breast implant choice questions are among the most common on RealSelf.com.  Some questions that we usually ask our patients include cleavage preferences and projection preferences.  The answers to these questions are then added to the physical examination information and breast measurements that are taken to come up with a plan for implant size and type.  Generally, for a given volume, as the implant base widens, the implant projection dicreases.  This is right in line with your stated goals of cleavage with little projection.  Bring this information to your plastic surgeon and he/she will design a surgical plan to fit your needs and satisfy your goals.  Good luck! 

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.