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Tear Drop Vs Round Breast Implants for Petite Build?

Hi! I'm a 19 year old girl who is petite build, short about 150cm (4'9"), breast size about an A cup and is going to get Breast implants but I'm not sure which style to go for. I was told the tear drop as it is more natural and due to my petite built. I just wanted to know if I were to get round implants would it look that bad?

Doctor Answers (45)

Anatomical Breast Implants - The New Generation of Shaped Breast Implants

For many petite women form stable, highly cohesive breast implants are an ideal choice. Creating a natural looking result requires expertise and surgical precision. My breast augmentation before and after gallery includes many of these images (link below)

The newest shaped or ‘anatomic’ breast implants are completely different medical devices than those that were available twenty years ago. Previous generations of shaped implants were both silicone gel and saline implants, and none of them performed well over the long term.

Is implant rotation a problem with the new generation of shaped or tear dropped breast implants? The answer is absolutely and unequivocally no. Rotation was a problem with the older generation of shaped implants available about 20 years ago. There were other problems as well which led to those implants being taken off the market.

The older generation of shaped implants came in both saline and silicone gel versions. The saline implants had a high rotation rate and also had a fairly high failure rate. The implants also felt firm and unnatural and fell out of favor pretty rapidly. The silicone gel devices that were briefly available also had a high failure rate. The shell of the implant was fairly thin and the gel could actually bleed through the surface of the implant without the implant failing; and those implants quickly went off the market as well.

The new generation of shaped form stable highly cohesive implants has a number of advantages over the ones that have been previously available. These implants are not only shaped but they are form stable and highly cohesive, so if you cut one of these implants in half you’re holding two halves of a solid device. The implants are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and a custom fit can be therefore found for just about any patient. The implants have a much lower failure rate than what’s seen historically and they also have a lower capsular contraction rate and of course that varies by implant manufacturer.

Don’t let concerns about rotation that was the experience with the older generation of breast implants steer you away from the new generation of shaped implants, which does not have that problem. Actually one of the shaped implant manufacturers’ has reported a series of almost 1800 patients in which the rotation rate was zero. These are great devices, they’re not the perfect breast implant for everyone but if you would benefit from a shaped device don’t worry about rotation. If the implant is placed by a skilled, experienced, board certified plastic surgeon the rotation rate should be close to zero.  

Breast implant technology has advanced considerably since the days of the first ‘anatomic’ implants, and the new generation of shaped silicone gel implants has many advantages over the older versions:
1.The new ones are highly cohesive, meaning the gel is in a semi-solid state. Cut one of these implants in half and you’re holding half of a solid implant.
2.The shells are much more durable, producing lower implant failure rates.
3.A wide variety of shapes and sizes are available, meaning a ‘custom fit’ can be found for each patient.
4.The rates of capsular contracture are much lower (varies by manufacturer).

Women seeking a natural look should find a plastic surgeon with experience and expertise creating a natural looking result in women with very limited breast tissue. 

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Round implants preferable for breast augmentation


I only use round implants for breast augmentation. By selecting the correct volume and profile, they can give a very natural look. I always like to hold a round implant at the top to demonstrate that the saline or silicone inside sinks to the bottom with gravity.  This helps create more fullness at the bottom - like a natural breast. Unlike your natural breast tissue, breast implants move around in the pocket we create.  Tear drop breast implant manufacturers try to reduce this by "roughing up" or contouring the outside of the implant.  This texture encourages your skin and muscles to adhere to the implant and help hold it in place.  Either way, it creates problems.  If you skin doesn't adhere to a tear drop shaped implant, the implant can rotate giving you an oddly shaped and asymmetric breast.  This can be visible even through clothing.  If your tissue does stick to the implant, this can lead to rippling and make the implant very visible under your skin.  In my opinion, tear drop shaped implants are best reserved for breast reconstruction.

Andrew Jimerson, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 430 reviews

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Pros & Cons for Each Shape

That's a good question. With a petite build, a large implant can look overly round and can give an "implant look." However, an appropriately sized round implant will assume a teardrop shape when you are standing up. Both round and teardrop-shaped implants can give nice results, but with an implant that is large for your frame, a teardrop shape has some advantages. However, the implants feel firmer, do not move as much, and even in the most experienced hands can change their position, so it is important to understand the pros and cons of each implant when you have your consultation. Discuss your choices with a qualified plastic surgeon. Best of luck in your decision!

Thomas A. Mustoe, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Breast implant shape


Round breast implants, when placed under the pectoral muscle, can look quite natural regardless of your body type. Anatomic, or teardrop shaped implants, can look quite natural also. However, these implants are typically placed in front of the pectoral muscle (subglandular). These are appropriate in certain patients who need slightly more projection in the lower aspect of the breast, or who have a thinner body.

The one concern with the anatomic implants is they have a tendency to rotate, where the heavier "bottom" portion of the implant could move and end up on "top" where it doesn't belong. Often times the patient can shift it back into place, however this may be a problem which needs surgical correction in the future.

Discuss this further with a board certified plastic surgeon prior to your surgery.

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Teardrop vs round breast implants


Dear Anon

As a plastic surgeon in the USA without the ability to use teardrop shaped or anatomical silicone gel implants, I can't give you an opinion on this one. I can tell you that I don't recommend saline anatomical due to the rippling and wrinkling in a thin patient. I also believe it is the experience and expertise of the surgeon that helps to determine the result and I only use round implants at this time.

I do think that as the anatomical silicone become available in the USA they will be used more often in selected cases.

Steven Schuster, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Depends on the particular anatomy

Shaped implants can certainly be a good option for many women depending on the anatomy we are starting with.  If the goal is to minimize the upper pole fullness and maintain the most natural appearance a shaped device is certainly something to consider. 

Aaron D. Gorin, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

In defense of shaped implants: The doctors who advise against shaped implants are generally those with no experience using them

There have been a number of answers on this thread touting both the positives and negatives of shaped implants, so most of what can be said about the implants themselves has already been said.  I would like to weigh in with just a few general comments to add to the discussion.  First, I will only direct my discussion toward breast cosmetic surgery, as that is primarily what I personally do these days, and I think the vast majority of the participants on this website, doctors and patients alike, are oriented that way too.  Reconstruction is an entirely different game with different considerations, goals, and limitations.  The main benefit to shaped implants in the aesthetic population, and thus the whole reason for their existence in my opinion, is that we can use them to create a full breast shape without the unnatural roundness and projection that accompanies round implants, especially in those ladies with thin tissues and little camouflage for the implants.  Thus, many people, myself included, feel that this allows for a more "natural," "non-artificial" look to the breasts.  This of course is a subjective judgment, but it has been supported by a number of large series of patients reported by a number of very well-known, internationally reputable plastic surgeons in this country and abroad, all of whom have had vast experience with these implants - over 1000 cases in some series - and it is clear that the currently available shaped implants, when used properly by someone who is properly trained and experienced in their usage, can deliver the advantages that they are supposed to with extremely low incidence of the problems that are often discussed in relation to them, including rotation and rippling.  It follows that a doctor who has little or no experience with the implants will not feel comfortable using them, and therefore he or she will advise against them.  This doesn't mean that the implants are not good or that they don't deliver the results they're supposed to.  Remember, there are large series reported in peer reviewed medical literature by surgeons who actually DO use these implants and DO have experience with them, and they report that they are beneficial in the right patients.  So, I would ask you:  if you believe in the evidence-based practice of medicine, by which we pay the most attention to scientific data and proper statistics and experience in order to make our decisions about treatments, as opposed to the opinions and biases of people who have little or no actual real world experience, why would we be so quick to judge against these implants in the face of all of the evidence that supports their use?  Now, there is a learning curve that comes with using these for sure.  There are some subtle differences in planning and technique that a surgeon will have to familiarize him/herself with in order to use these implants successfully.  In addition, these implants aren't for every patient either.  Like all "tools," there will be some applications for which they aren't the right tool for the job, and a round implant will do better.  But for those patients who would do well with a shaped implant, it sure is nice to offer them the option.  As someone who does have experience using these implants, and who has many, many happy patients and very, very few problems with shaped implants, I can tell you that the concerns with these implants, including rotation and rippling are often over-exaggerated and do not happen frequently at all.  These implants do not just "flip flop" around in a properly made space, and cohesive gel that is used today by and large prevents much of the rippling and other similar concerns that people hypothetically discuss.  In any event, my main point is that any surgeon that argues 100 % against using tools and techniques like this that have been proven to be of benefit in large numbers of patients is limiting your options.  You would do best to find an experienced board certified plastic surgeon, one who has experience in ALL of the available procedures, to evaluate your breasts in person so that he or she can guide you regarding your selection of implants and have all options available to offer you in order to assure that you will get the best shot at reaching your goals.  Good luck.

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Round versus shaped implants for BA

Shaped implants work... for the right patient.  My concern is that they can rotate.  This can look a bit odd, especially if the back of the implant is not circular.  Smooth implants offer the advantage of no changes in appearance with rotation.  Round, smooth, silicone implants behave very similar to shaped implants, especially when placed beneath the muscle.  Personally I will sometimes utilize shaped devices for difficult revision cases, but feel that primary augmentations are often best served by using smooth round devices.  If over the muscle, I will always use a textured implant. Best of luck to you

Ronald A. Lohner, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Round can achieve very natural look!

Round and shaped implants look the same from the side 6 months after surgery.  An X-ray study which imaged the implants from the side 6 months after surgery showed no significant difference in breast shape with the patient standing.  However, there are significant advantages in smooth round implants with respect to feel and mobility compared to textured anatomic implants.  

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 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.