Ask a doctor

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 55

Anatomical Breast Implants - The New Generation of Shaped Breast Implants Rotation is NOT an issue with these breast implants

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

Is implant rotation a problem with the new generation of shaped or tear dropped breast implants? The answer is absolutely and unequivocally no Actually, one of the shaped implant manufacturers’ recently reported a series of almost 1800 patients in which the rotation rate was ZERO. Using careful pre-operative planning and meticulous surgical technique when creating the implant pocket, I've encountered no cases of implant rotation in the years I've been using these devices.  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. 

Patients are best served by selecting a plastic surgeons who are interested in, and have an open mind about new technology, but who evaluate all new technology with a critical and scientific eye. Not everything new is necessarily better. But, for some patients, this new generation of shaped, form stable absolutely provide superior outcomes. 

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.

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. 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. 

The following are a few things that can distinguish some surgeons from others

1) Graduating from a top tier medical school at the top of their class.

2) Membership in Alpha Omega Alpha. This is the medical honors society. Alpha Omega Alpha is to medicine what Phi Beta Kappa is to undergraduate universities

3) Formal surgical training from prestigious medical universities. The minimum number of years of surgical training for plastic surgeons to be board certified is five years. Some physicians have as many as ten years of formal surgical training. There simply is no substitute for stelar academic and practical surgical training.

4) Very experienced surgeons with meticulous surgical technique and natural looking outcomes will have photgraphic evidence of their work. Patients should be able to view many photos of the surgery of interest, photgraphed from three different perspectives all with similar lighting, distance from the camera and cropping

The elite experience extends beyond the surgeon to the facility, and the surgical team. You should be able to see the surgical theater and know who else will be in the OR with you during surgery. The Joint Commission (JCAHO) is an organization that provides certification to hospital OR's. The Joint Commission and AAAASF are two of the organizations that can provide certification to surgical suites. Some plastic surgeons elect to have their surgery centers dually certified.

The anesthesia experience is critical to a safe and comfortable surgical experience. A board certified anesthesiologist can administer general or MAC anesthesia. My preference is to have a board-certified anesthesiologist at the bedside of my patients for the duration of surgery.

Plastic surgeons who cater to high profile individuals who place a high value on privacy will have a private first floor entrance and exit so patients never need to be in a public lobby or elevator for pre-operative or post operative visits.





Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 59 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.

Tear drop breast implants versus round implants

Both anatomical "tear drop" implants and round implants are considered perfectly acceptable for breast augmentation surgery. Tear drop or anatomical implants can be great in certain patients. However, in general, my preference is to use round implants. This is for several reasons:

1- Round breast implants are softer than anatomic implants when palpated.
2- If a tear-drop implant rotates or migrates over time, the breasts are no longer symmetric. If a round breast implant rotates, there is no change in appearance.
3- Beautiful, natural results are achievable with round implants because they take on a tear-drop shape when a woman is standing.

Lara Devgan, MD, MPH
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Tear drop vs round implants for petite built

Since your are a petite girl with a size A cup size, the shape of the implant will certainly be a factor for you. If you are looking to go up to a C cup bra size, then the difference between a shaped implant vs round implant will make a difference on your final shape. The real questions is, what shape do you feel is most appealing. If you are someone who wants to look as natural as possible, the shaped implant is likely the better fit. However, if you like upper breast fullness, then round implants will achieve this for you. I will typically have the patient bring pictures of people's breasts that they find attractive and use these as references. I will also have them look on the website loveyourlook as a resource. I'm often surprised to see how many patients who wanted to look "natural" like the full, rounded appearance of people's breasts that only a round implant can give. Make sure you have a thorough discussion with your plastic surgeon.

Robert Najera, MD
Frisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Round Gummy Bear implants are an excellent choice

As a first-time breast implant patient, round, textured, highly cohesive gel implants from Sientra might be the best choice. These "Gummy Bear" implants are the latest technology with the lowest deflation and contracture risk - as well as best warranty - in the industry. Regarding appearance, in most instances, the round implant can offer an excellent, natural look if the implant diameter matches are slightly smaller than the breast width.

Beginning your research on Real Self is a great first step in your decision-making process. Continue to gather information and ask questions. Please be sure to consult with and ultimately select a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast implant surgery. All the best to you.

Which Implants Should You Choose?

More than 90% of women have smooth round silicone implants. A recent presentation at the plastic surgery society meeting disclosed that 50% of plastic surgeons could
not tell the difference
between gummy bear and conventional silicone implants following breast augmentation.

One thing is certain: gummy bear implants are harder than round silicone implants. Some women like this better, and some women prefer the softer feel. This is the #1 method I use to help women choose between these two implants.

The second involves the desired breast shape: If women want to have an "augmented" look with a high "shelf" to their breast, I advise women that this is more likely to result with the smooth round silicone implants.

In my current practice, I use about 3 pair of round implants for every 1 pair of
gummy bear implants.

In terms of going with a larger size, make sure your plastic surgeon is board certified and has experience with breast augmentation. Your breast fold may need to be lowered to accommodate implants of your desired size range. If your chest and breast width is narrow, gummy bear implants will likely be too wide for your breasts. You may need to consider ultra high profile breast smooth round silicone implants if you want to go on the larger side (narrow width, but large volume).

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.

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.

Implant shape

When it comes to picking an implant shape for cosmetic breast augmentation I feel that for most women there is no clear advantage of the shaped implants. The extra cost are not justified for the amount of extra upper pole fullness one can get. Beyond cost they are a little more stiff feeling and typically one needs larger incision to place them through. Additionally  I would be very uncomfortable in using any incision other than the infra-mammary incision. With that said I have used them in cosmetic augmentation and have been very happy but it is the minority of patients in my practice that will benefit from that shape of implant. 

John Mancoll, MD
Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 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.