What Are the Benefits of Anatomical Breast Implants over Their Round Counterparts?

What is the difference between smooth and textured surfaces for breast implants?

Doctor Answers (11)

Anatomic Implants, Textured Implants

+2

Because anatomic implants have a very specific shape, they must have a textured surface which allows the body's scar tissue to adhere to them preventing movement. A good study was done years ago asking plastic surgeons to examine patients without knowing which implant was used in their augmentation. They could not tell a visible difference unless the anatomic implant had failed to adhere and rotated to a distorted look. Even on mammograms at one year radiologists could not tell the difference. In todays implant world, there is almost no benefit to a textured anatomic implant. In my practice I see several women each year who have received these devices and are unhappy. We replace them with a smooth round implant.


Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Anatomical vs Round implants

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The two styles of devices commonly used in modern breast augmentation procedures are round and anatomical (or "teardrop") shaped silicone cohesive gel implants. As their descriptive names suggest, round implants have a more circular shape than the teardrop profile of the anatomical style. While many women prefer the more natural appearance of anatomically shaped implants, there are important benefits and drawbacks to consider when choosing between the two different styles.

Depending on your goals and body type, you may be suited to anatomical implants. Anatomic implants are shaped more like natural breasts and keep their shape regardless of whether you're lying on your side or back, standing up, or reclining. They're often recommended for patients with droopier breasts that require a lift — sometimes making a breast lift unnecessary.

One of the possible drawbacks related to teardrop implants is rotation. If the implant is positioned inside an internal pocket that is too large, there is a risk that it can begin rotating over time. This will not only make your breasts look misshapen, but can also cause fluid to develop in the cavity (a seroma) that must be surgically corrected and drained.

Round silicone cohesive gel implants are typically used because they are softer to the touch and capable of creating creating the look you desire, from very natural appearing proportionate breasts, to very full and high breasts. Since their shape changes depending on your position — flatter when you're lying down, settling into a more teardrop shape when standing — they also tend to look more natural during movement. There is no risk of rotation and seroma development. This factor makes them a more common choice in breast augmentation.

In fact, a study was published where plastic surgeons were shown patients either with round or anatomic implants, and were asked which shape of implant each patient had. The results showed that the plastic surgeons could not tell which patient had which shape of implant!

Choosing whether to receive round or anatomically shaped implants is usually a matter of personal goals and physiology. During your consultation your board certified Plastic Surgeon will work with you to not only discuss the type of look you hope to achieve following your enhancement treatment, but to provide advice based on your anatomy as well. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Round vs. Anatomic shaped implants

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It really depends upon you shape if  you were to choose a round vs. an anatomic shape implant.  If you have a well formed breast just insufficient volume then you would do well with a round implant.   From the shape of your breast you will do fine with either implant.  Vectra 3 D imaging is a great educational too which helps patients visualize the difference between all of the implant choices  > 500 types and sizes.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

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Anatomic implants

+1

I used anatomic implants a lot many years ago and really learned to hate them.  They add complexity and subtract predictability.   I ended up doing a lot of revisions on these patients and often switching them to round implants.   

Also, I think most of us would be hard pressed to identify patients with round vs anatomic implants.  There was a paper to that effect presented by a resident at the Northwest Society of Plastic Surgeons annual meeting several years ago.  Even very experienced plastic surgeons could not tell the difference!  Also, round implants assume an anatomic shape when the patient is upright unless they are really, really overfilled. 

I really think the anatomic implant push was a marketing thing. 

As for anatomic gummy bears, I have zero experience with them so they may add a whole new dimension to the anatomic vs round debate. 

Lisa L. Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

What Are the Benefits of Anatomical Breast Implants over Their Round Counterparts?

+1

As you can read the posts of the previous experts the majority are against use of the "A" implants. As am I. Also the coverings are used for fixation and decrease capsule formation but the textured implant ripple more. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Anatomical implants

+1

The intention of anatomical implants was to mimic the shape of the ideal breast.  They are supposed to enhance the lower half of the breast greater than the upper pole of it.  Similarly, because they have an upper pole to their design, it is intended to a lesser degree to be an area of enhancement.  They are textured so they don't rotate.  Most of us don't have accest to these breast implants yet, so in my mind, they're still controversial.

 

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Shape of implants for breast augmentation

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most anatomic implants are not available any more..  for the limited benefits they have had many downsides and most surgeons do not use them anymore. different profile implants well chosen can usually meet the need

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Anatomic implants over other choices

+1

I am not a big fan of the "anatomic" or biodimensional implants. First they have a polarity or an up and a down. This means that if the implant turns it will look funny, and it usually requires surgery to turn them back.   They are also textured which can cause more ridging.    After a few months if they are in proper position, they will be difficult to distinguish from round implants. Oh yeah, they are also more expensive then the round ones.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Anatomical Implants

+1

I used to use primarily the anatomical implants in my practice 15 years ago but quit.  Because of their shape they tend to give too much superior fullness in many patients creating a "step off".  Because they can shift in position and give a bad appearance they are textured to hold them in position.  Because of the texturing the shell is thicker and this makes them firmer to the touch.  The texturing also increases the chance of visible rippling.  I would never recommend them too a patient anymore.  The last patient that I put them in because she insisted on them had me replace them 6 months later because she was having every one of the above issues.  After over 2000 augmentations I think the round smooth implant is the best implant.

There is a shaped gel implant that is not available yet that may be better.

Gary Hall,MD

Gary Hall, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Anatomic vs round implants

+1

The primary advantage of the anatomic implants(which are all textured) is for the patient who has some minor breast  sagging but wants to avoid the added scars from a lift can get more fullness in her lower pole of her breast.  This advantage is best seen in the gummy bear implants( not yet FDA approved gel filled implants) and not as much in saline filled implants.  For me the textured saline filled implants do not have as much control of the lower pole and have much greater palpability.  I don't find much use for them in my practice.  The best thing to do is seek multiple consultations from local board certified plastic surgeons for an exam and discussion of what implant would work  best for your soft tissues.  Best wishes

Craig Harrison, MD, PA
Tyler Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 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.