Having a breast augmentation done and unsure what type of implant is best for my petite frame - tear drop or round? (photo)

I am immediately drawn to smooth round implants as they have a softer more natural feel and I have read that textured implants are more likely to fail, are firmer to touch and studies show that they may not reduce CC as much as initially thought. However I do prefer the natural appearance of tear drop shaped implants, and am worried that round imlants may look odd on my small frame.

Doctor Answers 9

Having a breast augmentation done and unsure what type of implant is best for my petite frame - tear drop or round?

Thank you for your question and pictures. There are pros and cons for going with round or teardrop implants. Round implants will provide more upper fullness. Anatomical implants provide more natural look but they can shift in position and alter the breast shape. It is impossible to advise you without having an in-person consultation; however, many young and slim patients benefit more from round implants. When comes to implants placement, I recommend you going under the muscle. This approach will give you more natural look, decrease rippling of the implants, and decreases chances of developing a capsular contraction.  It is important to meet with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with experience in breast augmentation and discus your goals and options. Best of luck. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

#implant choice

Hi. Your comments regarding capsular contracture and implant coating is correct. The short answer to your question depends on the size of implant you want and the type of look. If you want a natural look then with smaller implants a round is fine however the bigger you go the greater the value in using a teardrop. My vote would be a submuscular teardrop. 



Tear drop implants

Hi.  It is true that tear drop (shaped implants) are slightly firmer than typical smooth round implants.  However, this is not usually noticed by the patient in the body.  Because of your frame, I would definitely consider you an optimal patient for shaped implants.  Regular round implants simply augment the breast shape that is there.  However, tear drop implants can actually give additional improved shape to the breasts if needed.  

Joseph R. Coscia, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Breast Augmentation - Size Selection , Shape Selection

Thank you for your question. "Tissue based planning" relies on your chest and breast measurements and is the safest way to ensure good long term results. Your surgeon should determine what size and projection are necessary to give you your desired result based on your body's measurements. The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam. Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic breast surgery. Hope this helps and good luck with your surgery.

Steven J. Rottman, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Implant type

Hello, some surgeons achieve great results with textured tear drop implants, but others feel that round smooth implants can also provide very nice results.  In my practice the majority of patients with your body type (small breasts but normal shape and no sagging) receive round implants, but this does not necessarily imply that teardrop implants are a poor choice.

William Andrade, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Breast Augmentation/Breast Implants/Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/ Silicone Implants/Breast Implant Revision

I appreciate your question.

The size of implant best for you is dictated by your chest wall measurements.  Once we determine that we can choose the profile based on what you want or need to achieve.  If you are seeking a natural look, then the diameter of the implant should be equal to or, more ideally, smaller than the width of your breast. The breast width is a measurement of how wide your breast is at the base, which should be measured at the level of the nipple. Choosing an implant that is smaller in diameter than your breast width will avoid the "side breast" fullness that is often associated with a more artificial appearance.  Other than that, you should choose the implant based on volume, not on the dimensions of the implant. You should choose a board certified plastic surgeon that you trust to help guide you in this decision.  

Silicone will give you a fullness at the top (upper pole fullness).

Silicone implants come pre-filled with a silicone gel and are the softest implant available. They feel more natural, which makes them a good option for women with less natural breast tissue; but they require a larger incision. It may be more difficult to realize if this type of implant has ruptured, so it is important to monitor them with annual follow-up visits. Additionally, because this implant contains a more liquid silicone (less cross-linked), if this implant should rupture, it will leak only into the scar capsule formed around the implant but may cause some discomfort or implant distortion.

Anatomic gummy bear implants might be a good choice to give you volume.

These highly-sought-after, anatomic implants offer a look that more closely resembles the natural silhouette of a breast, and, therefore, are a very attractive option for individuals seeking a natural-looking, aesthetic primary breast augmentation. Additionally, these implants are an especially excellent option for patients undergoing restorative or corrective breast surgery because they provide more stability, shape, and reduced incidence of capsular contracture. Compared to other types of silicone gel implants, the silicone in the cohesive gel implant is more cross-linked; therefore, should the implant shell “rupture,” it maintains its shape and silicone does not leak.

During your breast augmentation consultation, you should feel the different types of implants available, and try on various implant sizers in front of a mirror to help you to get an idea of how you will look following the surgery. You should also bring pictures of the look you would like to achieve, as well as a favorite top to wear when trying on implant sizers.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative breast surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon



Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Having a breast augmentation done and unsure what type of implant is best for my petite frame - tear drop or round?

Thank you for the question. I think that you are starting at a good place and should have a very nice outcome with breast augmentation surgery, assuming you choose your plastic surgeon carefully and communicate your goals carefully as well. 

These days there are a variety of breast implants available; the variety of breast implant available raise a lot of questions from women considering breast augmentation surgery. Personally, I think that for most patients considering breast augmentation surgery, careful selection of plastic surgeon and careful communication of goals, far outweigh the specific type of breast implant utilized (when it comes to the success of the breast augmentation procedure).

Anatomical breast implants were designed to better simulate the natural breast shape; the problem with these implants is that if they shift or rotate, the entire breast will change shape as well. This change in breast shape may require further surgery to correct. Round implants, under the hand, can shift or rotate without changing the shape of the breasts. Overall, I find that beautiful outcomes can be achieved with the use of round silicone gel breast implants for the vast majority of petite patients.

Generally speaking, the best online advice I can give to ladies who are considering breast augmentation surgery ( regarding breast implant size/profile selection) is:

1. Concentrate on choosing your plastic surgeon carefully. Concentrate on appropriate training, certification, and the ability of the plastic surgeon to achieve the results you are looking for. ***Ask to see lots of examples of his/her work.

2. Have a full discussion and communication regarding your desired goals with your plastic surgeon. This communication will be critical in determining breast implant size/type/profile will most likely help achieve your goals. 

In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. For example, I have found that the use of words such as “very natural” or "C or D cup" etc means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful.

Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on him who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup size may also be inaccurate. Again, the use of computer imaging has been very helpful during the communication process, in our practice.

3. Once you feel you have communicated your goals clearly, allow your plastic surgeon to use his/her years of experience/judgment to choose the breast implant size/profile that will best meet your goals. Again, in my practice, this decision is usually made during surgery, after the use of temporary intraoperative sizers.

I hope this (and the attached link, dedicated to breast augmentation surgery for patients with petite frames) helps. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with. 

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Personal preference for the ideal implant

Thank you for question and the photos.  There is no ideal implant for you but there are some better choices depending on what you would like to accomplish.  I personally think that the smaller/thinner someone is before surgery, the more natural a result they are looking for, the more that the shaped silicone implant is the better choice.  If you were to have a full B cup and desired a D cup then maybe a round implant would like almost as natural as a shaped implant.  You are however, very thin, so I think the shaped implant is likely the way to go.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

Best implant for petite frame

It really depends on your goals.  I generally recommend tear drop shaped implants for patients with petite frames, especially if they want a more natural look.  The failure rate and CC rate of these implants is very good.  If you are looking for a more "augmented" look than a round implant will do that for you.  Since you have little natural breast tissue to give you shape, the implant will shape your breast and a round implant will result in a round breast.  It will likely be softer (somewhat) but rounder and less natural looking.  My vote is for shaped!

H. Daniel Zegzula, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.