How to Avoid Breast Implants Looking Like Balls on Chest?

I am 5'1" 103 lbs. I am getting breast implants in 5 days. My surgeon has suggested 350 cc smooth, round, high profile silicone implants for my body. My biggest concern is I do not want to have the "ball" look on my chest. I want more of the natural slope of the breast look. Any advice on how to avoid the "ball" look?

Doctor Answers 11

Breast Implants that look like balls on chest

A common error that leads to an unnatural appearance after breast augmentation, even with implants of an ideal size, is inadequate lower pole dissection and/or inadequate release of the pectoralis major origin just above the inframammary fold. As a result the implants sit too high and appear excessively full in the upper poles (the area above the nipple-areola complex), while the lower poles - which should be the fullest area of the breast - are underfilled. Inadequate muscle release may also result in bizarre-appearing breast implant animation when the pec major muscle contracts. In some cases this may result in one or both of their implants jumping up literally to the level of a patient's collarbones - an alarmingly unnatural look, and one that is totally avoidable 

A shaped form stable breast implant can give the patient the lowest risk of fold and ripples in the lower pole, the lowest risk of a visible transition between natural breast tissue and implant  (sometime refereed to as a double bubble) and the lowest risk of breast implant malposition with the breasts bottoming out. I think there is a performance difference between form stable breast implants. Consult with plastic surgeon who have experience and expertise perfuming this particular procedure. 


In many breast augmentation patients, the inframammary fold needs to be lowered in order to allow the implant to rest at a level that appears natural relative to the position of the nipple and areola. Ideally the implant should be centered directly behind the nipple-areola complex (NAC). In profile, the natural-appearing breast is not convex in the upper pole, and an excessively convex and overly full upper pole is a dead giveaway that a breast implant sits below the skin. In addition, inadequate release of the inferior origin of the pectoralis major will allow the muscle to hold the implant in too high a position, and may even cause the implant to displace upwards (as high as the collar bone in some patients) when the muscle contracts. Patients with this problem require reoperation to release the inferior origin of the pec major and/or the inframammary fold.

Likewise, if the inframammary fold is lowered too far, the augmented breast will appear 'bottomed out', with an excessively full lower pole, an empty upper pole, and a nipple/areola that appears to sit too high on the breast - another situation with a distinctly unnatural appearance, and one that requires surgical correction: repair of the inframammary fold(s).

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Choosing the right implants

The more soft tissue you have covering them, the more likley they will look natural. Also that means that a smaller implant usually looks better.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

How to Avoid Breast Implants Looking Like Balls on Chest

I offer patient's a simple analogy to illustrate what we mean:

Q: If you take a baseball and you cover it with a silksheet, what will it look like?

A: Like a baseball, you will even see the stitching.

Q: Now if you take that same baseball and cover it with a comforter what will you see?

A: It depends on how thick the comforter is but generally you will see a softly shaped lump.

So now the question is what do you have on your chest, silk sheets or comforters?

The way we determine this is by looking at your chest, if I can see your ribs (under the muscle) then you anatomy will have a hard time disguising the implant whether it is placed under or over the muscle and you are more likely better off with a silicone implant. Another way of measuring this is to pinch your upper chest skin (similar to pinch and inch of your waist on the Special K commercial). If you have less than an 2 cm (under 4/5 of an inch) than you have "silk sheets"

If you have a thicker skin/fat/breast layer that pinches over an inch than you have the option of going under or over.

Now the exception to the rule:

Q: What happens if you change the baseball to a volleyball?

A: All bets are off, whether you put it under or over the muscle it will not look natural.

The last issue is the implant shape. There are some anatomic shaped implants but I have generally found them to produce no significant difference in outcome with the exception of breast cancer reconstruction. However, this is my personal opinion

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Breast implant sizes.


1) This is why cosmetic surgery is an art. Of course, I have not examined you, but based on your size as you describe it, I think 350 cc's is too large, and you may well end up with very large "balls".

2) In New York City, we put different disposable implant SIZERS in your breasts during surgery. That way, I can tell without any guesswork, what implant size looks most natural on you. Then, and only then, we open the correct permanent implants from our inventory.

3) If you want a guess, I would guess 200 cc's to 250 cc's would be right for you. But the whole point is not to guess.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Have a good surgeon and listen to him or her


Most good surgeons listen to their patients when they express their desires. You need to go to a good surgeon and listen to what he or she tells you and then go from there. The way your tissues are distributed as well as your dimensions and tissue thickness really determine everything else.

You are probably looking at mid-range implants in volume with muscular coverage.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

How to avoid breast implants looking like balls on chest

If you have breast augmentation surgery, you cannot avoid it - but you can minimize it.

First, the result you described is USUALLY seen when an implant has little soft tissue cover from the beginning or loses its cover due to tissue wasting and is then squeezed by a choking scar tissue which balls things up, called capsular contracture.

Capsular contracture is seen more commonly with suprapectoral / under the gland placement, with the older gel implants, with a blunt pocket dissection leaving blood in the pocket (rather than precise bloodless cautery dissection), with foreign bodies in the wound (gown fragments, gauze fragments, glove starch) and by infection.

The best way to minimize it - pick a good surgeon who would help you pick an implant that would be covered by your present breast and will not exert too much pressure eventually causing your breast to thin out and uncover the implant; To put the implant under the muscle in a precise and close to atraumatic tech AFTER changing and washing the surgeon's gloves and irrigating the pocket.

That should prevent a large portion of capsular contracture.

I hope this was helpful.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Wrong choices for breast implants make artificial-looking breasts

The way to get an artificial looking breast is to make wrong choices! Wrong size,wrong pocket,wrong surgeon! A gel implant with the proper size and in the proper pocket will get you a natural result.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Avoid above the muscle placement for a more natural look

You are a thin woman and the larger the implant you go with, the more it can overtake the natural look. I am a firm believer in sub-muscular placement to provide better upper and middle breast coverage.

You should try the implants that will be used on in a sports bra and take a look in the mirror. This is the only good way to get an idea of what to expect from your surgery. Best of luck.

Dr Edwards

Breast Implants That Look Too Round Can Usually be Prevented

Implants that are too round and tight appearing on the chest can happen because of capsular contracture, large implants being placed in very thin individuals, and imprecise selection of the pocket location and implant type.

Many of these issues can be prevented if you see a board-certified plastic surgeon who can address your concerns and explain what they will do to avoid an unnatural result.

John LoMonaco, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 240 reviews

Breast augmentation

To avoid a "ball" type look I recommend the implants be placed submuscular and not subglandular. Meaning, have the implants under the pectoral muscle and not in front of the pectoral muscle. Also using an anatomic, or "tear drop" shaped implant can avoid the "ball" look that you are concerned with having.

Discuss this with your surgeon.

Best wishes.

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 270 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.