Which Type of Breast Implants Give a Natural Look?

Hi, I am looking for some advice. I am currently a large A or small B cup but would like to go to a C. What type of breast implants will give me the most natural look? And how much do you think would this cost? Many thanks.

Doctor Answers 13

Natural Looking Breast Implants

Yes, augmented breasts can and should look natural. With the right implant in the correct position, they can also feel completely natural. Excessively large breast implants never look or feel natural, so the first important factor to consider is implant size. Not only do large implants look odd, they also stretch out breast skin and tend to become very droopy over time. Most patients with excessively large implants end up having multiple operations over time to address problems with implant position ('bottoming out', for example, where implants drop below the desired level of the inframammary fold), implant visibility, and overstretched skin. If the goal is a natural-appearing breast augmentation, then most patients will require an implant volume between 250cc and 450cc. A petite patient looking for a B-cup to C-cup transition may need a 275cc implant for example, while a tall, broad-shouldered patient looking for an A-cup to C-cup transition may require a 425cc implant.
Implants can also look unnatural if they are too small, however. A pair of 225cc implants on a patient with a broad chest will result in augmented breasts that appear too far apart, which is another odd and unnatural appearance. Too small an implant can also be a problem if the goal is to fill out an underdeveloped or 'constricted' lower pole, or to improve a 'tubular breast' appearance - in these situations the lower pole of the augmented breast will be almost all implant, so a larger volume implant is needed compared to a patient with a larger amount of natural breast tissue in the lower pole. It is important for your surgeon to measure the preoperative breast base diameter (the width of the breasts) and the intermammary distance (the space between the breasts), and to take into consideration the breast implant base diameter, in order to choose an implant size and profile that fills the appropriate amount of horizontal space on the chest wall and thus creates an aesthetically ideal, natural appearance.
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.
Most patients want to have the fullest breast profile that still looks natural on their body. The limiting factor for implant size is almost always the appearance of the upper pole. At some implant volume, the upper pole of the breast begins to look excessively rounded or convex, and that is a look that says "breast implants live here". There really is no way to determine preoperatively what the fullest implant volume is for each patient that does not produce that rounded upper pole look. The only way to accurately make this decision is to use breast implant sizers intra-operatively, and to evaluate them with the patient sitting fully upright in the operating room during the surgery. Surgeons who are attentive to detail use an O.R. table which allows them to sit a patient upright several times over the course of the procedure, so that an implant size and profile can be selected that is ideal for each individual patient.
The type of implant is also important, as the implant style that will work best to produce a natural feeling result depends on a patient's body style and preoperative breast size. Silicone gel implants, without question, have a much more natural feel than saline implants in slender patients, especially those with an A-cup or small B-cup preop breast profile. On the other hand, fuller-figured patients with a full B-cup breast size that are seeking a full C- or a D-cup breast enhancement will almost always get a breast augmentation result that feels completely natural if saline implants are used. The more natural tissue there is to conceal a pair of implants, the harder it is to detect saline implants by feel.
Regardless of implant type, there is really only one ideal position for breast implants with respect to the pectoralis major muscle. Subpectoral placement provides additional coverage of the implants in the cleavage area, which results in both a more natural appearance and more natural feel. This is especially true for slender, small-breasted patients, as the pec major helps to flatten the upper pole of the implant and prevents the upper edge of the implant from being visually obvious. That excessively round appearance in the upper pole is to be avoided at all costs.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Do you really want natural look for breast implants?

Dear Amy,

First, I want to echo the sentiments of my colleagues. Plastic surgeons obtain natural results not only when they choose the right implants but also when the patient's tissues are favorable.

There is, however, another issue. What is natural looking? OK, I know that sounds stupid to ask, but National Geographic is filled with natural breasts that you might not consider attractive!

When you attend your appointment with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, bring photos of your ideal. That model should be about your height, weight, and age; don't be too unrealistic! She should be nude or in a bikini. Be prepared to tell your plastic surgeon what you like and what you don't about each photo.

When I go through this exercise with my patients, I'm always shocked to learn how often the patient who wanted "natural" actually expects a very artificial result. Hollywood has done a very good job of confusing us. Since most topless movie stars have had implants, we movie buffs haven't seen a natural breast in decades!

Also, remember that "natural" is also age dependent. Most women who have had babies have stretch marks. Upper breast fullness and roundness are decidedly uncommon in the natural breasts of even 30-year-old women. Defying gravity at 45 years old is awfully unnatural.

So, be honest with yourself. It sounds "appropriate" to ask for a natural look. However, be willing to tell your plastic surgeon what you really want.

Michael C. Pickart, MD
Ventura Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

The Most Natural Breast Implant

It is not the type of the breast implant that makes you look natural.

It is the size of the implant and the thickness of your tissue over it that determines whether it looks natural or not.

Just think about it...imagine in your own mind a woman with naturally thick breasts who gets a little implant...it would be totally imperceptible. Imagine a woman that is flat like a board and gets a huge implant....no matter what the implant is made of, it will look fake.

Sure, silicone looks better than saline, and moderate profile implants look less round than high profile implants, but at the end of the day being natural is achieved by using the implant of the right size.

Watch the video below and you'll see what i mean:


Steven Teitelbaum, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Breast implant size

It is very important to communicate your size goals with your surgeon.  In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or “C cup” or "fake looking" means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful.
Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup  size may also be inaccurate.
I use  intraoperative sizers and place the patient in the upright position to evaluate breast size. Use of these sizers also allow me to select the press implant profile (low, moderate, moderate plus, high-profile) that would most likely achieve the patient's goals. The patient's goal pictures are hanging on the wall, and allow for direct comparison.
I have found that this system is very helpful in improving the chances of achieving the patient's goals as consistently as possible.
By the way, the most common regret after this operation, is “I wish I was bigger”.
I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 reviews

Implant choices

The implants taht give the most natural results are often those that are not too big for your frame.  A consultation and exam is key.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Which Type of Breast Implants Give a Natural Look

It is very easy to be confused by this measuring system. Cup sizes are only used as estimates for clothing. Although the measuring technique for determining cup size is precise, the results of these measurements are not. Let me give you an example; weight is a very accurate measurement. However two patients that weigh 120 lbs are not likely to look alike. The same is true with two patients that have C cup breasts. This is why physicians tend to use volume (cubic centimeters or cc) as a more accurate measurement. Note: If you are trying to figure out what breast implant size you want to obtain, you can try the szing tool available through b4bra.com or read the articles about measuring there.

Size is a complex decision that is not only based upon your height, weight and current cup/bra size but ALSO on also on your breast diameter, waist, shoulder, and skin envelope measurements. These can only be assessed in person during a consultation. A good place to start is using my "Find your perfect size" tool listed in the left hand column of my bodysculptor.com home page. Another good place to look is the searchable database section of the physicians' photos on implantinfo.com. Best of luck.

Please see our website for a description of the procedure: bodysculptor.com You can view some of Dr. Placik's patients or many other patients by visiting the website:photo gallery

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Natural looking breast implants

It is amazing to me how differently patients interpret the word "natural" when describing their desires from a breast augmentation. Strictly speaking, the word "natural" implies what can occur in nature. This does not include ANY upper pole fullness beyond a straight line down to the nipple areola. This look is created by moderate profile implants, not by moderate plus or high profiles.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Natural looking breast implants

In my mind there is no question that Silcone breast implants look and feel much more natural than saline implants. When you go in for a consultation, just ask to hold a sample of each type of implant and you will realize the difference. The option is then above or below the muscle. If you have think skin and not much breast tissue, then under the muscle is best. If you have a good amount of tissue coverage, then above the muscle may work for you as well. However, I feel that below the muscle is the best option in most cases. Good luck with your surgery.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Type of breast implants for the most natural look

Dear Amy,

As has been said, creating the most natural and appealing breasts is LESS dependent on the implant than on choosing the right implant based on your current breast volume (which will need to cover the new implants), your breast skin stretchiness, the shape of the current breasts, the location of the nipple vis a vis your under the breast fold and your chest diameter and slope, among others. In other words, a well done breast augmentation is not about sticking in the largest physically possible implant - it is about picking the best compromise implant which will match YOUR present breasts' and chest characteristics.

IF POSSIBLE, consider having silicone gel filled implants. They are lighter (cc per cc) than same volume saline implants. They ripple less and have a more natural feel than saline implants.

In summary, the most natural augmented breasts will result from a careful selection process you and your surgeon have to go though.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Breast implants for a natural look

The most natural looking results after breast augmentation occur in those patients who, along with their surgeon choose the appropriate size, shape and style for their unique breast and chest anatomy. The relationship of the pre-existing skin and breast tissue along with the size, shape and dimensions of the implant chosen is whats most important to get a "natural" result.

In general the more breast tissue you have to start with, the more natural the result may be. Choosing the right size implant, even in patients with considerable breast tissue to start with is important. In general if patients have very little soft tissue to "cover" a round implant the result may look less natural and more round.

For some patients with very little soft tissue thickness another option to consider is a shaped highly cohesive implant-sometimes called the "gummy bear" implant. One option in this category is the Allergan Style 410.

John E. Gross, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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.