Anatomic vs. Round Breast Implants

Silicone breast implants are commonly used in women who are looking for breast enhancement. There are basically two types of breast implants in relation to the shape of the implants-Round implants and Anatomic breast implants.
Round breast implants are more commonly used for breast augmentation as even if they rotate they still maintain the desired breast shape.

Anatomic-shaped (“teardrop”) implants, on the other hand offer less fullness of the upper breast for individuals with a tight skin envelope. Although they offer more upper fullness for individuals with a loose skin envelope. These prostheses are uniquely suited for individuals whose nipples are low on the breast and who do not want a formal breast lift to accompany augmentation.  Shaped implants always have a textured surface to prevent implant rotation.  They are available with both saline and silicone gel fill.

The difference between round and anatomic implants of the same size is undetectable in many individuals, therefore they generally produce a similar result. In the standing position, round implants assume an anatomic shape. Anatomic implants differ from round devices in texture also. To maintain their shape, anatomic implants are less fluid, more viscous, cohesive, or “form stable.” Their special “gummy bear” type texture ripples less than traditional silicone gel implants. Because of these unique properties, anatomically contoured devices are a superior choice for some cases. 
The factors that are considered when deciding on the implant type are:

  • Preference for the desired shape
  • Chest wall 
  • Skin characteristics
  • Breast shape before the implant placement 

Anatomic implants provide predictable shape and projection and are available in a sufficiently large variety of shapes and sizes to fit most combinations of breast shape, size, and skin elasticity very well.

Because shaped implants are less fluid, the upper portion of the implant (tapered end) when upright does not settle down gravitationally. For someone with a tighter skin envelope, a round implant will maintain the fullness of the upper breast in a standing position. But for someone with a relaxed skin envelope, the shaped implant maintains the fullness of the upper breast when standing better than most round silicone gel breast implants. Anatomically shaped implants may have a round base, an elliptical base with a horizontal axis for individuals with wide breasts or a broad chest, or an elliptical base with a vertical axis for tall individuals or for those desiring naturally sloping fullness of the upper breast.

One disadvantage of anatomic implants is that because they are less pliable, they cannot be passed through a small opening and properly oriented, so insertion through the armpit or a small areola may not be possible. Also in case of rotation the anatomic breast implant will give an undesirable shape to breasts. Whereas the disadvantage of round implants is that with higher profiles they produce a more voluptuous breast shape that is desirable for many, but they do not fit all breasts well. 

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