Round vs. Teardrop Shaped Breast Implants

Posted June 29, 2012 in Breast Augmentation, Breast Implant Options, Home

With the introduction of high-strength, highly cohesive, gummy-bear, silicone gel breast implants comes the ability to make breast implants with an intrinsic teardrop shape. Since the “ideal” breast has a teardrop shape, a breast implant that mimics this shape seems ideal, but is it?

Teardrop Shaped Breast Implants

Teardrop Shaped Breast Implants give Plastic Surgeons the ability to better influence not only the size, but to a limited extent, the shape of the breast too. By preferentially adding volume to the lower pole, a flat breast can become more teardrop shaped. By altering the vertical and horizontal diameter of the breast implant, a better match for taller and wider chests is possible.

Teardrop Shaped Breast Implants Before and After Photos

Breast augmentation with teardrop shaped breast implants.

Breast Augmentation Before and After Photos using shaped breast implants.

The Breast Augmentation shown above was performed with Teardrop Shaped Breast Implants. These particular breast implants are taller than they are wide to better fit a taller torso. The teardrop shape allows for a gradual increase fullness from the upper aspect down to the lower breast. The asymmetrical cross-section allows more augmentation at the base, without adding excess width. Enhanced filling in the lower pole allows for enhanced projection beneath the nipple and better definition of the curve below the breasts. The importance of this is greatest when there is very little native breast tissue. The teardrop shaped breast implants pictured above were placed via an incision in the inframammary fold (the crease beneath the breast).

Round Breast Implants

Round Breast Implants can also give a teardrop shaped Breast Augmentation. Round breast implants add volume to the upper and lower pole of the breasts. When the pre-surgical breast is flat up top, but has fullness in the lower pole, placing a round breast implant can get a teardrop shaped breast augmentation. The best results for round breast implant breast augmentation are seen when the breast implant is placed behind the pectoralis major muscle (submuscular breast augmentation).

Submuscular Breast Augmentation with Round Breast Implants

The pectoralis major muscle helps to taper the augmentation in the upper pole of the breast. This results in a smoother transition from chest wall to breast, and helps minimize the abrupt half-a-coconut appearance more often seen in subglandular breast augmentation – when the breast implants is placed in front of the muscle.

Submuscular Breast Augmentation Before and After Pictures – Round Breast Implants

Submuscular Breast Augmentation with Smooth Round Breast Implants

Breast Augmentation Before and After Pictures: Submuscular breast augmentation with smooth round breast implants. Notice the smooth transition from chest to breast at the top of the breast. The abrupt, well- defined transition is saved for the lower pole of the breast.

The above patient has a small amount of breast tissue before her Breast Augmentation. By placing a smooth round breast implant behind the muscle, a larger and teardrop shaped breast is created. An abrupt, sexy curve is maintained along the bottom of the breast. When enhanced upper pole fullness is desired, a pushup bra can be used to make the upper breast more full or even round.

Subglandular Breast Augmentation with Round Breast Implants

If enough breast tissue exists in front of the muscle, it is possible to get a teardrop shaped breast augmentation with round breast implants placed in front of the muscle. However, when less breast tissue is present, the shape of the implant begins to dominate. This is most often seen in female body builders. Since they have very little body fat, and breast tissue, there is very little to disguise the breast implant.

Female body builders, who have had breast augmentation, often have the breast implants placed in front of the muscle. This subglandular placement minimizes breast implant motion during competition, when the chest muscles are flexing maximally. The result of breast augmentation in front of the muscle can be seen monthly on the covers of muscle and fitness magazines, i.e. fairly round breasts.

They go by various less than flattering names including the “fake look” or “bolt ons.” The main problem is that the chest of a body builder is both overdeveloped, and lacking. The chest muscle is large; however, the breast tissue is smaller than the average woman’s. The combination results in the need to use larger breast implant volumes under thinner “soft tissue” coverage, and makes for rather obvious breast implants. In this situation, rounder implants give rounder results, and this can happen, to a lesser extent, even when the breast implant is placed underneath the muscle.

Submuscular Breast Augmentation with Round Breast Implant (Thin Coverage) Before and After Pictures

Submuscular Breast Augmentation with thin "soft tissue" coverage.

Submuscular Breast Augmentation with thin “soft tissue” coverage.

In the above patient, a smooth round breast implant was placed behind a thin pectoralis major muscle. With thinner soft tissue coverage, the upper pole of the breast can become more abrupt. In many cases, a teardrop shaped implant can provide a smoother transition.

Subglandular Breast Augmentation with Round Breast Implant (Thin Coverage)

With the Breast Implants in front of the muscle, there is less “soft tissue” coverage. The result is an even more obvious breast implant, and the larger the implant, the more obvious the augmentation. There can be advantages to this technique, and the tradeoffs may be worthwhile when evaluated on an individual basis.

For body builders, placing the breast implant in front of the muscle minimizes the deformity seen with flexion, and this is good for competition judging. Prepectoral placement also allows for lower placement on the chest, which can sometimes obviate, or at least delay, the need for a breast lift with breast augmentetion.

Subgladular Breast Augmentation with Round Breast Implant (Thin Coverage) Before and After Pictures

Submuscular Breast Augmentation with Round Breast Implant (Thin Coverage) Before and After Pictures

Submuscular Breast Augmentation with Round Breast Implant (Thin Coverage) Before and After Pictures

The above patient had her breast implants placed in front of the muscle via a periareolar incision. In her case, the risk of a flexion deformity was minimized, and a breast lift was not necessary. By placing the breast implant in front of the muscle, the implant could be placed at the inframammary fold (lower than the lower edge of her well developed pectoralis muscle) to fill the lower pole of the breast and avoid a double-bubble deformity. A dual-plane approach could provide similar positioning, but with a greater risk of flexion deformity. The cosmetic result could be enhanced with a teardrop shaped implant, or submuscular placement for a woman who is not a body building competitor.

Breast Augmentation Options

Breast Augmentation has evolved a great deal over the last 50 years. There are many options available to you in terms of incisions, breast implants and breast implant placement. While this blog, and my other websites, are designed to give you a good idea what the options are, they cannot take the place of a well thought out, in person, consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. If you are considering Breast Implants seek a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with a broad experience in multiple techniques of Breast Augmentation.

I realize this blog reaches around the country and the world. Referrals from friends, family or your primary doctor should be coupled with a visit to the agencies in your area that license physicians and surgeons and your National Plastic Surgery Professional Societies. In the US, just click on what you want to do:

Check if your doctor is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
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