Just when you think you have finally settled on your breast augmentation specifics – saline versus silicone, and the perfect number of ccs – the question of round versus anatomical implant shape comes up. While you are aware that multiple factors will come in to play in the final appearance of your breast augmentation results: breast size, natural shape, tissue thickness, skin elasticity, breast symmetry, and unique physical attributes. However, does implant shape really matter on your final results? The answer may surprise you – read on to find out why.
The Differences Between Round and Anatomical Implants
A Difference in Projection
The major difference between anatomical and round implants is the ‘peak’, which is commonly thought of as the point of maximal projection. With an anatomical implant, surgeons will place the peak a bit off-center, positioned at a slightly low level within the breast pocket. Ideally, this peak will be immediately behind the patient’s nipple/areola. As a round implant has no peak, there is no specific angle required during placement, with gravity bringing the breast a natural-looking shape.
A Difference in Potential Complications
Complications arise should an anatomical implant shift (malrotation) within the breast pocket after placement. This will cause the peak to suddenly rotate outside of the areola region, causing breast distortion, looking unusual and requiring a breast augmentation revision to correct. While not extremely common, malrotation does occur in roughly 14% of all breast augmentation patients. Round implants are perfectly symmetric; therefore, rotation of an implant will have absolutely zero effect on the breast shape.
A Difference in Cost
Let’s face it, the price tag of implants can create a big incentive for many women to lean towards one type of implant over another. There is a substantial cost difference between round and anatomically shaped implant. In the United States, shaped implants are significantly costlier, sometimes even double the price of round implants. Add to this the slight risk of malrotation coupled with a potential breast augmentation revision, anatomical implants pose to take a larger chunk out of a woman’s wallet.
A Difference in Appearance?
Researchers and surgeons have been looking into the aesthetic differences between identical round and anatomically breast implants for years. In a recent study, published in the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 15 experienced plastic surgeons and 15 plastic surgery nurses were asked to determine a woman’s implant shape solely by looking at her post-op photographs. Could they tell the difference?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. In this study, these professionals were unable to distinguish between the women who received anatomical implants and those who chose the round implants. The study authors concluded, “The use of anatomically shaped implants is not justified because, besides having a higher cost, there is a risk of malrotation, with no benefit over round prostheses,”.
Do these findings mean anatomically shaped implants are not right for anyone? Certainly not; many women will choose anatomical implants, for varied reasons, and love their results for years to come. However, the best way to decide on an implant shape is with the help of a board certified plastic surgeon. Houston’s top breast augmentation surgeon, Dr. Paul Vitenas, brings close to 30 years of dedicated experience to each patient. Through his innate sense of physical proportion and knowledge of cutting-edge breast augmentation techniques, Dr. Vitenas can help make your choice in breast implant type and shape a little bit easier.
Call Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery to schedule your free breast augmentation consultation today. Contact a patient coordinator at (281) 407-7428 or fill out our online contact us form.