While most breast augmentation patients go directly to saline vs silicone when they think about breast implant options, an often overlooked option is breast implant shape.
There are two basic breast implant shapes to choose from: round and teardrop breast implants. In this article, we’ll be discussing both options, including the pros and cons of each and how to know which shape will work best for you.
Breast Implant Shape Options
As stated above, there are two basic options when it comes to breast implants: round and teardrop.
Round breast implants, as their name implies, are perfectly round or spherical. When you lay them flat on the table, they are slightly curved on the top and flat on the bottom. If you measure a round implant from edge-to-edge at any point, you’ll get the same diameter.
Teardrop breast implants (also sometimes known as anatomical implants, shaped implants, or textured implants), on the other hand, are not symmetrical. Instead they have a distinct shape. They are fuller or thicker on one side. Many say this provides a more natural shape to the breast, though this really depends on the individual and her anatomy.
These different breast implant options each have their benefits and drawbacks. To be sure, there are certain people who would only look great with one or the other. It’s your surgeon’s job to help determine what implant is best for you based on your anatomy and desired outcome.
To get a better understanding of what each shape option looks like on a real person, take a look at our round and teardrop implant before and after photos.
Pros and Cons of Round Breast Implants
PRO – Round implants can be great for women who want more fullness on the upper poles of their breasts.
CON – Round implants are commonly made of saline, which some patients and surgeons say is not as natural-looking. It is not infrequently said that silicone gel looks more like natural breast tissue than saline.
PRO – If round implants rotate within the breast pockets, you’ll never know. This is because these implants are symmetrical on all sides, so it makes no difference what direction they are oriented. This goes for during the breast augmentation surgery itself and afterward in your everyday life.
CON – Round breast implants are not ideal if you have drooping nipples that point downward because sometimes, the nipple will end up lower than the fullest center point of a round implant. This gives an odd appearance and doesn’t do much to “lift” the nipples higher, which would ideally make them look perkier and more youthful.
PRO – Most round implants are less expensive than teardrop implants.
CON – Round implants tend to ripple more than teardrop shaped implants, and in some patients, this can mean the implants will be overall more visible beneath the skin.
Pros and Cons of Teardrop Breast Implants
PRO – Teardrop breast implants tend to work really well for women who are very small chested and don’t have a lot of natural breast tissue, especially on the lower poles of their breasts (the bottom halves). The teardrop shape of teardrop breast implants means that the lower poles will be pushed out further with the extra silicone located there.
CON – Teardrop implants tend to be more expensive than round implants
PRO – Teardrop implants are known for giving a quite natural shape and look to a woman’s breasts. With the fullness they have toward the base, the overall shape mimics a woman’s natural contours.
CON – Teardrop shaped implants are designed with a special outer texture so that they do not rotate within the breast implant pockets. However, from time to time, teardrop implants may rotate. When this happens, surgery is sometimes necessary because you certainly don’t want upside down teardrop implants — it is highly noticeable and uncomfortable.
PRO – Teardrop implants are ideal for women who have some drooping and sagging. The special teardrop shape can “lift” nipples that have a tendency to point downward.
CON – Silicone teardrop implants pose more of an issue if a rupture occurs. If this happens, they need to be removed quickly as the rupture may have a negative interaction with surrounding tissue. Unfortunately, it can be harder to tell if a rupture has occurred with teardrop silicone implants. With round saline breast implants, on the other hand, a rupture is immediately obvious as the saline will simply drain from the implant shell (and be absorbed safely by the body).
Gummy Bear Breast Implant Shape Options
Gummy bear implants are made of silicone gel, but the gel is slightly different from typical silicone gel because it is more cohesive. The term “gummy bear” is really just a nickname for this special cohesive type of silicone gel, which is more form stable than traditional silicone gel.
Being more cohesive or form stable means that, if you cut into a gummy bear implant, the gel will not “melt” out or lose its shape very easily — very much like cutting into a real gummy bear. The interior is certainly soft and “gel-like”, but it’s not thin like saline or as “gooey” as traditional silicone gel.
This is sometimes good for individuals who don’t have a lot of breast tissue and skin that will be going over their implants because typical silicone gel implants and saline implants tend to slightly wrinkle more and may show through the skin if there’s not a lot of breast tissue to cover them up.
Gummy bear implants are available in both round shapes and teardrop shapes — though they are usually seen as textured implants with a teardrop shape.
Contact Us to Schedule Your Consultation
Find out more about different breast implant shape options when you schedule a private breast augmentation consultation appointment with double board certified plastic surgeon Dr. David Sieber. We look forward to hearing from you!