Shape Of Implants
Size is not the only issue to consider when discussing implants. A more important issue may be the shape of implants.
To get the safest and most natural-looking results, breast implants are made with a variety of features in mind including the feel, size and shape of implants.
Breast implants come in two shapes: round and contoured.
Round implants are the most common type of implant used. Many women choose round implants because they tend to provide the greatest amount of lift, fullness and cleavage. Some women, however, find the round implants too fake-looking and opt for more natural-shaped alternatives.
Contoured implants have a tear-drop shape to mimic the anatomical shape of the breasts. Contoured implants were originally developed for breast reconstruction but have become quite popular in augmentation surgery for women who want a more natural shape.
The best shape for the job is usually worked out between the surgeon and patient, and the variables they consider are:
- The amount of tissue the surgeon has to work with
- The patient’s anatomy
- Where the surgeon places the implant in the breast
The thing to bear in mind is that the placement of the implant has a far greater effect on the final look of the augmentation than the shape of the implant.
A capsule of scar tissue forms around the implant after surgery. This is a natural reaction of the body to protect itself from the introduction of a foreign object. The formation of this scar capsule is called capsular contracture.
In extreme cases, this scar capsule will result in a hardening of the breasts, which may be painful and require additional surgery.
Textured breast implants were created to reduce the chance of capsular contracture. The textured surface of these implants allows the scar tissue to adhere to the implant, hopefully decreasing the amount of scar tissue that grows.
In addition, the implant sticking to the scar capsule prevents it from moving around inside the breast. It is still debatable whether or not textured implants actually reduce the instances of capsular contracture, but evidence does indicate that textured implants have a greater tendency to rupture.
Smooth breast implants move around freely inside the capsule. This freedom can create a more natural movement in the overall breast; however, depending on the placement of the implant, it can sometimes create an undesirable side effect known as rippling (see the Risks section).
There are many variables that affect rippling, and the surgeon will guide the patient towards the right implant texture for her anatomy.