Breast Implant Shape

Round vs. Teardrop

Implants are either teardrop-shaped or round. Round implants are shaped like a hamburger bun. Teardrop implants have greater fullness in the lower half and less fullness in the upper half.

figure7 4 implant shape Shape

Teardrop Implants

Because the breast has greater fullness toward the bottom, some plastic surgeons prefer teardrop implants. They feel that teardrop implants provide a more natural result. Other surgeons think that the teardrop shape makes no difference, because as the body heals, it forces the implant into a round shape regardless of how it started.

Because of their design, teardrop implants must be oriented with the fullest portion at the bottom of the breast. One problem with teardrop implants is that they may rotate following surgery. This results in a sideways appearing breast. To reduce the risk of rotation, teardrop implants are all textured, however risk of sideways rotation is still about 10-20%. If a teardrop implant rotates sideways or upside-down, surgery must be performed to straighten it out. Teardrop implants cost about $200 more than round implants. Because of these drawbacks, the few plastic surgeons who use teardrop implants tend to reserve them for women with extremely little or no breast tissue, as these women might otherwise appear too “round” in the upper half of their breasts. Most plastic surgeons find little cosmetic advantage in using teardrop implants, even in women with extremely little breast tissue. To avoid the “round” look in thin women, they lower the round implants until the upper half of the breast has an aesthetic shape.

Anatomic Implants

Teardrop implants were previously called “anatomic implants.” In response to a lawsuit against implant manufacturers alleging that the term “anatomic” created falsely elevated expectations for recipients, this term has been dropped in favor of the term “teardrop.”

Round Implants

Round implants have several advantages. They may rotate freely under the breast without aesthetic consequences. They may be textured or smooth. Their cost is lower. Because the contents gravitate to the lower pole of the implant when a woman stands, the lower pole will naturally become more full, thus negating the need for a teardrop implant.