High Profile Breast Implants
High profile implants are very popular in breast augmentation surgery these days. Should you get them? That depends. When people talk about breast implants they usually refer to the size of the implant in “cc’s” or cubic centimeters. This is a measure of the implant’s volume. Volume is obviously very important because it determines how big of a final result you will have. Beyond size, you must consider shape. There are several important factors to look at when choosing an implant. In order to have a result that looks natural you must have an implant that is no wider than the width of your natural breast. If an implant is too wide its’ edge may be visible and easily palpable on the side of your chest. Alternatively if a wider implant is forced into a narrower pocket the implant may distort and make a funny looking breast (which is not funny). What if you choose a 500 cc implant for your augmentation by trying implants in the office and find that the width of the implant is greater than the width of your breast? Do you have to settle for a smaller size or settle for funny looking breasts? Fortunately not. High profile implants were invented for people like you!
A high profile implant is designed to have a narrower diameter than a normal implant with the same volume. The volume that previously made the implant wider now makes it thicker to project more from the chest. So if you want a higher volume augmentation than your breasts will allow with standard profile implants (usually called “moderate profile”) then this may be the way to go. For example, a 500 cc Mentor moderate profile gel implant is 15.2 cm wide and 3.6 cm thick. The high profile 500 cc implant is 13.2 cm wide and 5.3 cm thick. So that translates into the high profile implant being ¾ inch narrower, but it is 5/8 inch thicker.
High profile implants tend to work well for women with narrow chests and not a lot of breast tissue that want a large size increase. They can also work well for women with deflated appearing breasts that have a lot of skin, but not enough volume. In that scenario the high profile implant packs in more volume than a moderate profile implant with the same width. For example, let’s say you have breast that are 14 cm wide. A moderate profile that may fit is the 350 cc gel implant that is 13.5 cm wide with 3.1 cm of projection. What if your skin is deflated after breast feeding (post lactational involution L) and 350 cc is not enough volume? The high profile implant with a 13.5 cm width is 550 cc in volume and projects 5.5cm. This may give you enough volume to get you a good result. However, if you have not filled out the skin enough with a high profile implant that fits you then the next thing to consider is a breast lift (mastopexy).
Another way to look at it is from the perspective of shape. When you tell us about your goals, we will ask what sort of shape you want. Do you want a more rounded, full upper breast? This may not be natural looking, but instead looks augmented. Do you want a more gradual slope to the upper half of the breast, which looks more natural? There is not a right answer it just depends on the look you are going for. If you want a fuller upper breast (rounded slope), we will lean towards using a higher profile implant because it projects more. If you want a more natural upper breast (flatter slope) I may use a lower profile implant. These are not absolute rules, however. Your goals, the width of your breast, the amount of skin, the elasticity of the skin, the amount of breast tissue and the degree of sagginess must all be considered when choosing the implant volume and profile. The decision can be complex. During your consultation, we will help you make the best decision for your unique circumstances. If you find this article helpful, Tweet it to your friends or Like It on our Facebook page!
Click here to see Breast Augmentation Before and After Images