Women have different needs and goals for wanting breast augmentation. Aesthetic trends around obvious breast augmentation and subtle breast augmentation come and go, but in my practice, the majority of women are searching for a natural-looking size, cleavage, and silhouette or "side boob."
Most of my primary breast augmentation patients are vibrant, active women. They might just be starting their career, or a stay-at-home working mom, or social media influencer. I also operate on female executives and women in the health and wellness industry who want implants that won't negatively impact their lifestyle. While their aesthetic outcomes are all different, their collective desire is the same. They tell me,
"I want a natural-looking augmentation that compliments my lifestyle and doesn't scream "boob job".
We can all agree that women's breasts are as completely unique as the individuals themselves. Breast implant manufacturers take it into consideration when creating breast implant devices for plastic surgery. When you combine the three primary breast implant manufacturers Allergan (Natrelle breast implants), Johnson & Johnson (Mentor breast implants), and Sientra, you have thousands of possible combinations for type, size, and style of breast implants to create custom breast augmentation results.
This includes the two primary implant shapes: round breast implants and anatomic or "teardrop" breast implants.
Anatomic breast implants
An anatomic or shaped silicone implant is designed to mimic the teardrop shape of a natural breast. These implants give a natural contour to the breast with less upper pole fullness. Anatomically shaped implants are made of a more cohesive gel that keeps its shape against gravity.
Because anatomical implants do keep their shape against gravity they must be carefully placed in the correct orientation and keep their placement. If an anatomic implant rotates, it can result in the breast having a lopsided or distorted appearance. For this reason, anatomic implants ONLY come in a textured surface (much like fine-grit sandpaper). The textured surface keeps the implant in the correct orientation because the breast tissue adheres to the textured surface (much like velcro), preventing implant rotation.
To protect women's health, in 2019 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a recall on Allergan textured implants due to the growing risk of a condition called Breast Implant Associated-Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). This rare condition arises in the scar capsule surrounding textured implants. For this reason, most board-certified plastic surgeons have abandoned using all textured surface implants, including anatomical breast implants.
BIA-ALCL is not associated with round, smooth surface breast implants.
Teardrop Breast Augmentation Using Round Breast Implants
Fortunately, smooth round breast implants with a low to moderate profile and a less gummy gel can give a natural look very similar to anatomical implants. A low or moderate profile implant provides less upper pole fill. Most types of implants come in 3 different gel viscosities. The least viscous implants allow the gel to migrate to the lower pole with gravity. This combined effect will give a very similar appearance to an anatomic-shaped implant without a textured surface.
The "look" of an anatomic implant is popular for those wanting a more conservative look with less upper pole fill and a more natural, tear-drop shape. Given the risks of textured implants and BIA-ALCL, using a smooth, round, low to moderate profile implant with a less viscous gel gives a similar look without the risk.
Dr. John L. Burns Jr. MD, FACS is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and President of the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute, one of the largest plastic surgery group practices in the United States. Dr. Burns also serves as Medical Director at the EpiCentre Skin Care and Laser Center, Dallas' Premier Medical Spa. Dr. Burns dedicates his practice to aesthetic or cosmetic plastic surgery. Call (214) 515-0002 or email Info@DrJohnBurns.com to schedule a complimentary consult with Dr. Burns.