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Background: As a device driven operation. breast augmentation has a variety of implants styles, shapes and sizes from which to choose. Understandably prospective patients think the implant chosen will result in the way the breast will look after surgery. While there is no doubt the implant has a major influence on the result, the natural features of the breasts make a contribution as well.

Shaped Anatomic Breast Implants Dr Barry Eppley Indianapolis copyThe introduction a few years of the anatomic or shaped breast implant has caught many patient’s attention. Often touted as creating a ‘natural’ breast augmentation result, the implant’s tear drop shape offers something different than the traditional round implant. Being only available as a silicone filled implant, its other noteworthy feature is that it has a textured non-smooth surface.

When looking at the anatomic breast implant it is important for the patient to understand what it’s advantages and disadvantages are. The primary purpose of the tear drop shape is to maximally ensure that the final breast augmentation result will not be too round or ‘unnatural’.  An unnatural breast augmentation result for some women is defined as an augmented breast that is as full on the upper half as it is full on the lower half. While some women prefer that result, many do not. Because the anatomic implant has its distinct shape, it is important that it does not move around or the breast will become deformed. Hence the purpose of the textured surface so the tissues adhere quickly to it and it becomes positionally stable of fixed into position.

Despite the benefits of the shaped implant, it has several relatively minor disadvantages. The textured surface make the implant’s shell twice as thick leading to a bit of a stiffer feeling implant. Because of tissue adherence to the textured surface, the breasts will not move much unlike natural breasts. Because the implant’s positioning is critical to the postoperative shape of the breast, its surgical placement is best done through an inframammary fold incision. Lastly, the cost of anatomic shaped breast implants will be higher than round smooth silicone breast implants.

Case Study: This 35 year-old female wanted larger breasts but was concerned they may look unnatural. She wanted a more natural looking augmentation that did not turn out like a big round breast shape. She specifically wanted shaped or ‘tear drop’ implants to address her breast shape concerns.

Jennifer Breast Augmentation results front viewJennifer Breast Augmentation results oblique viewUnder general anesthesia, textured anatomic shaped breast implants of 400cc size (Sientra) were placed through 4.5 cm inframammary incisions using a funnel insertion technique.

Jennifer Breast Augmentation results side viewEven at one week after surgery, she did not have the typical highly positioned breast implant look. At six weeks after surgery she had a much fuller size but a natural shape to her breasts. With her smaller initial breasts with fairly tight skin such a breast shape would not have been possible with traditional smooth round silicone implants.

Case Highlights:

1) Natural breast augmentation is both a function of implant size and shape.

2) An upper breast pole that is less full than the lower pole is the main description of a naturally looking breast augmentation.

3) Textured shaped implants are the best breast devices to help achieve the most natural look in breast augmentation.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

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