Dr. Michael Workman, M.D. from the Workman Center of Plastic Surgery in Vancouver, WA; Clackamas, OR; and Tri-Cities, WA talks about the difference between the round, smooth implants (non-shaped) and the shaped implants.

Non-Shaped, Round Breast Implants

Let’s take a look at the non-shaped, round breast implants. Non-shaped breast implants are smooth and you can’t feel any texture. The surface is very smooth. The overall shape from both the back and the from the front is essentially round. If we put the implant on its side, however, it’s more like a half-circle. It’s essentially a round, smooth implant.

High & Low Profile Breast Implants

Now implants come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Low profile implants aren’t raised as much in the middle. They tend to look much more like a pancake. The shape, however, is round from the front and from the back, but not from the side.

At The Workman Center for Plastic Surgery, we tend to favor the higher profile, round, smooth implants, rather than the low profile. In our experience, it typically gives us a nicer looking breast, especially from the side.

Imagine we have a flat implant and underneath your breast tissue augmenting it. It will tend to give us a flatness in the center portion of the breast, depending upon how much breast tissue you have. Whereas, if we use the higher profile, or rounder implant from the side it will give us a much rounder or a much more aesthetic, nicer looking breast.

Breast Implant Textures

The next thing we need to talk about is textures. With a textured implant, if you rub your finger along the surface, it feels a little like velcro. The texture grips so it won’t move or shift at all when it’s inside your body. That is an important feature with this type of implant because it isn’t a round shape, and were it to shift, for instance, you could end up with a very misshapen breast. Anytime we have an implant that isn’t round, the vertical dimension is higher than the horizontal or vice versa, we have to go with texturing.

The reason I personally don’t like texturing is the implant can shift within the pocket. The textured shaped implants were very popular back in the 90’s. Allergan had an implant called the 468 Teardrop that was very popular when it first came on the market, however, subsequently, it’s become much less popular due to adverse effects or complications associated with the implant. They include rotation, there are instances where the textured surface caused some irritation within the breast.

Having said that like anything else in plastic surgery there are good surgeons who use a variety of techniques. There’s nothing wrong with using a shaped implant that’s textured. I just feel that there is a lower complication rate and we get a nicer looking shape with the round, smooth.

“Gummy Bear” Breast Implants

Regarding what is inside the implant, our practice typically uses what’s called the 5th generation or “gummy bear” implant. All that means is that the implant is very cohesive so that if we cut the shell and squeeze it, the gel that would come out, but goes back in. It is form stable and, very similar to a gummy bear, it maintains its shape. We probably use that on 95% of our patients and that gives us the best control. I think we get the best results for our patients.

Get A Free Breast Implant Consultation

Contact Dr. Workman’s office today to find out if you’re a candidate for breast implants and discuss all available options.