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Round vs. Teardrop Breast Implants

Every year brings new products to the forefront in aesthetic surgery, including the implants used in breast augmentation. New shapes, sizes, and forms of breast implants are heavily promoted to plastic surgeon and to the public – but do they deliver as promised? As an example, “teardrop” breast implants are often discussed in online forums, beauty magazines, or the media. The concepts presented are appealing and geared to “push the buttons” in potential breast augmentation patients.

Dr. Thomas Wiener, our board-certified plastic surgeon, feels that his patients deserve straight answers, and does not want them to fall prey to the inaccurate ideas promoted by breast implant manufacturers through the media. While every manufacturer has the right to drive higher sales of a product, it is important that consumers have accurate facts.

Implant Size and Shape: What Matters.

The implant placed in a breast augmentation IS important – but more accurately in size and projection to look natural with the body structure, rather than a differently shaped option. The breast shape after augmentation is determined, in large part, by the natural anatomical structure of the breasts of the individual patient – not the shape of the implant. Studies have revealed that there is surprisingly little difference in the final appearance of teardrop implants when compared with round breast implants. Why? The natural weight of the implant within the breast takes on a natural tear-drop shape without the need to use a specially-designed implant.

As proof of this fact, a study was undertaken in which plastic surgeons were asked to look at images of breast implant patients and determine whether the implants used were round or anatomical. This set of highly-skilled professionals were unable to determine which type of implant was used.

In some cases, there is a legitimate reason to use an anatomical, or “teardrop” implant, such as in certain breast reconstruction procedures in which the tissue coverage is limited. Generally, the use of round implants is a superior choice, and when performed properly and with the most advanced surgical techniques, produces soft, natural-looking breasts.

Why Round Implants?

Round silicone implants are not always round – the silicone gel within the implant naturally falls lower in the implant when the body is upright – it is a simple matter of gravity. This naturally produces a slightly teardrop shape. When lying down, the implant looks rounder, which is exactly what natural breast tissue does. So why the hype?

The Story Behind Teardrop Implants

Every industry is focused upon finding new ways to sell new products, and breast implants are no different. Unfortunately, women may believe the hype, and then want to request the latest implants -- especially when they are given cozy, friendly-sounding names like “gummy bear implants.”

Anatomical Implants Can Pose a Risk.

These latest versions of “anatomical implants are typically more expensive, and in the end, may lead to problems. Should the implant shift, a patient may develop oddly-shaped breasts (with the higher volume area of the implant now sitting on the side rather than bottom of the breast), which will require breast implant revision surgery. A round implant does not have this problem.

A Patient-Focused Practice

While Dr. Thomas Wiener is always interested in new developments that could benefit his patients, he uses round implants, as they achieve beautiful results for his patients -- with no need to make them invest in the “latest and greatest.” When a recently-released product comes on the market, he evaluates whether it will truly provide a patient with an added benefit or not – in this case, it is a “no.”

When even plastic surgeons cannot tell the difference between round or anatomical implants when viewing images of breast augmentation patients, it is truly revealing. When a plastic surgery practice is focused on performing treatments that are in the best interest of the patient, it seems logical that the surgeon would recommend the use of round implants that do not pose the risk of rotating out of position, are softer, more natural in feel, and cost a patient less.

When a Patient is the Primary Concern

Dr. Wiener places his patients and their needs above all other concerns – including helping them understand the truth about the various new products and systems coming on the market. While many new developments in aesthetics are exciting and truly produce better results, this is not true in every case. We are concerned about our patients and want to provide them with a result that meets their expectations.

Rather than getting on the bandwagon and trying to sell a patient on a more expensive style of implant, we do what we feel will benefit them most. That includes being completely truthful about the subject of latest generation anatomical implants and explaining the hype and media. We believe our patients are better served with round implants that mimic natural breast tissue, whether standing, sitting, or lying down. Call us and schedule a private consultation.

Dr. Thomas Wiener, MD, FACS is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in Breast Augmentation, Breast Revision, Liposuction,
and Mommy Makeover.Dr. Wiener has serves Houston, Clear Lake, and Pearland, Texas.

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