Breast Implant ProfilesYou will need to choose more than the volume of the implant. There are also considerations of profiles and shapes.
What is meant by Implant Profiles? There are now many choices for breast implants.
It is good to have choices, but sometimes this can be a little confusing. If you are considering breast augmentation surgery that will involve the placement of a breast implant, you will need to consider more than just the optimum volume of the implant. There are also important considerations of profile and shape.
When plastic surgeons talk about the profile of a breast implant, they refer to how wide the base of the implant is for a given volume. Consider three implants with the same volume that have different base widths.
The implant on the left is a low-profile device. It is more spread out and doesn’t project as far forward as a higher-profile device. The implant on the right is a high-profile device, which means that it has a relatively narrow base for its volume and tends to thrust forward to a greater degree. The implant in the middle is a medium-profile device, which represents the middle ground.
HOW THE MANUFACTURERS DESCRIBE BREAST IMPLANT PROFILES
The manufacturers of breast implants have different ways to describe the profile of their implants. In the Allergan series of implants the lowest-profile device is style 10, the medium-profile device is style 15 and the highest-profile device is style 20. If the implants have a rough or textured surface an extra “1” is placed in front to signify this (110, 115, and 120).
The names used by Mentor to describe their implants are somewhat confusing. Moderate classic refers to their lowest-profile device; Moderate plus refers to their intermediate-profile device, and High refers to their high-profile device. Mentor implants also come in smooth and textured versions.
Sientra is the most recent company to sell breast implants in the United States. They list their projections as low, moderate, and high.
HOW WILL THE VARIOUS PROFILES AFFECT MY BREAST?
As a general rule, it is wise to consider the natural base width of your breast and choose an implant that will fit inside this dimension.
This will lead to the most natural result and avoid a situation where the implant creeps out past the side of the breast, which can lead to visibility of the implant edge.
As with any generalization, there are exceptions to the rule I have just mentioned regarding the base of the breast.
Some women have breasts that have unusually narrow bases, in which case it is artistically desirable to enlarge the base dimension of the breast with a wider based implant. This can be accomplished, but only if your surgeon has a repertoire of relatively advanced techniques that will enable a release of the base of the breast and proper camouflage of the implant.
A high profile implant will allow a surgeon to use the maximum volume while respecting the breast base width.
There will also be a greater degree of fullness in the upper portion of the breast. Since I am a naturalist I prefer a breast that is not overly full in its upper portion, but there are some patients who desire this look. If you opt for a high profile implant, I would generally recommend that the implant should be positioned under the pec muscle, as this will soften the transition at the upper portion of the breast. Except in special circumstances I would not recommend that you decide on placing the implant above the muscle, as the will be a very abrupt transition at the upper portion of the breast.
In my practice I have made the greatest use of high-profile implants in my breast reconstruction patients.
Usually I combine these implants with a procedure to give a natural curvature to the lower pole of the breast, along with fat transfer to soften the transition in the upper portion of the breast.
With the availability of anatomical, form-stable implants in the United States market, I am using far fewer high-profile implants than in the past.
I have found that the form-stable implants (also called “gummy bear” implants) have led to very natural results for my breast reconstruction patients.
These are implants that have a relatively wide base for their volume.
This means that the implant will not thrust as far forward as the equivalent-volume higher-profile implant.
Who would be the ideal candidate for this type of implant?
I have found the lower-profile breast implants to be particularly helpful for patient who have a relatively wide natural base to their breasts, but who do not want to add a large amount of volume to their breasts. In this case intermediate or high-profile implants will be too narrow for the breast and will not fill out the breast properly. Since the lower-profile implants have a wider base, there will be a better balance.
INTERMEDIATE-PROFILE IMPLANTS AND THEIR ROLE IN BREAST SURGERY
The majority of my patients choose intermediate-profile breast implants for their surgery.
This reflects the taste of the patients who come to see me, who tend to place a priority on obtaining a natural result. Medium-profile implants fill out the breast well, but don’t give an “overdone” look, especially when they are placed under the pec muscle.
A CAREFUL ANALYSIS OF YOUR GOALS AND PREFERENCES IS KEY TO OBTAINING AN EXCELLENT LONG-TERM RESULT
In my practice, we emphasize the importance of understanding your taste and preferences. This understanding, combined with a careful dimensional analysis of your breasts’ structure and form, allows us to tailor our recommendation to your needs. The availability of breast implants with a variety of projections and shapes has been helpful to this process.
Learn More About Breast Augmentation Surgery
When it comes to breast implant surgery, there is a lot more that goes into it than deciding on the size. During a private consultation at his breast surgery practice, Dr. Cook reviews all aspects of breast enhancement surgery, including implant profile, implant shape and more.
Dr. Cook has two convenient locations in Chicago and Winnetka and is pleased to serve patients from throughout Chicago’s Northern Suburbs and Gold Coast.
Seeing Is Believing
Browse before and after photographs of Dr. John Q. Cook’s Chicago breast surgery patients.