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Should I have a Round or a Teardrop Breast Implant?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

There is a lot of confusion in our community about the difference between round and “tear drop” or “anatomic” styles of breast implant.

Some surgeons claim that the different styles of implant can produce a different looking breast and the claim is often made that the “teardrop” style of implant produces a more natural looking breast.

Regrettably, this is not true.  At a recent meeting of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons in San Francisco, over 2000 plastic surgeons in the audience were shown photographs of women with various styles of implants.  There was an electronic voting system whereby surgeons could state whether they believe the patient had a round or a teardrop style of implant.  The surgeons got it right only 45% of the time!

So, if even plastic surgeons are unable to tell whether a patient has a round or a teardrop style of implant, could a patient really tell the difference.  The answer is of course NO.  But why is this so?

These days most breast implants are placed behind the pectoral muscle.  This muscle exerts pressure on the upper part of the implant so that even a round implant will tend to have a teardrop look.  Furthermore, teardrop implants often do not stay in position.  They can flip over and rotate so that the fuller part of the implant is in the upper part of the breast causing a distortion.  In fact tear dropped style implants have a much higher re-operation rate than round implants as they often require repositioning.

But the most compelling reason not to use a teardrop style of implant is that they have been linked with a serious and sometimes fatal condition known as ALCL (anaplastic large cell lymphoma).  This is a cancerous disease of the capsule surrounding the breast implant and occurs only in implants with a textured surface (all anatomical style implants have a textured surface).  Although the incidence of this disease is considered to be rare, the most recent figures from NZ indicate that it is as high as 1 in 6600 cases.

Following this meeting in the United States the surgeons in the audience were surveyed and only 15% said that they would ever again use an anatomical implant!

Click here to read more about Breast Augmentation with Implants at Avenue Plastic Surgery.

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