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Breast Augmentation Understanding Breast Implant Profiles

     Breast augmentation is a popular cosmetic procedure that enhances breast size with the placement of silicone or saline implants. There are many important decisions a woman and her surgeon must make prior to starting the procedure, one of which is the implant profile to use.

Round implants which are more commonly used than contoured, or "teardrop," implants have a certain height when viewed from the side. This is known as a profile, or projection, because when placed in the breast pocket, the implants project outward from the chest wall. For any given volume of implant, a narrow base and smaller diameter translates to a higher profile.

Why Choosing the Right Profile is Important

Women considering breast augmentation often believe that implant size, or volume, is the only factor that will affect their desired result. However, implant profiles can significantly affect the outcome, particularly as the chosen profile relates to a woman's body type and her existing breast tissue. This complex interplay of factors often makes choosing an implant profile a technical process, but a surgeon can guide a patient's decision by recommending a profile based on her breast width, torso width, and other measurements.

Round implants are available in varying projections, including low, moderate, and, high profiles.

Low Profile Implants

Low profile implants project the least from the chest wall. They typically have a wide base and diameter, and are generally considered a good option for women with wide chest walls. These implants tend to produce more subtle results, though the outcome will depend largely on the amount of existing breast tissue. Low profile implants are not as commonly used in breast augmentations as moderate and high profile models.

Moderate Profile Implants

Moderate profile implants project modestly from the chest wall and have a medium-sized base. Breasts augmented with this type of implant tend to look more natural than those augmented with other profiles. Additionally, excess fullness in the top portion of the breasts (upper pole fullness) is limited.

Moderate profile implants work on many body types. This type of implant may be appropriate for a woman with a narrow chest wall who wants her torso to be more proportionate to her hips. A woman with a wider chest wall may also benefit from this profile style, or, for slightly more projection, she may opt for a moderate profile implant with a higher volume. Additionally, implants with moderate-plus profiles can help certain patients achieve more of a curve to the sides of the breasts.

High Profile Implants

High profile implants have the narrowest base of all profile options and project outward from the chest wall the most, which contributes to excessive upper pole fullness.

In women with wide chest walls, there is a possibility that a high profile implant will look obviously artificial, unless there is enough breast tissue to successfully disguise the implants. Women with narrow chest walls can benefit from high profile implants, particularly if a larger cup size without a wider appearance to the torso is the desired effect. These implants can also create a larger space between the breasts and tend to provide the least natural-looking results.

Consult an Experienced Plastic Surgeon

Consulting with one or more plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is the best way for a patient to learn which implant profile will best help her achieve her aesthetic goals. A surgeon with extensive experience in performing breast augmentation procedures can suggest the implant options that will suit a patient's body type and complement her existing breast tissue.

Additionally, a surgeon with a high level of skill will be able to more accurately and carefully dissect breast tissue to create the implant pockets that are critical for well-placed implants and long-lasting, optimal results.

Katie Perry is an online content editor in the Tampa Bay area. She posts articles about plastic surgery topics and procedures including breast augmentation, breast implants, and more.

Katie Perry is an online content editor in the Tampa Bay area. She posts articles about plastic surgery topics and procedures including breast augmentation, breast implants, and more.

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Katie Perry is an online content editor in the Tampa Bay area. She posts articles about plastic surgery topics and procedures including breast augmentation, breast implants, and more.

Posted on 2013-05-01, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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