Round vs teardrop implants

Jun 3, 2021

Breast augmentation is the procedure of choice for women who have small breasts and are aiming for a larger and fuller appearance. This is the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), more than 299,715 women received this procedure in the United States. Over 98 percent of women who undergo this kind of cosmetic treatment are satisfied with the outcome, perhaps explaining its popularity. Surgeons have two options for completing this procedure (breast implants and fat transfer). Most breast enlargement surgeries (up to 85%) are completed using silicone implants. 15% of women choose to undergo their augmentation using saline implants.

Breast reconstruction, on the other hand, is a rebuilding procedure that is performed to help women who have faced the scourge of cancer feel whole again. The majority of breast cancer survivors choose to have their reconstruction completed using implants. However, plastic surgeons may also use natural tissue extracted from other parts of the patient’s body to perform the reconstruction.

Choosing the right implant from a variety

Selecting the right implant from a sea of variety can be a confusing and challenging process for breast surgery patients. One of the main considerations is the type of breast implant to be used. Implant texture and shape are also important considerations that can be confusing for many women. In this article, we help you breast implant shapes that are available for you.

Breast implant shapes

There are two main breast implant shapes available – round and teardrop. Each of these shapes is available in varying profiles and sizes to suit the needs of different women. Understanding the key differences, as well as the pros and cons, between teardrop and round implants is important so you can select the right one.

1. Round implants

Round implants tend to be more common among breast augmentation patients than tear dropped implants. These typically result in a distinctive round appearance with upper breast fullness. Because round implants are symmetrical, they are usually better suited for women who have a near-perfect natural breast shape, with minimal ptosis and a central placement of the nipple. The implant will then just emphasize the natural shape that the patient already has.

Are round breast implants for me?

You may be an excellent candidate for rounded breast implants if:

  • You have minimum breast sagging (ptosis)
  • You have a central nipple placement
  • You have a near-perfect breast shape that looks natural
  • You have breasts that are not too separated on the chest

Upon your initial consultation with our Phoenix plastic surgeon, the doctor will listen to your expectations and examine your breasts before discussing the suitability of this type of implant shape.

2. Teardrop implants

Also referred to as anatomical breast implants, these are becoming an increasingly popular choice among breast enlargement patients. Teardrop implants assume the shape of a teardrop – with a tapering upper part and a full lower half. This implant shape tends to mimic a natural breast appearance with a tapered and smooth upper pole that transitions to a fuller, realistic bottom contour. Because tear-dropped implants provide greater breast projection, they are a great choice for women who have mild to moderate breast sagging, tuberous breasts, and/or lowered nipple placement. These may also be a great choice if you have lower body fat or are looking for a realistic, natural breast appearance.

Are teardrop breast implants for me?

Teardrop breast implants may be ideal for you if:

  • You have a petite body shape with minimum breast tissue
  • You have mild breast sagging g
  • You have a low sitting nipple placement
  • You have breasts that are too separated on the chest
  • You have a short distance from the breast fold to the areola

Your Scottsdale plastic surgeon will examine your breasts and listen to your expectations before discussing the suitability of tear-dropped implants for your breast augmentation.

Round vs teardrop implants comparison

To better understand the differences between implant shapes, here is a more precise comparison based on their composition and appearance.

Rounded Implants Teardrop Implants
These constitute a smooth silicone shell that is filled with a fluid-like silicone gel, or sterile saline (salt-water) solution. These are made up of a silicone shell that is filled with a thick, more viscous silicone gel that tends to maintain its shape.
When a woman lies on her back, the fluid in a rounded breast implant will settle throughout the implant shell, creating a somewhat uniform, rounded look. However, when the woman stands up, the fluid will settle back to the bottom, resulting in a natural teardrop shape. Teardrop implants maintain their shape whether the woman is lying on her back or standing up. This is the reason why they are also referred to as ‘form-stable’ implants.
These have a rounded shape that provides a more lift and cleavage compared to tear dropped implants These assume an oval-like shape with a tapering upper part and larger bottom contour in order to emulate the sloping appearance of a natural breast


Teardrop vs round breast implants (pros and cons)

  Round Implants Teardrop Implants
  • These can look better with a fuller shape when the woman is lying down on her back.
  • Round implants are symmetrical and thus carry no risk of rotating
  • They are cheaper compared to anatomical implants  
  • These come in a shape that resembles natural breast appearance
  • Are more effective for alleviating breast sagging and lower nipple positioning
  • These are more versatile and can be made to look ‘natural’ or ‘fake’ by the plastic surgeon depending on your body types and goals for breast augmentation
  • They are associated with lower risk of capsular contracture (formation of scar tissue around the implant) compared to smooth round implants
  • They have a higher risk of bottoming out and capsular contracture compared to anatomical implants
  • They do not address breast sagging that well
  • They are usually not firm enough to reshape breasts that are tuberous in shape
  • These are asymmetrical shaped and thus come with the risk of rotating within the breast pocket, compromising the shape and appearance of the breast and necessitating corrective surgery
  • Teardrop implants come with a textured or rough textured service (in order to reduce the risk of rotating). This textured outer design can in turn lead to rippling or wrinkling of the implant within the breast pocket.
  • Teardrop implants tend to require a larger incision when placing the implant in the breast pocket, usually due to their shape and textured outer shell. This leads to an increased risk of notable scarring, as well as an extended recovery duration
  • Teardrop implants tend to cost more than rounded implants. Furthermore, the surgical procedure needed for their insertion is more complicated and takes more time.

Choosing the right breast implant

There are no studies proving that round implants are superior than shaped implants, or vice versa. In terms of the procedure, most plastic surgeons choose round implants because they tend to be easier to work with. However the needs of each patient are different and this must be put into consideration when selecting the most suitable breast implants. 

Your plastic surgeon will evaluate a number of factors to recommend the best implant shape for you:

  • Your chest shape and individual anatomy
  • Amount of breast tissue that you have
  • Your natural body type (petite, slim, muscular, or broad)
  • Positioning of your breast tissue (e.g. tuberous breasts)
  • Positioning of your nipple
  • Your level of breast sagging (ptosis)
  • The distance between your breasts on the chest wall
  • The distance between the breast fold and nipple
  • Your expectations for breast enlargement surgery

Typically, patients who want a fuller upper breast appearance go with round-shaped implants. Teardrop implants tend to be more commonly used for breast reconstruction surgery (following a mastectomy or lumpectomy)since there is minimal or no breast tissue remaining. Patients who prefer to have their implants positioned above the pectoral chest muscle can also benefit from this implant shape. The best way to figure out what implant shape will work great for you is to attend a consultation with your plastic surgeon.