Choosing the proper breast implant is the most challenging decision that women make when undergoing a breast augmentation. However, after proper in-person consultation, we can help walk you through the process and help you fully understand your options. Within this process, you must make several decisions and decisions that your body is making for you.
Frequently, women do not understand some of the anatomic issues or limitations that must be respected to achieve an ideal outcome.
An Analogy that Most Women can Understand
To better understand this issue, I have found it helpful to use an analogy that most women understand – shoes. For most adult women, their shoe size never changes based on their underlying skeletal and soft tissue anatomy. Two things women cannot readily control. This is also true with a patient’s breast width or what we have termed “breast size.” This is easily measured during an examination, much like a foot is measured before trying on shoes. The difference in this scenario is that we have the ability to widen the footprint if needed. This is essential to help create both improved cleavages and some “sideboob” to help reshape the torso and waist.
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If a patient chooses an ill-fitting shoe, there will be issues (blisters, pain, bone spurs), much like a breast augmentation. If the implant width is improperly matched to the patient’s anatomy, then there will be an imbalance leading to, in essence, an improper fit. The unique aspect of this is that a well-chosen implant can help create a better footprint than what a patient was born with – this is not possible with a patient’s shoe.
Understanding the Breast Implant Profiles
Where a patient has the choice, much like in shoes, is in the height of the heel of the adequately fitted shoe. Once we have decided on the goal breast width or “breast size,” then the patient has the chance to create the “look” she is desiring. This comes from the different profile that is akin to the heel of a shoe – creating more height, or in the case of a breast implant, more volume and projection creating a progressive rounder and fuller breast as the projection increases must like the size of the heel.
As we continue along this same logical path, a low profile implant is the lowest projecting implant available and similar to a flat soled shoe. This will fill the space or breast width but provide little anterior projection, leading to all options’ most natural. Very few patients considering this surgery choose this implant as it allows for a small change to the overall breast shape. Rarely, patients who are older and downsizing their implants may consider this option.
LOW PLUS PROFILE
This implant is like a kitten heel, where it provides some projection or fullness, but again along with a much more natural shape. Furthermore, the shoe must be of the proper width, but the heel is more gentle, leading to a more natural but more substantially projecting than the low profile implant. Patients who desire an undetectable, subtle augmentation are often candidates for this option.
The moderate profile implant is one of the most frequently chosen types of an implant as it provides a full but still natural result. Like an everyday heel that can be appropriate at work or play, the moderate implant leaves the patient with the greatest range of looks, depending on the bra or clothing chosen. This implant will still produce a teardrop shape but allow the patient to “play up” or “play down” their cleavage depending on the situation.
High profile implants begin to be showier in their appearance and more like a traditional high heel. This is less natural in its appearance and becomes a bit fuller with increasing projection and the implant’s presence. This leads to a fuller and slightly augmented look, but like high heels, sometimes this is less apparent on some women other than others. This is an excellent choice for patients who want a full upper pole but still not wanting the implant to be too obvious.
ULTRA HIGH PROFILE
This implant is the fullest and most projecting option and produces the most augmented look. This is much like a platform heel where there is no question as if a woman is wearing them. These are designed to be showy, but they must match the patient’s pre-existing anatomy like all other options. These implants will have the highest volume of any other options, just like the heels will have the most dramatic projection and show. This option is designed for the patient who wants an “obviously augmented” look. This is not a common choice for most women, but those who prefer this look are very happy with this option.
Like Choosing the Proper Shoes & Heels
Breast augmentation and implant choice are much like choosing the proper shoes and the heel that best fits your goals. Unfortunately, implants are not like shoes that you can change them depending on the circumstances or events.
Patients need to choose the implant that will best suit your goals in most aspects of your life. We will make every effort to find the implant that will be best suited to a specific patient’s goals. Choosing the best implant is a product of a detailed discussion during your consultation.
If you are interested in learning more about your options for breast augmentation or even a breast lift with an implant, call our San Diego office to schedule your in-person consultation at 858-638-9800.
*The content in this blog is developed to spread the awareness towards plastic surgery. Our blog is not intended to serve as a replacement for an actual in-office consultation with Dr. Marin. As such, the information within this blog reflects the unique cases of our individual patients.