While size tends to get the most attention, other characteristics of the breast implant, such as its profile shape and base shape have an important role in the final look and aesthetic outcome. Each body type and breast shape can indicate a different choice of breast implants. For achieving the breast aesthetics you are after, your surgeon will evaluate your personal body characteristics and measure different aspects of your breast area.
Breast implants arrive in a variety of surfaces, materials, and shapes. A single, ideal implant that is suitable for every primary breast augmentation does not exist (1). This explains the need for a wide range of options.
In this article we will explain why there is a need for a range of implant base shapes, how surgeons know which base shape is best for each patient and why a good base shape selection is important.
At POLYTECH we offer more than 2,000 breast and body-contouring implant options for greater personal choice, preferences, and medical needs.
Understanding the basic components of a breast implant
Before explaining what the breast implant base shape is, make sure you are familiar with the breast implant basics:
- Breast implant size: The breast implantsize refers to the volume of a breast Implant, normally expressed in ml or cc.
- Breast implant shell: The breast implant shell is composed of different layers of silicone elastomer, with a special barrier layer to reduce and prevent silicone diffusion.
- Breast implant filling: The breast implant filling refers to the material that fills the interior of the implant’s shell. The most common implant filling is silicone: highly cohesive silicone gel for long-term implantation. Another option is saline (sterile salt water).
POLYTECH also offers the unique B-lite®: lightweight breast implants, up to 30% lighter weight achieved by enhancing the silicone gel with hollow microspheres.
- Breast implant surface: The breast implant surface is the outermost layer of an implant shell. At POLYTECH we offer four breast implant surfaces:
- POLYsmoooth™: our standard smooth surface.
- MESMO®: our fine-microtextured implant surface.
- POLYtxt®: our microtextured surface.
- Microthane®: our micropolyurethane foam covered implant shell.
Let's now focus on breast implant shape!
The shape of a breast implant is a result of two main factors: the shape of its base and the shape of its profile. An implant profile can be anatomical (teardrop) or round:
have a teardrop shaped profile, and can have a round base, or an oval-short or an oblong base.
have a round base and a round profile (like a dome).
The breast implant base shape:
At POLYTECH we offer anatomical implants with three base shapes:
- Replicon®: a round base with an anatomical (or teardrop) profile
- Option®: a short base with an anatomical (or teardrop) profile
- Optimam®: an oblong base with an anatomical (or teardrop) profile
Why do we offer breast implants with different base shapes?
For the surgeon, being able to choose the breast implant shape to match the patient's body characteristics is essential to achieving an aesthetically pleasing results, particularly if the patient desires a natural look (2).
We now see fashion brands offering designs to complement petite, curvy or tall body frames rather than a standard "one cut fits all" option. The breast implant industry has been accommodating this diversity and aware of its importance for a much longer time.
When it comes to breast implants, surgeons need to choose a size and shape that fits the patient's body frame. Based on each patient's proportions, a different base shape can be recommended. For example: a thin, tall patient may benefit from an implant with oblong base), whereas a more curvy body shape may benefit from an implant with round base).
The importance of the appropriate choice of implant base becomes even clearer, if we consider that 40-44% of patients present asymmetric shape of the breast (2).
How do surgeons choose the best base shape for each patient
Surgeons use different methods to measure and calculate the best breast implant base shape for each patient.
A good example is the “Y-Number”, a calculation method developed by Dr. José Luis Martín del Yerro from Spain.
The calculation considers the patient’s breast footprint and body type. It correlates the sternal notch-to-nipple distance with the thoracic perimeter and helps to identify the shape of the optimal breast implant base for the patient. The Y-Number calculation result will suggest if a patient's implants should have a round, short or oblong base. (3)
Trusting your surgeons’ advice
Now that you know how many factors play a role in implant selection, you know how choosing an experienced and qualified surgeon is of the utmost importance. Qualified surgeons have the expertise and knowledge to consider all factors, explain them to you and perform a safe and appropriate implant selection that fits to your specific needs.
What to read next:
- Breast implant materials and surfaces >>
- Breast implant positioning >>
- Breast implant surgery incisions >>
1. Montemurro, P., Cheema, M., Hedén, P., Agko, M., Quattrini Li, A., & Avvedimento, S. (2018). Do Not Fear an Implant's Shape: A Single Surgeon's Experience of Over 1200 Round and Shaped Textured Implants in Primary Breast Augmentation. Aesthetic surgery journal, 38(3), 254–261. https://doi.org/10.1093/asj/sjx145
2. Li, Z.; Schenck, T.L.; Giunta, R.E.; Etzel, L.; Koban, K.C. Nonsubjective Assessment of Shape, Volume and Symmetry during Breast Augmentation with Handheld 3D Device. J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11, 4002. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11144002
3. Del Yerro, José L. Martín; Vegas, Manuel R.; Fernández, Verónica; Moreno, Emilio; Sanz, Ignacio; Puga, Susana,;Vecino, María G.; Biggs, Thomas M.: Selecting the Implant Height in Breast Augmentation with Anatomical Prosthesis: The “Number Y”. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Vol. 131, N°6, June 2013