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Breast Implants: Which Type, Shape and Size Is The Best For You?

(Individual results may vary. See our disclaimer)*

This guide will give you extensive information on how to choose a breast implant that will give you the perfect result. What determines your final result? There are several factors to take into consideration which includes:

  • What does your breast look like
  • What plane are we using (under muscle, above the muscle or dual plane)
  • What shape of implants are we using (teardrop, round or special teardrop)
  • Size of the implants

In this post, we will go through each of these areas, use 3D imaging to demonstrate the results that you can expect from different implants/breast shapes and other factors such as the plane we’re going to use.

Further down this post you will find 4 videos of Dr Beldholm explaining in his own words the following:

  • Different Breast Implant Shapes and Sizes
  • How to Create Great Cleavage
  • Different Planes In Breast Augmentation And Indications
  • Dual Plane Method in Breast Augmentation

And at the end of the post we will finish off with a couple of case studies of actual patients, 3D imaging and how these compare to the real results!

How does your own breasts determine what result you’ll get?

One of the most important factors in your final look is how your breasts look like now. There are several different factors that need to be taken into consideration.

How big are your breasts now?

A cup to B cup breast

If you have small breasts from an A cup to a B-cup, then your final shape of breast will be determined mainly by the shape of the implants. You will also most likely need to put the implants under the muscle to avoid having a visible implant or seeing the edge of the implants.

When you have small breasts to start out with, it is very important that we use implants that are wide enough for your chest. If the implants are not wide enough then you will end up with a wide gap in the middle and poor cleavage.

C cup to D cup breasts

If you have more breast tissue, then the final result of your breast augmentation will be a combination of your own breasts and the size and shape of implants that we put in. If you have larger breasts, then we usually don’t have to worry as much about the cleavage. However, other issues such as double fold and droop become more important.

Bigger than D cup breasts

In my experience, when you get to this size it is not so much the size of the breasts that are important but how perky they are. Many women that I see with bigger cup sizes are looking more to have the upper volume restored rather than getting bigger breasts.

Where is the volume in the breasts?

The key thing that many, if not most women, want went they come and see me is fuller, perkier and bigger breasts. Most do not want massive implants, but implants that are in proportion to their body. Most women after pregnancy have lost the fullness in the upper pole (upper part of the breasts become empty) and if there is volume left then it is the lower part of the breast making them look saggy and empty.

breast implant

This photo shows a young woman with A cup breasts. Notice that there is very little fullness and slightly pointy breasts (this is referred to medically as tuberous breasts). After putting in 400cc breast implants, her breasts are perky having a very round look. Because she has very little breast tissue before her operation, the final result is mainly determined by the breast implants that we have put in.

A good guide to choosing a breast implant is to know that every 120 to 150 ml of breast implant is equal to one cup size. In this woman, we are looking at approximately a D cup in size.

breast implants

This woman has had children and we can see how empty the upper part of the breasts are. I would normally use a wide teardrop in this type of breasts as this gives a very good, natural result. However, for illustration purposes we have inserted a 400 cc implant exactly the same as in the initial women. The result is similar but as she has a bit more breast tissue, we are looking to a DD result and the final result is going to be slightly more natural as there is breast tissue to cover the implants.

breast implants

This woman on the other hand is a D cup. However, even though she has a larger breast size, most of the volume in the breasts are in the lower part of the breasts and it is quite empty in the superior part. Putting in the same implant as for the other 2 women does not produce the same result. In this case, the final result would be more towards the E to EE cup size. However she would still have saggy breasts and if we wanted to fix this we would have to do a breast lift for her.

What implant shape should I go for?

This is one of the most common questions that I get asked by women.

There are three broad shapes available:

  • Round Breast Implants
  • A round based teardrop implant
  • A wide based teardrop implant
dr bernard beldholm

In this photo Dr Beldholm is holding up a round implant. This one is really good if you are an A to B cup in size and want a very full look to your breasts.

dr bernard beldholm

In this photo, Dr Beldholm is holding up a teardrop shaped implant. As you can see, this implant is shaped like a natural breast. The teardrop implant usually gives a nice natural result up to a certain size. In Dr Beldholm’s experience, teardrop implants that are more than 400ml in size do not look that good cosmetically. They tend to be bottom heavy and make the breast look a bit droopy.

dr bernard beldholm

In this photo, Dr Beldholm is holding up a wide teardrop shaped breast implant. This implant is ideal if you have a wider based breast plate like the inset photo. Using this implant will give a great cleavage and natural result.

Teardrop implants vs Round implants

The way to think about the differences between these two implants is where the volume is located? Do you want more of a full look up top like a “fake” look or do you want more of a natural look to the breast? The other thing to consider is, if we are going to put the implants above the muscle or under the muscle. If a round implant is inserted under the muscle then the muscle will push on the upper part of the implant and create a more teardrop shaped implant. The bigger the round implants are, the more “fake” they will look. As a general guide, if you are going for a round implant that is more than 400 ml in size, then it will look very round especially if you have small breasts to start with.

breast implants

This photo demonstrates the difference between round and teardrop shaped breast implants. Both implants are 400 ml implants the only difference between the implants is the shape. As can be seen on the middle picture the round breast implant is more prominent in the superior aspect of the breast whilst the teardrop shaped implant on the right is more of a natural shape.

breast implants

This photo is a composite photo of a teardrop shaped implant vs a round breast implant. The lower shaded area represents the position of a teardrop shaped implant. As can be seen on the photo, the volume from this implant will sit lower on the breast vs the round where the volume sits a bit higher.

Under the muscle versus above the muscle

The shape of the final result is not the most important consideration when deciding to go above or below the muscle. When going above the muscle, the implant will have more volume on the superior breast area, however, this is not a big difference.

Benefits of going above the muscle

  • This is my preferred method as it creates a more natural moving implant.
  • I can get a cleavage that is much better
  • They look more perky and the nipple can be lifted up higher
  • I don’t have to divide the pectoralis major muscle which means that there is less pain after the operation and usually quicker recovery
  • With the polyurethane breast implants, the risk of rotation or bottoming out is minimal

Negatives of going above the muscle

  • The main negative with above the muscle is potentially seeing the edge of the implants. This happens if there is not enough breast tissue to cover the implant. If you are a B cup or smaller, you are not suitable for this approach. Also if there is not enough breast tissue then you may feel the implants as well. There may be a visible edge or other issues.
  • There is an increased risk of  rotation and bottoming out as the tissues are not as firm as under the muscle.

Benefits of going under the muscle

  • Going under the muscle will cover the implant with muscle, meaning that there is less chance of feeling the implant or seeing an implant edge. It also create a more natural shape if a round implant is used.
  • In my experience, I find that there is less risk of movement or rotation of the breast implant after the operation.

Negatives of going under the muscle

  • The breast does not tend to move as naturally as the implant is “stuck” on the ribs.
  • It is harder to get good cleavage with the implants
  • The implant does not provide as much lift to the breasts
breast implants

This photo demonstrates the differences between a round implant under the muscle and above the muscle. As can be see here, there is really very little difference in the final shape.

breast implants

This photo is a composite of above vs below the muscle. The tiny shaded area on the superior aspect of the breasts represents where the breast implant sits if inserted above the muscle.

Choosing your implant size.

Choosing the right size for your frame and the cup size that will suit you can be very difficult. That is why I suggest a range of methods so that you know that you have selected the right implant.

  • Using 3D imaging to actually see what it will look like on your own body.
  • Using implant sizers in a sports bra. This is a tried and tested method that I have used for close to a decade now. Even with the 3D imaging, there is nothing that can actually beat feeling and seeing a real implant. I find that even though the 3D images are technically more accurate, most women prefer to actually see and feel the actual implants.
  • Rice bag sizers at home. 1ml of silicone equals 1g of rice or water. This means that you can weigh up an equal amount of rice, wrap it in foil and use it in a sports bra at home to get a feel of the size. e.g. if you are looking at having a 400ml implant then you can weigh up 400g of rice and make a “home” sizer out of this.

These next series of pictures show the same patient with different implant sizers from 200ml to 600ml round implants

breast implants

(Individual results vary. See disclaimer)*

Transcript of this video where Dr Beldholm talks about different breast implant shapes and sizes

Really exciting thing is that there’s a whole range of different implants. I’ve worked with the Polytech implants for a very long time so I know pretty much all the sizes, all the different dimensions. That means that when I see you I can match it to your chest wall and give you the best possible result.

If you have a look at implants we got round and teardrop. The teardrop is also divided into three different kinds of teardrops. We have the oval shaped, which is the Opticon, and then you have the round shape, which is the normal teardrop.

Then you have to look at the height of the implant. You have low, moderate, high, and extra high implants. A lot of patients tell me that they think that the height relates to where it is on the chest wall but it’s not really. You have to match the implant to where your nipple is. If you put the implants too high up the nipple will point down, it doesn’t look normal. If you put it too far down then the nipple will point up. The height of the implant really relates to the actual, physical height of the implants that we use.

How do we match this? You match it to the width of the chest wall and how much projection you want. Let’s have a look at a couple of implants. We have round, which is a round-based implant. We have a teardrop, looks like that and it’s a round-based teardrop. Then we have the Opticon, this is a wider based teardrop. Then, we also have extra high, high, and moderate. There is a low implant, but you can see how flat this is, it’s very unusual that we would use the very low profile implants.

We choose between the width of the chest wall which is here, the diameter of the implant, and then the height. The bigger implant usually the more projection forward we want. You can see here this is quite a flat implant and if we use this in a very small lady then it’s going to be too wide and give very little projection so we go up to this one. As you go bigger, obviously you want the volume to be forward and you don’t want too much volume on the side, so that’s why we use an extra high.

There’s a specific reason why you would use a wider implant. With a wider implant like this one, this Opticon implant, you really want a good cleavage and also there’s quite a few ladies that have a very strong breast fold. Those are at risk of what’s called a double fold. With those ladies I tend to use the Opticon implant.

Really, you can see there’s really a huge range of different implants that we can use today. When you come and see me we’ll measure your chest wall, have a chat about what sort of result you want, and then we match that specific implant to your chest wall and what you want.*

(Individual results vary. See disclaimer)*

Transcript of This video where Dr Beldholm talkers about How to Create Great Cleavage

Cleavage is basically having the right volume in the right place. You want breasts that are fairly full, that come into the middle, there’s not a big space in the middle. When you have a bra on you’ll see there really is nice full breasts. The key thing there is to choose an implant that goes all the way across your chest plate. We do that with having a talk about the volume and having a talk about the shape. If you’ve got a really low volume we might want to get an implant that is more wide so that it comes into the middle and gives you more fullness there in the middle. If you go for really big implant then we go for an extra high one so that you get good volume in the middle but still not too wide for your chest well.
Cleavage is really, really important. With the polyurethane implants you can find that we can put them exactly where we want to and they don’t slide out to the side all the time so your cleavage will be maintained long term.

There’s no specific implant that is best for everyone. I think that’s the key takeaway. The one size fits all just doesn’t work. If you’re really tall and you’re slim, you’re going to find that you need a narrower implant that has volume that goes more forward. If you’re really broad and you might be a little bit less tall, then you need an implant that is broad. It’s all about customizing the implant for you. My approach has always been find out what you want and then we work with that to find you a shape and a volume that fits your chest wall the best. There’s a lot of other things that I need to take into consideration when choosing an implant such as potential risk for double fold, where it’s going to sit on the wall, how far out it’s going to go. It’s really about customizing the implant for you. The good thing about the polyurethane implants is that you have a wide choice of implants.

The other key thing about polyurethane is that it’s a very minimal chance of rotation so we can choose a teardrop anatomical implant and we’re not worried about it rotating later or moving to some other place like the smooth and the textured can do.

The key thing with breast augmentation is that we now have the technology to actually show you the result which is the 3D imaging, Crisalix imaging. You don’t have to guess anymore. The other thing is that I will tell you from my experience what you can expect as well. That comes down to the size, the shape, what type of results you want to have. For example, if you are really flat chested, if you have tight skin over top and you want a really small size, it’s very difficult to give you a really good cleavage. If you have a lot of breast there, so if you’re wearing a B or a C cup, we can go a smaller implant. We can give you one or two sizes up, you’re still going to get good cleavage because you have your own breast tissue. Really it is very individual. The result will depend on you and the implants.

That is one reason why I try to avoid showing before and afters, because they really are nothing like someone identical to you. If you look at, we have hundreds of before and afters on our website. You can pick any shape implant et cetera that I’ve done in the past but you’re not going to find someone that’s just purely identical to you. That’s why the 3D imaging, the consultations, the multiple consultations, my experience with the implants will give you the confidence to know that you’re going to get the result that you want.*

(Individual results vary. See disclaimer)*

Transcript of this video where Dr Beldholm discusses different planes in breast augmentation and indications

In breast augmentation we talk about planes. Now, you might think that all breast augmentation’s are all the same. It’s not. You have different implants, different planes, different way of scoring the tissues. There’s lots and lots of different breasts, different sizes. There’s a lot, a lot of things that go into a breast augmentation. If you see someone that’s really skilled at these things you will notice a difference in the results.

Now, when we talk about planes there’s really three planes. You have above the muscle or retromammary, which just means underneath the breast tissue, then you have under the muscle and then you have the dual plane. Under the muscle you can have completely covered by the muscle or you can have a little bit of muscle detached to give you better shaping. What’s all the difference and why do we use this and what’s the benefit to you?

If you’ve got really flat chest, the main problem there is that you’re going to get an edge of the implant. We don’t want an edge to be visible. We want it nice and natural, not to see that you had anything done other than the shape and the size and the cleavage. If we go under the muscle, the muscle will actually help cover the implant, give you that extra bit of coverage that will minimize the chance of an edge being visible from the implant. Above the muscle is really, really good if you have your own padding. If you have one or two centimeters of breast tissue above the implant, it will cover the implant, prevent that edge from being visible. A key benefit above the muscle is that you get usually better cleavage because the muscle’s not pushing the implants out. You also don’t have issues with the muscle band that can make it look like there’s an issue with the muscle band on the bottom. Usually the above the muscle gives you better shape and it’s easier to control the shape with the type of implant we use.

The dual plane is basically helpful when you have a bit of droopiness. You put the implant underneath the muscle to give you the size, then you do a plane above the muscle to allow the breast to come up a bit so that you get a perkier result.

A complete submuscular implant which means that you’re not actually taking any of the muscle edge out, it’s usually not used. If you have a really small implant you can use that, but a lot of the time if you have a bigger implant and you want good cleavage then you want the implant to sit towards the midline. Usually we score the muscle and detach it from the side, the sternum and the lower ribs.

I hope this makes it a little bit easier for you to understand the different planes. There’s certainly a lot of finesse in the breast augmentation area. Come and see me. I’ll have a chat with you and we’ll decide what’s best for you.*

(Individual results vary. See disclaimer)*

Transcript of this video where Dr Beldholm discusses the Dual Plane Method in Breast Augmentation

What we’re talking about in this blog is a dual plane breast augmentation. What is that? Dual plane just means basically two planes.

Why would we do this?

There’s several different planes, which I’ll go through in a separate blog, but the dual plane is basically to re-position the breast tissue. It’s really mainly indicated for a little bit of saggy breast tissue. You want to basically have the implant under the muscle, the implant pushes the tissue forward, and then you want a separate plane in front of the muscle so that the breast can actually go up and lift up. You want to have a good, perky breast that you get the full benefit of the breast implant.

With the smooth and the texture implants, basically, there’s a huge chance of that implant slipping into the forward pocket. With the polyurethane you’re much, much safer because the polyurethane will grip or sit on the ribs. We basically put it under the muscle, then we do a pocket above the muscle and this allows the breast to pop up so you get a really nice, perky breast, full benefit of the implant, and with the polyurethane you’re not risking it slipping into the above pocket and creating two pockets filled of fluid and all that sort of thing. It’s really, really good technique to give you that excellent result and I use it mainly for the ones that are a little bit borderline. I get a lot of women that are a little bit borderline and we go, “Oh, we can do implants, we can do a lift, but if we do implants it’s going to be a tiny bit saggy,” so in those situations we do a special anatomical implant that will make it extra bit of lift in addition to the dual plane which usually solves that issue.

The key thing there is that you have to have really nice skin. You can’t have a lot of stretch marks when we try to lift the breast up because if you’re borderline, you have a lot of stretch marks, the stretch marks will act like a concertina. They will just go out and you won’t get that lift. Really, if you have a lot of stretch marks on your breast it’s probably not going to work that well but the dual plane, it can be really good in that indication of a patient with nice skin and a bit of sagginess.

Come in and see me, I’ll have a chat with you what the options are. I do the full range of breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reductions, breast augmentations and lifts so I can tell you what you need.*

Case studies to illustrate how different breast implants look in different women

425 extra high round polyurethane breast implant in a slim A cup women

(Individual results vary. See disclaimer)*

This woman had been thinking about breast augmentation for some time. She has not had any children yet and was an A cup although she was wearing B cup bra with infills. She felt out of proportion with her breasts and was at times quite embarrassed especially on the beach and in front of her boyfriend.

She wanted BIG breasts! And she wanted round!

We discussed all the various options for her and after reviewing 3D images as well as trying multiple sizers. She in fact tried multiple sizers and came back a couple of times to the office to try the implants.

In the end, we went with a 425ml extra high round polyurethane breast implant. If you consider that every 120ml is a cup size our estimate was that she would be a D to a DD cup in size once she had the operation. To try to hide the edge of the implants, we put them under the muscle.

As can be seen on the before and after photos the result is quite round, with great cleavage.

She was very happy with this result! Just they way she wanted it to be!*

A-cup woman wanting a more natural result going for a 400cc teardrop implant

(Individual results vary. See disclaimer)*

I’m using this case as this woman is very similar to the previous case. She has not had any children, she is an A cup and wants to be much larger aiming for a D-DD cup final result. The main difference here is that she wants to have a more natural look.

After trying the implants and looking at her 3D images, she decides to go for the wider tear drop also called the OPTICON 400 ml polyurethane breast implants.

As she has very little breast tissue we have put the implants under the muscle to cover the implants and avoid any issues with visible edges.

As you can see, compared to the round implant, this one is a lot softer in the upper pole of the breast.

Personally, I think it is a much better result as it looks natural and still create a full look.

She is a D-DD cup in size after the operation and is very happy.*

Mother of 2 with empty and saggy breasts initially told by plastic surgeon that she needed a lift but got a very good result with tear drop implants

(Individual results vary. See disclaimer)*

I saw this patient for a second opinion after she had seen another plastic surgeon. She was told that she needed a lift but she did not want the associated scarring. I see a lot of post pregnancy women and many have empty and saggy breasts. If your nipple is sitting below you breast fold then you really need a lift to get a good result.

What happens if we put in an implant in a patient that really should have lift? Well we get the so called snoopy dog deformity. This is where we have the breast tissue hanging over the implants. This looks really bad cosmetically.

This woman was borderline. She had her nipples sitting on the breast fold.

To get the best possible lift, I decided to go for a wide (OPTICON) style breast implant and put the implants above the muscle to maximise the lift that they provide.*

We went for 450 ml Polyurethane wide teardrop silicon breast implants.

She ended up with a very good result D-DD with very nice lift!

Conclusion

I hope this guide has given you some ideas as to how you can select and choose the right implants for your body.

In summary the main questions that you should ask yourself are:

  • What result do I want?
    • Natural
    • Fake or a full look
  • What cup size do I want to be?

These questions will help decide what implant you should go for.

I hope you have found this guide helpful and I’m always here to help.

Dr Beldholm.

*Disclaimer; There is no guarantee of specific results and the results can vary from patient to patient. The photos shown have not been altered, other than removing identifiable marks such as tattoos and birthmarks at the request of the patient. If any such alteration has been done than it has been done equally on both before and after photos and there is a notation under the photo stating what alteration has been done.