Here is the Natrelle™ Matrix family of round saline breast implants by Allergan. On the left is a moderate profile implant, in the middle a high profile implant, and on the right a low profile implant. Implant diameter and projection are key considerations in selecting an appropriately sized implant for your breasts. The implants are filled with air for illustrative purposes. A similar Matrix family of silicone gel breast implants is also available.
Not all round breast implants are created equal. Round breast implants are available in various shapes to accommodate different body types. Three measurements are necessary to understand the shape of a round implant. One is the diameter, which is the width of the implant. Second is the projection or "profile" of the implant. The profile of an implant measures the distance an implant projects outward from the chest wall. The third is the volume. Volume is the amount of space the implant occupies and is measured in cubic centimeters (c.c.'s).
For a given volume, low profile implants have the least amount of projection and high profile implants have the greatest amount of projection from the chest wall. Moderate profile implants project between high and low profile implants. The same concept applies to implant diameter. If the implant diameters are the same, then the low profile implant will project the least and have the smallest volume and the high profile implant will project the most and have the greatest volume. The moderate profile is in between with moderate projection and volume.
Implant Width Should Fit Breast Width
Understanding the dimensional characteristics of breast implants is very important in determining which implant is best for you. Generally speaking, moderate profile implants usually fit the average size patient best. Moderate profile implants tend to create nicely proportioned, natural appearing breasts. High profile implants are nice for women with narrow breasts- These high profile implants result in rounder, pointier breasts. But, in women with the correct measurements, high profile implants are also very aesthetic. Low profile implants result in a less projecting and wider breast. These are nice for women with very wide breasts that desire volume at the edges of their breasts, especially in the cleavage and upper breast areas.
Here is the Allergan Natrelle™ Matrix family of breast implants by Allergan. In this example, each implant has same diameter. The three key dimensions to a round breast implant are diameter, projection, and volume. The low profile implant is relatively flat, the high profile implant is the most projecting and the moderate profile implant is in between. Here, since the diameters of the breast implants are the same, as the projection increases the volume (c.c.'s) of the implant also increases.
Projection Shapes The Profile Of The Breast
A good way to understand how a breast implant's profile will shape your breasts is to think of how your chest would look when observed in a profile (or side) view. Stand in front of a mirror sideways and look at the profile of your chest to get an idea.
Some women believe that a high profile breast implant will give them more fullness high on the chest, toward the collar bone, and that a low profile implant will shape the central part of the breast. The opposite is true. Since a high profile implant pushes out from the chest wall the most, the implant will push out the central and lower parts of the breast the most. Thus, high profile implants create a pointy, round breast. Low profile breast implants push the areolas out from the chest wall the least and will create a softer, flatter breast.
Implant Width Shapes The Breast Outline
The diameter of a round breast implant is the same measurement as the implant width and height. It is the diameter of the implant that creates the shape of the breast when viewed straight-on. If you want to have a lot of upper breast fullness then a wide, tall implant is needed. Or, if you want a very wide, bubbly, augmented breast appearance then a very wide implant is best. If the implant is fitted proportionally to your breast width and height then you will have a natural shaped breast.
Breast Implant Names and Dimensions
A note on breast implant naming: There are a number of different names the breast implant companies assign to their implants in terms of implant profile. The simplest naming is that described above for Allergan Natrelle™ saline implants, where there are low, moderate and high profile implants. Unfortunately, the naming is a little confusing for Allergan Natrelle™ silicone gel implants. That is, the same "family" of profiles in the silicone gel implants is named "moderate", "midrange" and "high" profile. So, in comparing implant profiles it is best to look at the entire "family" to understand a particular implant's position relative to its dimensions. And, in comparing between implant "families" and different manufactures it is critical to not compare names, but to compare the actual dimensions of the breast implants.
Your Measurements Are Key to Implant Selection
Dr. Connall will review low, moderate and high profile implants with you during your consultation and will explain how they relate to your body, measurements, and the breast shape you wish to achieve. Most women look best with the middle-of-the-range profile. That is, moderate profile for saline breast implants and midrange profile for silicone gel implants.