Background: Breast implants can be characterized by their fill material, surface texture, or shape. Whereas long-term good quality studies have provided evidence for the fill material and texture, there is still little consensus for choosing the shape of an implant. Surveys indicate that many surgeons choose only one implant shape, for reasons that may not always agree with outcomes from long-term studies.
Objectives: We reviewed the first author's experience over the last six years with both round and anatomical implants, compared the rate of complications with either implant shape, and discussed the importance of keeping an open mind about using both implant shapes for primary breast augmentation.
Methods: A review of all consecutive primary breast augmentation patients by the first author over a six-year time period who had a minimum follow up of 6 months after surgery.
Results: Six-hundred and forty-eight female patients had 1296 silicone breast implants inserted over the six-year period. Mean age at surgery was 30.5 years and mean BMI was 20.6 kg/m2. All implants were textured, 134 (in 67 patients, 10.3%) were round in shape with mean volume of 338 cc (range, 220-560 cc), while 1162 implants (in 581 patients, 89.7%) were anatomical shaped with a mean volume of 309 cc (range, 140-615 cc). Among these patients, 11.9% (n = 8) with round implants and 9.0% (n = 52) of those with anatomical implants developed complications postoperatively.
Conclusions: A single, ideal implant that is suitable for every primary breast augmentation does not exist. The optimum choice of implant shape in any given situation should take into account the patient's physical characteristics, available implant types, patient's desires, and the surgeon's experience. Together with round implants, anatomical devices ought to be considered as one of the tools in the surgeon's toolbox. By choosing to ignore them a priori means that the surgeon will only have access to half of his armamentarium and will therefore be able to offer a limited set of options to his patients.
Level of Evidence 4: