Choosing the Profile of Round Saline or Silicone Breast Implants

When patients are researching breast implants, they are often surprised to find that there are so many options to choose from round implants. Although every saline or silicone implant in Canada has a thick silicone elastic outer shell, they come in many sizes and shapes. Companies offer as many as five different profiles of implants, which determines how much they will project off the chest.

Breast Implant Profiles

Every company has a slightly different proprietary name for their various breast implant profiles, but typically they range from flatter implants called “low profile” or “moderate profile” to very projecting implants called “full profile” or “high profile”. If low-profile versus high-profile implants are compared side-to-side sitting on a table, it is immediately apparent that the high-profile implants have a relatively narrow base, yet they have more outward projection. Therefore, low to moderate profile implants tend to provide a rounder, less projecting breast shape, but full to extra full profile implants will give the breast more projection from the chest wall.

Some patients choose higher profile implants so they can select implants of a larger volume yet still have them fit within their breasts. If implants are too wide for the breasts, the risk of an abnormal web between the breasts (synmastia), visible implant rippling, or other problems increases, so it is important to select implants that are appropriate for your existing breast width.

However, not every person seeking “full” or “extra full” profile implants wishes to have very large breasts, but rather this shape of implant might simply match their overall body type and breast dimensions. Even extra full-profile come in relatively small sizes, and these implants at the small end of the spectrum (for example, in the 200-300cc range) will have a much narrower width than low-profile implants. For this reason, a very petite person with a small chest and breasts might prefer extra full-profile implants for their proportions rather than for their size.

Consultation with plastic surgeon

It is essential to have a proper in-person consultation with an experienced breast plastic surgeon to pick the correct implant profile for your body type and goals. A consultation with Dr. Andrade at The York Plastic Surgery Centre includes a proper breast examination taking into consideration breast dimensions, tissue thickness, skin tone, space between the breasts (sternal gap), degree of sagging (ptosis), and other factors. Patients will often share photos of their desired results, try on sizers, and, if appropriate for their body type, have 3D breast imaging to get a virtual idea of possible surgical outcomes. Although there is no perfect way to predict an exact surgical outcome, this thorough approach leads to high satisfaction with the majority of patients.