Round or Shaped: Which Breast Implant to Choose?

Study shows that, regardless of selection, satisfaction with silicone implants will likely be high.

When undergoing breast reconstruction, women have many options:

Saline or silicone? Implants or autologous (using one’a own tissue)?

Immediate or delayed reconstruction?

However, a recent study of women who chose round vs. anatomical “shaped” silicone implants may help ease the decision-making process.

Patients completed the BREAST-Q questionnaire, which evaluated changes in several areas including satisfaction with breasts as well as psychosocial, sexual, and physical well-being and satisfaction with care.

The BREAST-Q data showed good overall outcomes with both types of implants. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), quality of life is increasingly regarded as an important factor in evaluating the benefits of treatments.

The study included 65 women who received round implants with a smooth surface and 63 who obtained shaped implants with a textured surface. Data was collected one to four years after breast reconstruction and about 80 percent of women had reconstruction immediately after mastectomy.

As a side note, there was no difference in implant “rippling” between groups. Rippling, or wrinkling, had been a drawback of the first generation of shaped implants. Newer shaped silicone implants with less or no rippling are not yet approved in the United States; clinical trials are underway.

While the two types of implants were equivalent in terms of satisfaction, the women with shaped implants rated their breasts as “firmer.” Such findings help inform women about the expected outcomes of reconstruction, along with introducing shaped implants for widespread use.

Photo: Building blocks by Holger Zscheyge on Flickr

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