Question – Will High Profile breast implants give me natural looking breasts vs Moderate or Moderate Plus?
I am 5’4″ 125lbs, 31″ ribcage, 34C (wanting at least a DD) and my breast measures 13cm wide. I told my PS I wanted large, very nice looking (not high and ball-looking) breasts. He told me he will use a smooth, round, High Profile, 500cc silicone implant and it will look “very nice” with a “nice downward slope”. Everywhere on the internet says that high profiles don’t give a really nice natural look, and that moderate profiles do. Will high profile breast implants give me large, full, and natural-looking breasts with nice cleavage?
Answer – Although I use Moderate Plus or Moderate Profile prosthesis in the vast majority of cases, given your base width dimension of 13.0cm and your wanting a 500cc implant, a High Profile implant would be appropriate.
In answer to your question, it is not so much the size of the prosthesis that results in a ‘natural’ or ‘unnatural’ look but rather the surgical technique used in relationship to the pre-operative breast appearance.
If, on examination, your nipple to inframammary fold distance is 5.0cm – 6.0cm (meaning that the fold does not need to be lowered excessively), then a high profile implant can be placed in a position that provides adequate inferior/lower pole projection and avoids creating an overly round upper half of the breast (i.e. the “high, ball-looking” and ‘unnatural’ look you don’t like).
That said, there are many women who like the look of round, projecting breasts with upper pole fullness (high cleavage) – neither look is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ so to speak, they’re just different. Every plastic surgeon has a certain aesthetic style they prefer (re: some aim for the most natural looking shape and size possible while other find the ‘high and round’ look more attractive), but at the end of the day, if the patient is clear about the way they want their breast to look after surgery, it’s my job as their surgeon to achieve it (within reason of course).
Before diving into a few specific recommendations given the measurements you provided, here are my general thoughts on each of the 3 Mentor breast implant profile types:
High Profile vs Moderate Plus vs Moderate Profile Breast Implants
- High Profile Breast Implants or “HP” implants have the narrowest base width but the most outward projection (think thin & tall), creating a very full, round and youthful look. When used appropriately (re: in cases where the width of the breast, amount of breast tissue, nipple position, amount of skin, elasticity of the skin will benefit from High Profile’s shape and fill), high profile implants can achieve a very pleasing final result.
- Moderate Profile Breast Implants are comparable to a softly domed circular pillow (though much smaller of course). The width of the chest covered is moderate-to-wide and outward projection is perky yet still very natural, especially in comparison to the original “Low Profile” models which are quite a bit flatter. Compared to “High Profile” implants, Moderate Profile will typically create a more natural looking upper breast appearance (by providing a flatter & more gradual downward slope). **That said, Mods do not fit well within patients with average-to-narrow base widths who want a lot of volume (e.g. 400cc and higher).
- Moderate Plus Profile Breast Implants (or “Mod+”) are a relatively newer model. Their shape is, as the name implies, in-between the Moderate and High Profile breast implants. By splitting the difference between the base width and projection of High & Moderate profile implants, I’ve found that fit best in the vast majority of augmentation cases I perform. Patients also favor the more “natural” looking shape and look that the Moderate Plus implants offer compared to a similarly sized high profile implant.
When considering HP implants, many women believe that they will give them more fullness high on the chest (the “upper pole”) and that a low profile implant will shape the middle & lower parts of the breast. And yet, the opposite is true. Because a high profile implant pushes out from the chest wall more than any other profile, the implant will push out the central and lower parts of the breast the most. Thus, high profile implants create a pointy, much more rounded breast. Conversely, lower/moderate profile breast implants push the areolas out from the chest wall the least, which creates a softer, flatter, more ‘natural looking’ breast.
The other important technical consideration when using a larger high-profile prosthesis is ensuring adequate release of the inferior (re: lower) origin of the pectoralis muscle. Doing so allows the chest to expand adequately and helps to avoid/minimize a constricted, overly tight appearance – which will cause the prosthesis to sit too high and you’ll get the exact opposite effect of what you would like to achieve.
And while I now almost universally use high profile or moderate plus implants (~10% and ~80% respectively), given your base width dimension of 13.0cm and your wanting 500cc of added volume, high profile implants (which I use roughly ~10% of the time) would be appropriate. If correctly performed, you should be able to achieve your desired result.
In the example case above, 350cc in either a Moderate or Moderate Plus profile would have caused issues given the space constraints of the patient’s petite 5ft frame. In cases similar to this, selecting the right implant size and profile allowed me to fashion an almost imperceptible inframammary incision and optimally positioned breast pocket. To view more photos of this patient, click here.