How Breast Implants Work

Implant Shape

To meet the needs of different patients, breast implants come in different shapes.
Photo courtesy Inamed Aesthetics

Size is not the only issue to consider when discussing implants. To get the safest and most natural-looking results, breast implants are made with a variety of features in mind. The first of these features is shape. Breast implants come in two shapes: round and contoured.

Round implants are the most common type of implant used. Many women choose round implants because they tend to provide the greatest amount of lift, fullness and cleavage. Some women, however, find the round implants too fake looking and opt for more natural-looking alternatives.


Contoured implants have a more tear-drop shape to mimic the anatomical shape of the breasts. Contoured implants were originally developed for breast reconstruction but have become quite popular in augmentation surgery for women who want a more natural shape. The best shape for the job is usually worked out between the surgeon and patient, and the variables they consider are:

  • The amount of tissue the surgeon has to work with
  • The patient's anatomy
  • Where the surgeon places the implant in the breast

The thing to bear in mind is that the placement of the implant has a far greater effect on the final look of the augmentation than the shape of the implant.