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What is the Difference Between Smooth and Textured Breast Implants?

Vishal Kapoor

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Textured breast implants are made from the same material as smooth implants, with the exception that they have a rough surface. Scientific studies in plastic surgery medical literature have demonstrated that textured implants are less likely to get hard. This is caused by formation of a thick scar capsule. The disadvantage of textured implants is that they might be more palpable and may cause more rippling (wrinkles). This means that you might be able to see and feel the boundaries and irregularities of a textured implant more than that of a smooth implant. Because submuscular placement of implants reduces the risk of capsular contracture of smooth implants to nearly that of the textured implants, I often use smooth implants in the submuscular pocket in order to minimize the risks of capsular contraction as well as rippling. In patients who have had a history of capsular contracture, I would instead use textured implants in the submuscular pocket.

Anatomic implants are usually narrower and longer. Their projection peaks not at the center of the implant, but towards the bottom of the implant. Esthetically speaking, a woman who has had children, breastfed, or has lost breast fullness in the superior aspect of her breasts would benefit from a round implant that compensates for this loss of fullness superiorly. On the other hand, a very thin woman who does not have sagging breasts will have less superior breast fullness with a teardrop implant. In addition, anatomic implants are more challenging to place, and run the risk of turning onto their sides (which will make one of your breasts look like a horizontal loaf of bread). MRI radiographic comparisons of round and teardrop implants in women that are standing do not demonstrate any significant difference between their shape and appearances.

Who would benefit most from high profile breast implants?

Standard breast implants are round and have low to moderate profile. Women who want very large and protruding breasts, but have small and narrow chests, would benefit from high profile implants because they have a relatively small diameter but a much higher profile than standard implants. In certain types of cases, when breast augmentation is combined with a breast lift or reconstruction, high profile implants might also be of advantage.

How small or how big of a breast implant can I get?

You can have a saline-filled breast implant as little as 120 cc or as big as 850 cc. If you are a small size, the 120 cc implant would make you a size A, and the 850 cc implant would make you DD. The size of the breast implant is not the only determining factor in your bra size; obviously it also depends on the size of your existing breast tissue. As the size of breast implants increase, their width increases relatively faster than their projection. Therefore, the larger the implant size you choose, the wider the breast implants will be. While larger or wider implants create a strong cleaveage, there is a limit on how large of an implant can fit on your chest. Your plastic surgeon will make a chest wall measurement and most likely recommend a range of breast implant sizes that you can choose from. In my practice, I have the patients try on different size breast implants in order to see how it looks on their figure.

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