What are the effects of different breast implant profiles?

It is important for patients considering breast augmentation surgery to consider how different profiles of breast implants affect breast shape and form.
The two main manufacturers of breast implants, Allergan and Mentor, have different names for the three fundamental profiles of breast implants, and this may be a source of confusion for patients.

The three main profiles for breast implants are high, medium, and low.  This has nothing to do with implant volume, so that a 250 cc implant can come in a high, medium, and low profile version.  The fundamental rule for implant profile is that as the profile gets higher, the base gets smaller.  This means that for a given volume a high profile breast implant will be more like a ball while a low profile implant is more spread out.

If a surgeon uses a high profile implant for breast augmentation this will tend to thrust the breast forward and maximize fullness in the upper portions of the breast.  On the other hand, a patient who has a wide base to the breast and doesn’t want to go up too much in size could do well with a low profile implant.  The behavior of the medium profile implants is somewhere in between.

To make matters confusing, plastic surgeons tend to refer to different profiles of Allergan implants by style numbers and different profiles of Mentor implants by names. In the Allergan series style 20 implants are high profile, style 15 implants are medium profile, and style 10 implants are lower profile.  In the Mentor series these configurations are referred to as high, moderate plus, and moderate classic.

From this quick discussion you can see that is important for you to know the style of the implant that your surgeon plans to use, as this choice can have a significant effect on breast aesthetics.  It’s not just about volume.