The recent reintroduction of shaped (aka anatomic) implants has the web abuzz with recommendations that the shaped implants are better and more natural than round implants. This claim has now been investigated and recently published in a prestigious plastic surgery journal Aesthetic Plast surg. 2013;35(3):273-278. In the April issue Researchers from London England reported on round vs. shaped breast implants for aesthetic surgery. There is research on this issue as far back as 2000.
1. Round Saline implants are more like real breasts as you change position from upright to horizontal. For saline implants Dr. Robert Hamas from Dallas TX reported in 2000 that both implant types have a similar teardrop proportions in the upright position, with round implants giving a more anatomic appearance in the recumbent position.
2. Same goes for gel implants. For Gel implants Swiss Plastic surgeon Dr Bronz reported in 2002 that it was nearly impossible to distinguish between the two different implants.
3. Shaped implants can sit sideways after some time and look wrong. Kansas Plastic surgeon John Baeke,M.D. reported in 2002 on significant rotation rates in anatomic implants causing deformities.
4. In a very large study group a single plastic surgeon repost no preference. In the largest study Dr Lázaro Cárdenas-Camarena, MD from Mexico reported on his own 932 patients and found that excellent results could be obtained with either implant shape.
5. A group of independent plastic surgeons could not tell a difference. In the English plastic surgery study a large group of surgery results were compared by a panel of 22 plastic surgeons. The panel could not identify which patient had shaped or round implants.
In most patients round implants remain the best choice as they are less expensive, will not sit sideways, and offer at worse similar results but are superior with positional changes. Shaped implants have a role in breast cancer reconstruction and significant asymmetry or congenital deformity cases.
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