This Article Has Been Medically Approved By Dr. Timothy Connall

Smiling brunette wearing a black and white striped dress esprit® cosmetic surgeonsDuring your initial consultation with Esprit® Cosmetic Surgeons, we will help you explore our aesthetic services and answer any questions you have about treatment. Based on more than 20 years of experience and one of the greatest numbers of breast augmentation procedures performed in Portland, Oregon (more than 3,000), we have developed numerous techniques that create natural-looking and beautiful breasts.

We have a large experience with round and shaped implants. Each implant has its role based on one’s breast anatomy and aesthetic goals. Recently, more options in round implant styles and technology have made round implants even more useful in augmenting most women. Therefore, we usually recommend round implants. However, shaped implants still have a role in breast augmentation surgery and they will be reviewed with each patient during a consultation.

Our Portland patients often want to know how round breast implants and shaped implants compare. When we evaluate these two implant options, we tend to focus on four major features: shape, position, texture, and incision placement.


Round breast implants are spherical and have the same dimensions across the entire implant. Because they do not need to hold a specific shape, round breast implants are filled with a more free-flowing material that makes them softer to the touch. They also give the breasts a rounder appearance.

Shaped implants are fuller at the bottom and narrower at the top, like a teardrop. In order to maintain this form, shaped implants have a firmer structure; the outer material is textured and less flexible than a smooth-shelled implant. The other critical difference is that the internal gel of a shaped implant is very firm. The firmness and rigidity of a shaped implant lead to an augmented breast that feels less natural than a breast augmented with a round, smooth-shelled breast implant.


Round breast implants can shift and rotate freely without distorting the shape of the breasts. This can also give your breasts a more natural and graceful appearance as you move or gesture.

Because shaped implants are fuller on the bottom, they must be placed in a precise orientation. Because shaped implants are firm and maintain a fixed position (even when one is lying flat) they sometimes have a more “bolted-on” appearance compared to round implants. Critically, as opposed to round implants, shaped implants should not move or rotate within the breast. If a shaped implant rotates out of position, the breast can have an abnormal shape. The risk of a shaped implant assuming a non-anatomical position is about one in eighty cases.


Typically, we advocate round breast implants with a smooth surface. The smooth shell leads to no adherence of the implant to the breast tissue, which allows the implant to move within the breast. Most of our Portland breast augmentation patients choose round, smooth implants. Round implants feel the most natural, look the most natural with movement, and can rotate without changing the look of the breasts.

Shaped implants are textured along the outside surface with tiny ridges, which create friction and sometimes adherence of the implant to the surrounding breast tissue. This limits the chance of the implant from rotating or shifting and helps them stay in a proper position within the breast over time.

Incision Placement

Round breast implants can be placed through any breast augmentation incision, including through the axillary (underarm) incision. Portland women who want to minimize the appearance of scarring after an augmentation sometimes prefer round breast implants because of this advantage. The round shape allows us to slide the implant into place with any orientation.

We won’t use an under-the-arm technique with shaped implants because of difficulties with guaranteeing precise positioning of the implant. Instead, we use the breast fold incision when placing shaped implants. While scars from this incision tend to fade very well, they may not be as subtle as an incision under the arm.

Though Esprit® Cosmetic Surgeons usually recommends round breast implants, we have expertise using both styles of implant to create beautiful outcomes for patients. We will work with you to decide which implant will best achieve your personal goals.

Learn more about the differences between round breast implants and shaped implants. Contact Esprit® Cosmetic Surgeons for a consultation to find out whether round or shaped implants are right for you. 

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