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Shaped versus Round Implants for Breast Reconstruction: Indications and Outcomes

Nahabedian, Maurice Y. MD

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Global Open: March 2014 - Volume 2 - Issue 3 - p e116
doi: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000000068
Original Articles
United States

Background: With the reintroduction of shaped silicone gel implants in the United States, questions regarding indications and outcomes for each are likely. The purpose of this article is to review the author’s early experience using shaped and round implants for breast reconstruction over a 14-month consecutive interval.

Methods: Breast reconstruction using shaped or round implants was performed on 69 women that included shaped silicone gel devices in 49 and round devices in 20. Patients were evaluated based on nipple-sparing vs skin-sparing mastectomy, 1-stage vs 2-stage, radiation therapy, unilateral vs bilateral, occurrence of complications, and follow-up.

Results: Of the 49 patients (78 breasts) who had shaped implants, reoperation was necessary in 6 patients (12.2%) and in 7 breasts (9%). This was secondary to infection in 2 breasts, capsular contracture in 2 breasts, incisional dehiscence in 1 breast, asymmetry in 1 breast, and exposure in 1 breast. Of the 20 patients (28 breasts) who had round implants, reoperation was necessary in 2 patients (10%) and 2 breasts (7.1%) and included the removal of the device secondary to a late infection in 1 patient and the correction of a malposition (double bubble deformity) in 1 patient. There were no malpositions involving the shaped silicone gel implants.

Conclusions: Both shaped and round silicone gel devices can result in natural aesthetic outcomes. Shaped devices are preferred for contouring the upper pole and for optimizing breast projection. Round devices are preferred when the upper pole is not deficient and the patient desires softer breasts. Longer follow-up studies will be necessary.

From the Department of Plastic Surgery, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Received for publication November 6, 2013; accepted January 22, 2014.

Disclosure: Dr. Nahabedian is a speaker and consultant for LifeCell and Sientra and has been a speaker for Mentor and Allergan. He has received no financial support or assistance in the preparation of this article. The content of this article is based on his experience using devices from Sientra, Mentor, and Allergan. The Article Processing Charge was waived at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief.

Maurice Y. Nahabedian, MD, FACS Department of Plastic Surgery Georgetown University 3800 Reservoir Road NW Washington, DC 20007 E-mail:

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License, where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.

© 2014 American Society of Plastic Surgeons