Teardrop shaped breast implants have more volume at the bottom, while round implants, which are more commonly used in cosmetic breast augmentation, are like flattened sphere.
In terms of natural breast contour, both teardrop and round implants give similar results. One X-ray study involving breast augmentation patients has shown that on profile view there was no significant difference between them.
Another study, which involved 75 patients whose one breast had round implant while the other had teardrop, has also shown similar results. Both ordinary observers and experts (i.e., plastic surgeons) who were asked to guess which side had a round or a “shaped” implant could not tell the difference, with about 50 percent accuracy—not better than coin tossing.
Hence, teardrop shaped breast implants offer no real advantage unless the patient ask for gummy bear implants, which are fifth generation silicone implants.
Older silicone implants have liquid silicone gel that can “bleed” in the event of rupture. Gummy bear implants, meanwhile, have semi-solid silicone gel that remain in place even when the shell is cut in half.
Gummy bear implants must always come in teardrop shape because they are unaffected by gravity, i.e., no matter what their configuration is, they always “hold” their shape.
One caveat of teardrop shaped breast implants is the risk of flipping. This is not an issue with round implants, which can rotate inside their pockets without distorting the natural breast contour.
Leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley says there are two ways to avoid or at least minimize risk of flipping. First, all teardrop implants have rough or textured outer shell to promote tissue adhesion. Second, they demand highly precise pocket dissection to prevent them from rotating.
Round implants, meanwhile, rotate freely inside their pockets (but not freely lest it would result in bottomed-out or sagging appearance), which can contribute to their more natural look and softer feel.
As of this writing, smooth round implants are the most commonly used design in breast augmentation because they provide more natural results, they do not come with risk of flipping, and they are less likely to cause rippling, a common issue with rough or textured implants particularly in patients with little soft tissue coverage.