Round vs. Anatomical Implants

Breast Augmentation / Surgical Tips

11 Apr 2023

Round vs. Anatomical Implants

Are you keen on a breast augmentation but not sure which shape is best for you? There is a big difference between round and anatomical implants and there are good reasons why in 98% of cases, I use anatomical implants for my patients.

Keep reading as I discuss the differences between round and anatomical implants and the pros and cons for each. And there is a little quiz at the end to see if you can spot the difference!

Round vs anatomical implants

Round implants are simply as the name describes, round in shape and smooth in texture on the outside. Round implants are commonly requested by women pursuing more of fuller upper pole look and they have often been told that round implants are the best way to achieve that goal. The gel inside round implants is generally softer than anatomical implants, reducing their ability to shape the breast as much as the alternative.

Anatomical implants are shaped like a tear drop and generally micro-textured. They have firmer gel inside, which can shape the breast tissue to a greater extent. Their combination of shape and feel mean they are ideal to not just ‘fill’ the breast, but also address shape issues (such as tuberous breasts) and laxity (due to weight loss or babies).

So why do I use so many anatomical implants?

Of the 350 implants I use each year, 95% are anatomical!

This is because they offer plenty of opportunity to create upper pole fullness and cleavage (in the hands of a skilled and experienced Plastic Surgeon) but also the shaping and “lifting” benefits unique to anatomical implants.

So great for young women wanting extra volume, but also mums and weight loss patients!

From my experience the results of anatomical implants also last longer because they “grip” better due to the micro-texturing on the outside, reducing risks of them “bottoming out” (ie, effectively slipping down the chest wall).

I do still offer round implants for patients who understand the pros and cons of both options.


Pros and cons of round vs anatomical implants

Round implants

  • Due to the shape of round implants it doesn’t matter if the implant rotates,
  • They are cheaper compared to anatomical implants,
  • Round smooth implants have a lower chance of ALCL
  • Round implants have a higher risk of capsular contracture and bottoming out compared to anatomical implants,
  • Don’t address laxity of breasts as well
  • Generally aren’t firm enough to substantially reshape breasts in cases such as tuberous breasts.

Anatomical implants

  • Better “lifting” and reshaping capabilities
  • Versatile – can be made to look more “fake” or more “natural” depending on your goals and body type
  • Lower rates of capsular contracture (hardening of the capsule your body forms around an implant)
  • More expensive than round implants
  • Can rotate when not inserted by a specialist
  • Risk of ALCL higher due to the micro-textured surface


Question: Which patient below has round implants?

Answer: Neither! You probably thought Patient A had round implants, right? But in fact, both patients have anatomical implants with a ‘dual plane’ technique. Patient A has 330cc anatomical implants and Patient B has 440cc anatomical implants.

While round implants can give you more upper pole fullness, you can still achieve this look with anatomical implants. Results depend on the technique used and the size of the implants.

Can I get enough cleavage with anatomical implants?

Yes! Assuming the surgeon knows the right technique for creating shape and tightness in the breast pocket, upper pole fullness can be achieved with anatomical implants. For instance, I can achieve cleavage by manipulating the breast pocket using the ‘dual plane’ technique and ensuring the implant is placed securely while still creating cleavage.

Dual plane placement works well to achieve a natural looking appearance because the implant has coverage provided by the pec muscle at the top to hide the implant underneath existing breast tissue. This limits the obvious line of the implant, especially in very slim patients.

Why do some surgeons only use round implants?

Partly it is much more complex surgery to use anatomical implants as the pocket created in the breast has to be perfect to prevent rotation. That takes time and when some practitioners are offering $6,000 breast augmentations, they don’t have that time to invest in the result!

We saw a wave of round implants being used a few years ago by the “cosmetic surgery production line” style clinics and they would inflate the risks of anatomical implants in terms of rotation when the reality was they simply lacked the skill or time to properly use anatomical implants.

What implants do we use?

The implants we use are Mentor by Johnson & Johnson. They are the world’s leading implant manufacturer and are backed by a 10 year guarantee with the most demonstrated safety record worldwide.


All surgery has risks, and for breast augmentation surgery there are general surgical risks as well as implant related risks. Some of these are outlined in this website article and it is important to note that while textured anatomical implants have risks, so too do round smooth implants which are more prone to capsular contracture and bottoming out (ie, slipping down the chest wall).

How much does a breast augmentation cost?

Breast augmentations with Dr Moncrieff start from $15,000. Find out more about cost by visiting our breast augmentation page here.

Want to discover more?

A great way to ‘Try before you buy’ is to come in and have a $100 Vectra 3D surgery simulation with my Practice Manager Jessica. 

Many patients love this service because it gives them a much better idea of sizing and placement than simply putting sizing implants in a bra can! And the $100 cost is rebated against your consultation with me if you decide to continue exploring if the surgery is right for you.


More information on the website

Discover more about breast augmentation (also known by the medical term of augmentation mammoplasty), including information on hospital arrangements, recovery and a 3D animation of the procedure by visiting our breast augmentation page.

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Blog Author:

Dr Nicholas Moncrieff, Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon

About Dr Moncrieff

Dr Moncrieff focuses exclusively on breast reductions, breast lifts, breast augmentation, tummy tucks and body lifts.

He is one of only a handful of Plastic Surgeons across Australia with this sole breast and body focus.

Dr Moncrieff has performed thousands of surgical procedures over more than two decades in medicine. Over 20,000 of these procedures have been in Newcastle.

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