Why Do We Need Anatomical Implants? the Science and Rationale for Maintaining Their Availability and Use in Breast Surgery

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2020 Apr;44(2):253-263. doi: 10.1007/s00266-019-01595-z. Epub 2020 Jan 2.


The choice between anatomical and round implants is an important decision in breast augmentation surgery; however, both have their place and the decision between them that should be made on a patient-by-patient basis, taking into account the patient's desires, anatomy, and surgical history. In some individuals, there are clear indications for using either anatomical or round devices, and there is good evidence that aesthetic outcomes are better with anatomical implants in some instances. When both types are an option, anatomical devices may offer increased flexibility and, despite a longer learning curve needed to properly manage them, they are associated with positive long-term outcomes and high levels of patient satisfaction. Concerns about implant rotation can be minimized with proper patient selection and surgical technique, and the overall complication rate may favor anatomical over round devices in appropriate patients. Breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma is an important issue, and while rare, it must be considered in the context of the entire patient risk profile. Both anatomical and round implants remain key elements of a complete surgical toolbox in breast augmentation. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE IV: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.springer.com/00266.

Keywords: ALCL; Anatomical implants; Breast augmentation; Implant selection; Round implants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Implantation* / adverse effects
  • Breast Implants*
  • Breast Neoplasms*
  • Esthetics
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty*
  • Mastectomy
  • Treatment Outcome