Breast implant selection: Should you choose moderate or high profile implants?

A single breast implant.

If you are having Breast augmentation, you should have the opportunity to select the breast implant that will give you the look you want. Although implant volume (cc’s) is important, the shape of the implant is just as important.

Implant shape has two components. One is the base, or how much space the implant occupies on the chest wall. The other is projection, or how much the implant stands out from the chest wall. For example, a 350cc implant can be moderate profile or high profile.

Moderate profile implant

The moderate profile implant will occupy a larger diameter of your chest wall, it is wider and taller. It will not project outward so much, as it is distributed in a flatter, wider fashion. This implant is often chosen by patients who want fullness to the side of the breasts. In the video snapshot below, this profile is that implant to your right.

High profile implant

The high profile implant will occupy a smaller diameter on your chest wall as it is narrower but it also stands out more from the chest wall. This implant is often chosen by women who are slender and want more projection outward, instead of fullness on the side of the breast. In the video below, this profile is the implant to your left.

I prefer that the patient starts the process by first selecting the type, or profile of the implant. Then, after the shape of the implant is determined, you are better able to select the size of the implant that will give you the look you want.

Other factors which determine whether you want a high profile or moderate profile implant include the following breast dimensions:

  • chest width
  • breast inframammary fold
  • second intercostal space

I will continue to discuss these terms with you in future blogs so you will better prepared to discuss these with your plastic surgeon during your consultation.

Your plastic surgeon should have various samples of implants so that you can try on the implants to get a better idea of how high profile vs moderate profile will look on you. Implant size and profile are not something you want to try to guess!  Be sure that you have access to the various breast implant samples at your breast augmentation consultation.

By Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Cosmeticsurg Baltimore, Maryland Ricardo L. Rodriguez on American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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22 thoughts on “Breast implant selection: Should you choose moderate or high profile implants?”

    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Nina: You should contact Kelly, she will be happy to send you info. If you come to our office, we have a lot of implants of all sizes and shapes you can try on
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Michelle: I would need to know a lot more information before I could make a recommendation that made sense. I will let Kelly at know of your interest. A virtual consult where I could see full figure pictures would give me a much better idea of what your options are.
  • Danita says:

    Hello Dr. Rodriguez, I live about an hour and a half from Baltimore. Do you offer the style 45 ( UHP 800CC implants? I am seeking to be a DD-DDD cup. I am currently a full 38B cup.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Danita: We do use the Style 45 implant, and we have samples so you can put them inside a bra and see if that is what you want. We will be more than happy to let you try on different profile implants so you can tell the differences and how they fit your body type.
  • Rachel says:

    I am scheduled to have breast aug soon. I am 22 years old about 5feet and 112lbs. I am a small B cup right now and am looking for a good C cup. I was recommended to do a high profile 420cc. But I am beginning to think that is a bit too large. My breast already are a bit spaced out. Please help.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Rachel: The best way to resolve this is to ask your surgeon to try the actual implant sizers on with a bra and a tight shirt to get an idea. I do this routinely with my patients. There is no way to make a judgement on size because I don't know what your taste or expectations are. I let patients make that judgement by themselves by looking in the mirror with the different implants. Hope this helps!
  • Jacky says:

    I already have implants. I am 5'2 weigh 105lbs and I have 325cc's and they are saline (normal). I am planning on going a bit bigger in size. My implants are not even and I look like a size B; I want to wear a full C and want my chest to look fuller but nice/somewhat natural. I will be getting High profile saline implants. how many CC's do you suggest that I should get?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Jacky: Without seeing a picture of you, it is hard to make a guess. As a general rule of thumb, if a patient of mine asks for a larger size, I recommend going at least 100cc's bigger to really notice a difference. The patient may elect not to go that much bigger, but that is a good point to start the discussion. Another thing we do is to have the patient hold an implant of the size they have already in one hand, and the other implant that she is thinking of in the other hand. There are other things to think about, of course, such as implant placement, that impacts on the appearance, independent of size. Hope this helps!
  • Agnes Liddy says:

    What is concidered a small frame ? a wide frame ? tall or short persons for breast implants? Is there an actual chart that take all of this into concederation? I am 5''5' tall and my weight is 130.My PS is recomending 400 high profile for my body .I think this will be to be i am a 34B with arib cavity of 31' with 13' diemeter.I am looking for a natural flow.He says due toslight droping it is recomended with a pericular lift.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Agnes: There is no actual chart that will give you an answer. My opinion is that it is the patient herself who decides what looks best on her. The patient stands in front of the 3-way mirror with an oversize bra and a tight fitting pastel colored shirt. This mimics the compression effect of the skin on the implant. Then we try different types of implants of varying width and projection. I try not to focus on size, but on what the patient likes. My preference is seldom what the patient likes, so I find it best to keep my mouth shut and let the patient pick what she likes the most. It is the patient, after all, who lives with the result of the surgery. Without seeing you, it is hard for me to know whether you need a lift or not, but you have to decide for yourself. Best of luck!
  • Khrystina says:

    Good afternoon doctor. I am just beginning my journey with breast cancer. I have opted for a double mastectomy w/immediate reconstruction. I have seen many blogs, many message boards and now I’m researching the possible end results. I know every body type is different, but now I’m at the point where I want to see some light at the end of the tunnel. I am very small framed, 4?11? 105 lbs, but my current breast size is a 32 C/D. I know it’s very hard to determine what is right for me without seeing me, but I do have that short distance issue as the African-American woman has in your video. I was interested in seeing her after photos, as she was the only one who did not have them. I am seeking a shape similar to my current breast, which looks very similar to the woman in your video who is slender chest moderate profile at the 4:19 mark) As I stated earlier, I know it’s hard to determine my needs, but I would also like some knowledge on whether or not because of my small stature, I won’t have to end up with half watermelons on my chest. I want them to look as natural as possible. Any additional information you can provide will be greatly appreciated. THIS HAS BEEN REPOSTED, BECAUSE I TYPED MY EMAIL ADDRESS INCORRECTLY. THIS HAS BEEN FIXED.
  • Susan says:

    I am 5'3, with a diameter of 12.5 and trying to decide between 350 high profile or 350 moderate plus. With my diameter, I am told if I go moderate plus I really should do 275-300. I am leaning toward hp but don't want too fake or like tennis balls on a chest. Thoughts.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      First thought: It would be of very little use to you if I gave an opinion on such little information. Second thought: Try out all those implants with a tight T-shirt (to simulate the compressing effect of your soft tissues), pastel color (too light color makes the implants look too big, too dark makes the implant look smaller), and see how it looks on your chest. I am not a big fan of measurements as an absolute guide because some women might actually look better with an implant larger than their chest diameter, or smaller. If you want a more detailed answer applicable to you, I would need to look at your preoperative pictures. If you are interested, contact Kelly at Let us know what you decide!
  • venus says:

    Dr. Rodriguez I was wondering if you do gummy bear implants or silicone gummy implants. Also I was wondering if you do work through MFI ( Please let me know!! thank you
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      I do work through MFI, I'm surprised you did not see our banner ad. We'd be delighted to have you come to our office! As far as the gummy bear implants, they are nice, but they are better for patients who have had a breast reconstruction or a lot of problems with capsular contracture. They are kind of stiff.
  • New York liposuctions says:

    My sister-in-law underwent a breast removal surgery after being diagnosed stage 2 borderline 3. Initial lumpectomy followed by bilateral mastectomy, 4 rounds chemo , oophorectomy, delayed reconstruction (tissue expanders replaced with saline implants), Arimidex. Can she have a breast implant now? If yes, which one would be better as per her given condition?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Lester: Did she have radiation? If she did, I would leave things alone, the better choice if she was to have anything done would be a tissue flap. It looks like she has a saline implant. That is, by any standard, a complete reconstruction. If she wants a silicon implant, I would check out the Inamed gummy ear implant. Go to the Inamed web site to find a surgeon near you who does the inamed implants.
  • Amber says:

    Hey Dr. Rodriguez, my name is Amber and i am 20 years old. My friend recently came to you and recieved brest implants. They look good...anyway i am having trouble trying to figure out what to do. I have underdevolped breast and i want to go big. I am 5'10 and weigh about 289pds and i am ready to make them look like they fit. all i know is i want a moderate profile. What is your advice for me? Thanks so much. Amber
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Amber: It is impossible to give specific advice without seeing you. The decision to go with moderate profile implants sounds reasonable, but you should really try some implants on in the doctor's office before making any decisions. We'd be more than happy to see you.