Cosmetic Surgery Videos

Breast Implants : high profile vs. moderate profile

Procedure Breast augmentation
Length of video 5:49

If you are considering breast augmentation, don't get too focused on a particular implant size, they also come in different configurations. You have a body type that's your own and although you might want a 350cc implant, for example, the moderate profile might be better suited for you, or the high profile, and you just might have to go up or down a size depending on which profile you pick and your desired result. The size of the implant will definitely play a role, but implant types and placement is of just as much importance in your decision making process!

In this video I talk about the differences between high profile and moderate profile implants using actual, 350cc, silicone implants (because they are the most popular size) so you can see the differences as I discuss them. A 350cc moderate profile implant has a low projection relatlive to a high profile implant of the same size, but the moderate profile implant would have the larger base. I also show a photograph of an average-build patient who has been marked, pre-operatively, to note the midline, the inframammary fold (where I generally like to place the bottom of the implant), and the second intercostal space to illustrate how implant placement comes into the consult discussion as well.

Finally, I review several before and after photos from actual patients with various body types to show how the different size and projection choices were chosen to achieve the final result each patient wanted. To determine what implant is ultimately right for you, be conscious of your body type, the implant types, the implant dimensions and how that relates to your chest wall (in particular, the width and the distance between the inframammary fold and the second intercostal space). And don't get locked into a certain implant size, see how the particular confirmation plays with your chest wall and make the choices that will give you the look you want.


Hi, this is Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez and today I'm going to talk to you about medium profile implants and high profile implants.

Implants come in sizes; for example, the most common size is at 350 cc's. However, it also comes in different configurations. For example, on my left hand you see a moderate-profile implant which has a low projection relative to the high-profile implant which appears taller. However, when viewed from the front, the moderate profile implant has a larger base than the high-profile implant. And this matters because they sit differently on your chest.

For example, a moderate profile implant will occupy more space on your chest wall than a high profile implant. On the other hand, the high profile implant, for any given volume that you want, will project more.

Why does this matter to you? Well, because you have a body type that's your own, and you may need - although you may want a 350cc implant - the moderate profile might be better suited for you or, for example, the higher profile might be better suited for you, or you may even have to go up or down a size, depending on the profile implant that you pick.

Now, here's a photograph of a patient that has been marked pre-operatively. She's, what I would say, average build and you see some marks there: you see the midline mark, then you see the mark of the inframammary fold. That's generally where I like to place the bottom of the implant, right around that line.

Now, the other line that people don't pay enough attention to is the second intercostal space, or junction with your sternum. When implants go above that line, they appear to be too much over the top, or you appear like you have too much cleavage. When the implants are below that line, they have a much more normal appearance, even though it's the same implant with the same projection.

We know that, for example, in cases on whom we have done a breast reconstruction where there's a mismatch of the implants and then later we reposition the implant and we will see that the same implant in a lower position will look much better.

Now, one way to determine what implant is right for you, is to be conscious of the implant dimensions. in other words, how much is the base diameter of the implant and how it relates to your chest wall. For example, a very tall slender woman might need an implant that is taller than it is wide, and that's the old oval or teardrop shape implant, which I rarely use nowadays but, you know, once in a while has its use.

on the other extreme, we have a person who would be short with a very short distance between the inframammary fold and the second intercostal space. She's almost predetermined to have to use a small diameter implant in order to give her the volume that she wants and the appearance that she wants. She doesn't want a breast implant to overwhelm her chest wall, she wants one that will give her adequate volume but, then again, within the short dimension.

On the other hand, if you have a slender woman of average height, let's say 5'6" or 5'7", and she wants an implant that will give her projection and a sensation of volume, and let's say she wanted a 350cc implant, she might be better off actually going down a size but with a narrower base and more projection - because if she picks a 350cc implant, it might overwhelm her chest wall or make her chest wall look too large or make the breast implants come out the side. Now, some women like that look. In that case, they might be better off with a bigger implant or with moderate profile implant.

Another example is a woman with broad shoulders but thin chest. In those cases I have found those women have the most freedom because if they pick a moderate-sized implant, they will balance out her shoulders; whereas, if she goes with a high-profile implant with a narrower diameter, they still can stay within the confines of their chest wall.

So as you can see, the decision for an implant is not just necessarily the size, but it's also the configuration of the implant. And don't get locked into a certain size like I want a 300cc or 350cc, see how the particular conformation plays with your chest wall! Like I said, in some cases, you might want to go to a larger implant with a narrower base or, conversely, go to a smaller implant with a wider base, depending on what your look is.

In any case, I hope this has helped you. Write to the blog if you have any questions or if you want me to go into other specific areas of the implants and keep the questions coming.

Thank you very much!

Read even more about the different implant profiles in this blog post and take a look at our photo gallery to see even more real patient results.

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