High Profile Breast Implants

The profile of a breast implant refers to how much the implant projects forward from a woman’s body. This is defined by the relationship between the base width (diameter) of the implant and the size or volume of the implant in cubic centimeters (cc’s). A low profile implant is wide and flat, while a high profile implant of the same size (volume) will be much narrower and protrude forward to create a more prominent breast.

Are High Profile Breast Implants Suitable for Me?

To help you decide whether high profile breast implants are appropriate for your body, during your pre-operative Breast Augmentation consultation at the Toronto Cosmetic Surgery Institute, Dr. Jugenburg will consider both your existing proporations and the look that you desire. Some women ask for ultra-high profile implants because they aspire for the very bubbly, push-up bra look (the fake look). Other women wish to have the very subtle enlargement of a lower profile implant (the Natural Look).

When choosing your breast implant profile, your existing breast width is a key factor. In order to achieve a natural, proportionate appearance, it is important to ensure that the implant is equal to or marginally smaller than your existing breast width. Women with very little existing breast tissue and a narrow chest (described as petite) are therefore often limited to implants that are much smaller than they had imagined their ideal size to be. In such situations, keeping the implant diameter (base width) small, but increasing the profile of the implant (i.e., the extent to which the implant protrudes forward), permits the use of a larger size implant without it being too wide for the patient's frame.

Your Breast Implants Size Limitations

Although there are physical limitations on what size breast implants can be used in certain women, it is important to distinguish between what is a high profile implant and what is an over-sized implant. Over-sized implants are implants that are not in proportion with the size and shape of your existing breasts and the rest of your body. Over-sized implants may also significantly increase the risk of complications, such as:


  1. Bottoming out (an unfavorable downward movement of an implant)
  2. Visible rippling, wrinkling and ridges (with insufficient breast tissue coverage)
  3. Stretchmarks (particularly in women predisposed to stretchmarks)
  4. Tissue, fat and muscle thinning (Pressure Atrophy) that leads to a reduction in size of the natural breast tissue
  5. Reoperation

This does not mean that high profile implants will necessarily lead to a greater risk of such complications; there is no evidence to suggest otherwise. High profile implants are useful in the right women. The process should be to first choose a size that is appropriate for your body, and then to select the implant profile that best matches the base diameter of your natural breasts. This may be high, moderate or low profile.

A Comparison of High Profile Saline and
Silicone Implants

High profile breast implants are available with either a saline or silicone gel fill. Both types of implants have specific benefits and come with similar highly durable, elastic and resilient silicone shells that are designed to be resistant to rupturing or tearing.

Key Benefits of High Profile Saline Breast Implants:

  1. Saline implants have been FDA and Health Canada approved for many years.
  2. Each implant is filled with a sterile salt-water solution similar to the fluid that makes up most of the human body (i.e., it is harmless and compatible with the human body).
  3. Saline implants have a flexible fill volume that can be precisely adjusted by Dr. Jugenburg during surgery to meet the needs of each patient and give the best result.
  4. Saline implants are typically filled to their maximum to reduce rippling/wrinkling, which tends to create a slightly more rounded and projected appearance as compared to a silicone implant of the same size and profile.
  5. If a saline implant leaks or ruptures it will be harmless, and since the breast size and shape will noticeably change, it will also be immediately apparent.
  6. The insertion of any given saline implant during surgery requires a smaller incision than that required for a similar size of silicone implant.
  7. Any size of saline implant can be inserted through an incision in the armpit (Trans-Axillary).
  8. Saline implants are cheaper than silicone implants, which means the total procedure cost for saline implant augmentation is cheaper for the patient.

Key Benefits of High Profile Silicone Breast Implants:

  1. All silicone implants are FDA and Health Canada approved
  2. Each implant is filled with a thick, cohesive silicone gel formula that holds together uniformly and retains a natural pliability that closely resembles breast tissue.
  3. Irrespective of the age of a silicone implant or a woman’s body position or lifestyle, overtime the rounded shape and an upright position are maintained by the thickness of the silicone gel. The shape and pertness of saline implants are more susceptible to a woman's body position and the affects of gravity.
  4. Silicone implants suffer from less rippling/wrinkling than saline implants and older liquid silicone implants.
  5. If a silicone implant leaks or ruptures, the silicone gel will not be released.
  6. Each implant has a set fill volume for predictable results.

Insertion of High Profile Breast Implants

All Breast Augmentation procedures initially involve the careful placement of a small incision through which a breast pocket is then created. The breast pocket is an empty space either above or below the chest muscle (pectoralis major) into which the breast implant is inserted. The incision can be made in one of three possible places on a woman’s body:

  1. Breast fold (Infra-Mammary Breast Augmentation)
  2. Areola (Peri-Areolar Breast Augmentation)
  3. Armpit (Trans-Axillary Breast Augmentation)


The technique that is chosen to perform the surgery will depend on a woman's existing breast anatomy and the type and size of the chosen breast implant. However, since the silicone shell of a saline implant is inserted into its placement under the breast without fluid (i.e., without being inflated) and filled during surgery, the size of a saline implant does not influence the type of incision that is used. Unlike saline implants, silicone implants come in pre-filled sizes and require larger incisions for insertion.

Therefore, while any size of saline implant can be inserted using an incision made in the armpit, thereby completely removing scarring in the breast area, higher profile silicone implants above 450 cc cannot be inserted using this technique. Higher profile silicone implants are instead typically inserted through the breast fold or areola.