With each year more and more women undergo plastic surgery procedures to enhance the appearance of their breasts. The breast augmentation surgery with implants has become one of the most performed procedures in the world nowadays. Despite the abundance of information about the procedure that can be found online, there are still many women who don’t know what the different characteristics of breast implants are. When considering going under the knife for breast implant surgery, it is essential to know what options you can choose from.Characteristics of mammary implants1. The content of the implantsBefore anything else, you should know that silicone breast implants are not the only option available. There are two types of implants depending on the content of the implant: silicone gel and saline solution.There have been times when saline solution implants have been the main method used for breast augmentation. Their main advantage is that in the case of rupture or leakage, the patient can notice and diagnose the issue almost immediately. This is because saline solution is absorbed by the body, leaving the breast deflated and empty of contents. However, saline solution implants don’t always provide the best feeling when touched, and they have an increased risk of implant rippling. Saline solution implants are inserted empty (just the silicone shell) and filled when already inside their pockets in the breasts. This usually translates into smaller incisions.A vast majority of the breast augmentation procedures performed nowadays use silicone implants. They have a silicone shell containing a silicone gel inside that won’t spread into the surrounding tissues if a rupture occurs. Moreover, silicone implants feel better to the touch and give the impression of a natural mammary gland. The silicone implants come prefilled with highly cohesive silicone gel, so depending on the size of the implant used, the incisions will be smaller or bigger. Both types of implants come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and textures of the surface of the shell.2. Size of the implantTo make a recommendation in terms of the suitable size for the implant, the plastic surgeon needs to perform a medical assessment of the patient. The height, weight, anatomy, and condition of the current mammary tissue will be evaluated, among other things. The lifestyle of the patient is also a factor to consider when deciding on the size of the implant. The morphology of the breasts needs to be assessed before making a recommendation. Even if the patient desires to get 500 cc implants but there is no sufficient mammary tissue to cover the implants, the plastic surgeon should recommend against it. As a general rule, the bigger the size of the augmentation desired, the bigger the size of the implant.If the dimension of the implant is too big for the mammary tissue available, the edges of the implants can be visible after surgery. Choosing implants that are too big for your anatomy can even lead to surgical complications. A commonly used size in the United States is 350 cc. This usually provides the patient with a full C cup, but it depends on the initial size of the breasts.3. Shell texture of the implantThe textured surface of the implants was created to ensure a rough area in which the collagen tissue of the body interacts with the implant. We have implants with a smooth or textured surface available nowadays. Studies show that the textured surface reduces the risk of developing capsular contracture complications.4. Shape and profile of the implantWhen it comes to shape, we have round implants and implants with an anatomical shape, also called tear-shaped implants. There are also different profiles available for the implants such as high and moderate. For example, for a patient wanting to achieve that appearance of perfectly round breasts with lots of upper pole fullness, round implants with a high profile are a good choice. The shapes and profiles are chosen depending on the results expected after the procedure.There are other differences in terms of breast implant characteristics, including the level of cohesiveness of the silicone gel. Some implants contain a more cohesive silicone gel (offering a firmness to the touch) while others have a softer gel that mimic a more natural feel of the mammary gland.Some patients ask if there is a way to choose the implants to avoid implant palpability. The reality is that implant palpability can be caused by using implants with a textured surface, overly large implants, implants placed under the mammary gland, and a lack of tissue to cover the implant.Keep in mind that following the plastic surgeon recommendations when it comes to choosing between different types of breast implants is essential to achieve the results you desire. The plastic surgeon will discuss in detail the different characteristics of the implants and explain why a certain type is recommended for your particular case.ConclusionBreast augmentation surgery with implants is seen by many as an affordable and widely available solution to improve the appearance of the breasts and trigger a boost of self- esteem. Keep in mind that breast implants are not considered medical devices meant to be used for a lifetime. All implants should come with a manufacturer’s warranty.The results of breast augmentation surgery are highly dependent on the types of implants chosen, but also the selection of the plastic surgeon and the surgical methods used during the operation.The implants are different in terms of contents, sizes, shapes, the texture of the silicone shell, and projection of the implant. Navigating through all these characteristics on your own can be a daunting task, so make sure to discuss this with your plastic surgeon as he is the one responsible for making a recommendation.