Breast Augmentation

Dr. Usha Rajagopal and her staff at San Francisco Plastic Surgery and Laser Center offer premier breast augmentation surgery for women in the Bay Area

What is Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation (augmentation mammaplasty) is a surgical procedure that uses breast implants to enhance the size and shape of a woman’s breast. Breast enlargement procedures have rapidly become the number one cosmetic surgery completed in the United States, with over 270,000 augmentations performed in 2015.

Women who undergo breast augmentation surgery seek better-proportioned figures, more flattering contours, or reclaimed body shape after childbirth or advancing age. By inserting implants behind each breast, women may obtain larger bra-cup sizes and symmetrical appearance around the bust area.

At the San Francisco Plastic Surgery and Laser Center, we offer several breast augmentation procedures utilizing the latest medical technology. With 21 years of experience in breast enhancement, Dr. Rajagopal and her team are here to select the procedure that’s right for you.

See also:

Asian breast augmentation          Revisional Breast Augmentation (Complications after Breast Augmentation)

Who are Good Candidates for Breast Augmentation?

There are many reasons women may desire larger and fuller breasts. You may be a good candidate for breast augmentation if you wish to:

  • Enhance your natural figure or contours
  • Correct a reduction of breast volume after pregnancy
  • Balance a difference in breast sizes
  • Reconstruct your breast following breast surgery
  • Look better in form fitting clothing
  • Feel more proportionately balanced

A woman looking for improvement, not perfection, in the way she looks is the strongest candidate for breast augmentation. If you’re physically healthy and realistic in your expectations, this type of procedure may be right for you.

Using 3D Vectra XT Technology for Breast Augmentation


We use the most advanced body simulation technology at the San Francisco Plastic Surgery and Laser Center: the 3D Vectra XT imaging system. 3D Vectra XT is a cutting-edge body scanner that takes high-resolution photos of your body. We use this technology to capture ultra-detailed 3D images of your real body to simulate procedures using your dimensions, shapes, and skin tones.

With our simulations, we can realistically preview how implant sizes and shapes appear on your body. Overlaying simulated images over your digital self shows us your look “before” and “after” implant surgery. We can view these results from multiple angles to see the real differences a procedure will make. With the help of the Vectra XT, we can determine what approaches are best for your individual body and give you a glimpse of what you can expect from your surgical procedure. To learn more about our technology and our scanning process, contact San Francisco Plastic Surgery and Laser Center to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Usha Rajagopal today.

Considering breast augmentation surgery? Take a glimpse into the future of your body.

Considering breast augmentation surgery? Take a glimpse into the future of your body.

Breast Augmentation FAQ with Dr. Rajagopal (KRON4′s Body Beautiful)

Getting Your Breast Augmentation

The method of inserting and positioning your implant will depend on your anatomy and Dr. Rajagopal’s recommendation. The incision can be made either in the crease where the breast meets the chest, around the areola (the dark skin surround the nipple) or in the armpit. Every effort will be made to assure that the incision is placed so resulting scars will be as inconspicuous and minimal as possible.

Working through the incision, Doctor Rajagopal will lift your breast tissue and skin to create a pocket, either directly behind the breast tissue or underneath your chest wall muscle (the pectoral muscle). The implants are then centered beneath your nipples.

Some surgeons believe that putting the implants behind your chest muscle may reduce the potential for capsular contracture. This placement may also interfere less with breast examination by mammogram than if the implant is placed directly behind the breast tissue. Placement behind the muscle, however, may be more painful for a few days after surgery than placement directly under the breast tissue. 

breast implant placement

Types of Breast Implants 

Dr. Rajagopal uses both saline and silicone implants. Most saline-filled breast implants share some standard features, like a silicone rubber shell and a valve for filling with saline solution. However, to better meet each individual woman’s needs, breast implants come in different shapes and sizes. Some implants are round, and some are anatomical. The shape of the implants you choose may affect the shape of your augmented breasts.

The newest implant is an inflatable type and can be used in selected patients. Dr. Rajagopal will recommend an implant depending on your breast and body shape.

Natrelle (Silicone):

Used consistently in more than 60 countries outside of the US for 25 years, Natrelle™ breast implants use a cohesive silicone gel that is more a soft-solid than a liquid, so it maintains its shape. Many believe this makes an implant look and feel more natural.

Every silicone gel-filled breast implant in the Natrelle™ Collection is FDA-approved and protected by our patented patch design with 360-degree barrier layer coverage. What’s more, they are available in a wide variety of options, so you and your surgeon can find your best fit.

Natrelle Inspira

The NATRELLE® Inspira Collection of implants are available in multiple different sizes. The Inspira collection is the most advanced and latest generation of implants from Allergan. The gel is available in two forms; a softer cohesive silicone gel for a more natural feel and an ultra cohesive silicone gel.

Choosing the proper implant and size is an important decision. Your surgeon will assist in selecting the right match to compliments the width of your breast and body shape.  Dr. Usha Rajagopal is a leading name in cosmetic surgery and is a trainer for Allergan. Inspira breast implants from Allergan are a batch of 5th generation silicone gel-filled breast implants, giving you a vast range of options to choose from, which can be tailored to be a perfect fit for your body.

Inspira implants are either smooth or textured, and are available in two forms:

  • Round implants – Make existing breasts look fuller by enhancing volume to the upper pole of the breast. It imparts a “round” appearance and comes in four profiles such as low, moderate, full and extra full.
  • Teardrop implants –Are structured more naturally to follow the body’s usual lines. The breast undergoes a larger increase in lower pole volume, while the enhancement is less in the upper pole volume. If there is any deficit in breast tissue, these implants can be utilized to give proper shape. They are known as anatomical implants and provide a natural yet substantively augmented outcome.

Talk to your surgeon about which of these cohesive gel fillers will best suit your requirements. The silicone in Inspira doesn’t behave like a fluid, but a soft solid. These implants have a 95% average fill to offer more projection at every width while maintaining optimal fullness in the upper half. Allergan is the front runner in saline and silicone products, and its recent Inspira line of silicone breast implants have taken the world by storm due to their unparalleled quality while decreasing risks of rippling and rupture. Ask your doctor about Inspira. 

For more information about Natrelle silicone implants see the official Natrelle website(

Sientra (Silicone):

San Francisco Plastic Surgery also offers Sientra silicone breast implants. Sientra products come in various shapes and sizes for a tailored solution for each individual. These products are only sold to board certified plastic surgeons to ensure top quality.


Finally, beauty without compromise. Now available in our office, the IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implant has a natural feel, and advantages over silicone gel, such as only saline inside for peace of mind. Unlike silicone gel implants that have a high rate of silent rupture and require an MRI scan for detection, with the IDEAL IMPLANT, you can look in the mirror each day and be confident your implants are intact.

The IDEAL IMPLANT, has been in clinical use since 2009. It has been approved by FDA and Health Canada, and is only available through a limited Network of board certified or eligible plastic surgeons.

Please call us today to come in for a consultation. Do your own side-by-side comparison of the IDEAL IMPLANT to the silicone gel implant.

After Your Enhancement Surgery

You’re likely to feel tired and sore for a few days following your surgery, but you’ll be up and around in 24 to 48 hours. Most of your discomfort can be controlled by prescribed medication. You may also experience a burning sensation in your nipples for about two weeks, but this will subside as bruising fades. Your stitches will come out in a week to 10 days, but the swelling in your breasts may take three to five weeks to disappear.

Returning to Your Routine

You should be able to return to work within a week, depending on the level of activity required for your job.

Your breasts will probably be sensitive to direct stimulation for two to three weeks, so you should avoid much physical contact. After that, breast contact is fine once your breasts are no longer sore, usually five to six weeks after surgery.

Your scars will be firm and pink for at least six weeks. Then they remain the same size for several months or even appear to widen. After several months, your scars will begin to fade, although they will never disappear completely.

Common Risks Associated With Breast Implants

Capsular Contracture – This is the most common side effect of breast implants. During breast surgery, a pocket is made that is larger than the implants that are used. In this area, a fibrous membrane (a “capsule”), can form around the implant. Under ideal circumstances, the pocket maintains its original dimensions and the implant “rests” inside, remaining soft and natural. For some patients, the scar capsule shrinks and constricts the implant, resulting in firmness.

This contraction can occur at any time after surgery and could appear in one or both breasts. Though not a health concern, capsular contracture can cause pain, discomfort or distortion of the breast contour. In some cases, your doctor can correct this issue.

Rippling and Wrinkling –  This is due to the implant fill volume, as well as “traction rippling” which is caused by the implant pulling on the capsule. The larger the implant, and the thinner the tissues, the greater the rippling. Rippling or wrinkling always present in some form.

Loss of Nipple Sensation – Although this does not happen routinely, it can happen no matter how carefully the surgery is done. If nipple sensory loss occurs, the nerves slowly recover within 1-2 years in about 85% of cases.

Implant Leak or Deflation – This causes no medical harm but requires replacement of the implant in a secondary procedure. The rate of saline-implant leakage is quoted at about 1-2% per year.

How Often Do These Risks Occur With Breast Implant Surgery?

In results released from a recent study of 2528 saline breast implants placed:

  • 2% of implants deflated
  • 7% developed capsular contracture
  • 20% had visible rippling that required reoperation

Also, see our video on the breast lift page: How to know when you need a breast augmentation, breast lift or both?

If you have any questions regarding Breast Enhancement surgery risks or wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rajagopal, call the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Laser Center at 415-392-3333. 

Breast Implants Bay Area: Before & After Photos (explicit images)

*Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person.

Our Reviews:

Layla F. ( – Salem, MA 29 Mar 2012

“Went in for eyelid surgery about ten years ago and then for breast reduction and lift about three years ago. … This woman is highly skilled and is a breast expert, no question. Beautiful results. … Love the all-woman staff, including the anesthesiologist. I have since recommended her to a number of friends. This place does gorgeous work. Many, many thanks.”

ChaCha7 ( – San Francisco, CA 2010

“Dr R & all her staff are very friendly, caring & they provide professional top notch excellent service. As soon as you walk in,you feel right at ease with Dr. R. I initially had my breast implants done about 14 years ago with Dr. R, but gravity has taken over & they were sagging. I booked a consult and to my surprise she remembered me & even gave me a discount for being a repeat patient! I then booked my appointment she did my breasts lift & augmentation 12/27/10. All went amazingly well I am 3 weeks post op and LOVE my new perky breast!”

Alexis R. ( – San Mateo, CA 6 May 2010

“I went to Usha to get my breasts augmented after a significant weight loss. She was very informative and made me feel very comfortable. At first I was apprehensive about the size we chose, but 3 months post op I couldn’t be happier with the results. I`m feeling more confident and couldn’t have had a better experience.”

Elena D. ( Oakland, CA 24 Feb 2014

“I had a breast lift-and augmentation over 5 years ago after my first child and it was the best decision I have made ( other than having kids- of course). They still look and feel fabulous.  

It’s improved my confidence and self esteem so much- I am so appreciative of her care in determining the correct size and look of my breasts- they are perfect! Now I’m undergoing some other non surgical procedures and have had great experiences. Thank you!”

Erika P. ( – Vallejo, CA 3 May 2015

“I had a lolly pop lift and breast implants and I’ve gotta say it’s so much less painless than I thought it would be and I’m convinced it is because of her! I’ll update this as I heal but she’s amazing!”

Brianna ( – CA 3 May 2015

“I immediatelty loved her! She is so sweet and warm and really makes you feel comfortable. I told her I wanted to be the exact same size as my sister and be around a full C or small D cup.

She told me I would have to go with slightly bigger implants cause I was starting out with smaller brests than her, so to be the same size, I would to get 425cc. I was very nervous thinking that was a lot of cc’s, but I felt I could trust her to give me what I wanted.

…So, it’s been 4 weeks since my surgery! … I’m so so happy with the size I picked and in retrospect, I couldn’t believe I ever thought of going smaller”  Read the rest of this real patient’s Breast Augmentation journey on Realself

*Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person.

Procedure Cost

View San Francisco Plastic Surgery and Laser Center’s pricing chart for the cost of this procedure and other affordable treatments and procedures.