When you visit Dr. Katerina Gallus for your free breast augmentation consultation at our San Diego office, we will discuss your goals, examine your anatomy, and go over the options you have for your procedure. Below, we outline some of the important factors of breast augmentation that affect your final results: breast implant type, incision location, and implant position, as well as the cosmetic benefits and what you can expect after surgery.
Breast implant options
1. Silicone breast implants
Silicone breast implants consist of an outer silicone shell that is filled with a cohesive silicone gel. The dimensions and consistency of silicone gel implants come in many varieties. We utilize the Vectra XT 3D imaging system to allow you to see simulated results and work with Dr. Gallus to find the implant best suited to your body.
2. Saline implants
Saline breast implants consist of an outer silicone shell that is filled with sterile salt water (saline). Saline implants have a long track record of safe use in plastic surgery and are often requested by patients based on personal preferences or prior experience with saline implants.
3. Structured saline implants
Structured saline breast implants are the latest addition to the implant market. These offer a more natural feel than traditional saline implants without using silicone gel filling. The unique series of implant shells nestle together between two separate chambers that contain the saline. The structured saline implant uses traditional implant materials for the external and internal shells to control saline movement and support the edges to minimize collapse and visible wrinkling, or implant rippling.
Breast augmentation incisions
The incision location is chosen based on the patient’s preference and the surgeon’s recommendation in order to achieve the best possible outcome. Incisions are placed in inconspicuous locations to minimize visible scarring. Typically, one of the following incision locations may be used:
- The inframammary incision is placed along the breast crease, where the underside of the breast meets the skin of the upper abdominal area.
- The periareolar incision is placed around the lower half of the nipple-areolar complex.
Breast implant positioning
Implant positioning, or placement, will impact the final results of your breast augmentation. The ideal placement, whether over or under the pectoral muscle, will be determined by your aesthetic goals and your surgeon’s expert guidance, taking into account how much natural breast tissue you have.
Under-the-muscle implant positioning places the upper part of the implant beneath the chest muscle. The lower part of the implant is beneath glandular breast tissue. This technique can provide a natural breast slope and a natural breast appearance. It is ideal for thin patients with small amounts of natural breast tissue.
Over-the-muscle implant positioning places the implant beneath the glandular tissue and over the chest muscle. It gives a very natural appearance in women who have a moderate amount of breast tissue.
The aesthetic benefits of breast augmentation surgery
Everyone has a unique goal for their breasts, and your free consultation will be the perfect opportunity to articulate these goals with Dr. Gallus. Many patients’ goals for their new look include some change to their breast fullness, how their breast size relates to their overall frame, and/or improved symmetry:
- Fullness: You may choose breast augmentation because your breasts lack attractive fullness. Factors such as implant type, position, and profile will affect the size of your breasts and where the fullness occurs (many women desire improved “upper pole fullness”). Increasing the size of your breasts can restore the soft, feminine appearance you may be looking for.
- Balance: Breasts that are too small for your frame can create unbalanced proportions with your hips, shoulders, or other features. For women with curvier hips, small breasts can lead to a triangle-shaped body rather than the more desired hourglass shape, for example. Enhancing your bustline can create subtle, attractive curves and improve the overall balance of your physique.
- Symmetry: It’s common to have breasts that are slightly different sizes. Asymmetry is naturally occurring and is present in a significant number of women. Since we tailor all breast augmentation procedures to our breast augmentation patients, adjustments can be made to treat asymmetry and provide a more symmetrical and even breast appearance.
The last reason many San Diego women choose breast implants is confidence. Deciding to undergo breast augmentation should be for personal reasons. Enhancing your physique can not just achieve the aesthetic you desire, but also improve your confidence and comfort.
Dr. Gallus of Restore SD Plastic Surgery only operates at surgical facilities that are fully accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAAASF). Considered the “gold standard” in facility accreditation, AAAASF facilities must meet over 350 standards for quality, safety, and sterility. Dr. Gallus has hospital privileges at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, and also operates in select private outpatient surgical facilities within 5-10 minutes from her office.
Breast augmentation recovery
What is recovery like?
You will experience bruising and swelling around the breasts. Most breast augmentation patients return to work within one to two weeks of their procedure and can resume their regular exercise routine after four weeks. Patients will be required to wear a special support bra for several weeks during their recovery. Major swelling should subside within six weeks, but minor swelling can last for several months.
What kind of pain should I expect?
General anesthesia prevents pain during your surgery, and oral pain medicine is used to prevent discomfort following your surgery. Most discomfort only lasts several days.
How much time should I take off work?
You should expect to take one to two weeks off from work, depending on what you do for a living. You will need a ride home after having your procedure under general anesthesia, and you should have a friend or family member stay with you for the first night and a day or two, if possible. You will not be able to drive while taking narcotic pain medication.
What will my scars look like?
Breast augmentation uses thin, well-placed incisions designed to limit visible scarring. However, scar development varies based on the patient’s natural healing abilities. Scars take 9 to 12 months to fully mature, and the Restore SD Plastic Surgery team will help you with scar care as an important part of recovery, which may involve avoiding the sun (no topless beaches for six to nine months!), scar cream, scar massage, and/or fractionated laser treatments as needed.
Dr. Katerina Gallus is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and has over a decade of experience in cosmetic breast and body surgery, facial rejuvenation, and breast reconstruction. A trusted surgeon, her opinions are nationally respected, and she is a requested expert for meetings, panels, and journal articles.
Schedule your free breast augmentation San Diego consultation with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Katerina Gallus in La Jolla
Dr. Katerina Gallus at Restore SD Plastic Surgery will partner with you to determine the breast augmentation plan that achieves your goals. To begin your journey with a free consultation at our San Diego office, call 858-224-2281 or contact us online today.
“Dr. Gallus is amazing and I am so glad that I chose her to perform my breast augmentation surgery. She walked me through the process from start to finish and her staff was always attentive and available. I felt like she really understood me and wanted me to look fabulous! I am ecstatic about my results and have never felt better about the way I look. It was such a meaningful positive change for me and I can’t say enough great things about Dr. Gallus. I have given Dr. Gallus great reviews and have recommended her to my friends and family. I will be a customer for life and look forward to scheduling laser and facials with her down the road.” Regards, – S.V.
What happens at a breast augmentation consultation?
Dr. Gallus will review your medical history and discuss any medications you are taking ahead of your consultation. If you are over 40 or have a strong family history of breast cancer, she will request a recent mammogram. During your consultation, Dr. Gallus will perform a detailed examination, talk with you about your goals for your breasts, and educate you about your breast augmentation options. You will have photos taken with our VECTRA® 3D imaging system, and together you will discuss treatment areas and options while viewing your photo series. With our state-of-the-art Canfield software, we view potential surgical results and make adjustments as we go, helping you to visualize your potential results.
What should I look for when choosing a breast augmentation surgeon?
Look for a plastic surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS); the ABPS is only one of 23 boards that are members of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Highly qualified surgeons also tend to hold membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Your surgeon should also be proficient in breast augmentation and any other procedures you seek. (You can confirm this by viewing before and after photos, reading through the surgeon’s website, and asking your surgeon these questions directly.)
Why should I choose Dr. Gallus for my breast augmentation in San Diego?
Dr. Gallus holds over 15 years of experience with cosmetic and reconstructive surgery and is a fully credentialed, board certified plastic surgeon. She also takes the time to listen to you, and partners with you to develop a surgical plan that prioritizes your safety and beautiful results. We want you to leave Restore SD Plastic Surgery looking and feeling your personal best. Read more about Dr. Gallus here »
Why is it important for my breast augmentation to be customized?
Each woman’s body is built differently, and what looks attractive on one woman may not always translate to another body type. Dr. Gallus tailors each breast implant surgery to suit your body and meet your goals.
What type of anesthesia is used during breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia to ensure your comfort and safety.
How much does breast augmentation cost in San Diego?
The price of breast augmentation varies for each patient depending on the type of implant and technique used during your procedure. Factors such as surgical fees, facility fees, and anesthesia fees can all affect the ultimate cost of your breast augmentation. Rest assured that a clear and detailed quote will be provided during your consultation.
Is there a weight limit for breast augmentation?
There is no specific weight limit you must fall under in order to safely undergo breast augmentation. You will need to be in good overall health, however, to be a good candidate for surgery; as a general rule, you should have a BMI of less than about 30 (you can calculate yours using this free online BMI calculator).
Can I combine other procedures with breast enhancement?
A breast augmentation is often combined with the following procedures: breast lift, liposuction, tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), and/or labiaplasty. (These combinations are often referred to as a mommy makeover, but they are not just for moms!)
Can breast augmentation alone correct sagging breasts?
Breast augmentation may provide some correction to breasts with mild sagging. However, women with moderate to severe breast drooping often achieve best results by combining a breast lift with their augmentation. Breast lift surgery removes excess skin and helps shape the breast around the implant. Breast lift and breast augmentation can often be performed at the same time, but there are circumstances where they are best and most safely performed as two separate surgeries spaced three to six months apart.
Can I get a breast lift if I have implants?
Yes! Breast lift surgery is a common breast enhancement procedure performed in conjunction with breast augmentation—or sometimes long after having implants placed. Depending on your skin elasticity and the size of your breast implants, you may find that the weight of the implants causes your breasts to sag more quickly. In many cases, the implant remains in an elevated position on the chest while the breast tissue droops below, and a breast lift can correct this. In addition to breast lift surgery, which will rebalance your breast tissues with the implants, some women choose to change the size of their implants. Further, if you are permanently removing your implants with a breast implant removal procedure, the implants can leave sagging, deflated breasts behind after removal. In many cases, breast lift surgery is recommended to restore a natural breast shape.
What happens if I get pregnant after a breast augmentation?
Pregnancy can significantly alter the shape and size of your breasts due to hormonal changes and weight changes. Your breasts may return to their pre-pregnancy state following surgery, or you may find yourself needing a second surgery to lift your breasts. Because of this unpredictability, we recommend postponing breast enhancement surgery if you have immediate plans to have children.
Can I breastfeed after my breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation should not impact your ability to nurse in the future. However, you should remember that pregnancy and nursing can alter the results of your breast augmentation and stretch tissues. (Women who are currently pregnant or breastfeeding should not undergo breast augmentation surgery; we generally recommend waiting a period of nine to 12 months after stopping breastfeeding before undergoing breast augmentation.)
Do breast implants interfere with mammograms?
With a trained and experienced mammographer, breast implants won’t interfere with the quality of your mammograms. Also, multiple studies show that breast implants don’t increase your risk of developing breast cancer, nor do they prevent early detection. If you are over the age of 40, you should receive routine breast cancer screenings.
What should I do to prepare for breast augmentation surgery?
To prepare for surgery, talk to friends or family who have been in your shoes and educate yourself with resources like RealSelf and WebMD. Compile questions to ask your surgeon. And remember to wear a button down shirt on the day of surgery so that you can easily get dressed when it is time to go home.
I am a smoker. Can I have breast augmentation surgery?
Smoking tobacco or using any nicotine products has negative effects on wound healing, so we recommend abstaining from nicotine for 8 weeks before surgery and 4 weeks (minimum) after surgery. We perform a urine nicotine test at our office to help you have a safe, satisfying surgical experience.
Can I have a breast augmentation surgery if I have diabetes?
Diabetes can increase your risk for certain types of infections and prolonged wound healing. To ensure you can undergo a safe surgery, work with your medical team to maintain an ideal HbA1C. With a coordinated effort from patients, surgeons, and medical doctors, surgery can be performed safely with outstanding results. However, in certain cases, Dr. Gallus may choose to postpone surgery until your diabetes is under control.
How soon can I travel after having breast augmentation surgery?
We recommend waiting until you have been cleared by your surgeon to travel. Commit to a healthy recovery and schedule your surgery for a time when it is unlikely you will need to travel for some time. Contact Dr. Gallus if any questions arise, and she will be happy to discuss the details of your travel plans.
Carpools and Cannulas, Ep. 10: Breast Augmentation
In this episode of “Carpools and Cannulas: Modern Motherhood and Plastic Surgery,” Dr. Katerina Gallus and Dr. Jennifer Greer discuss all things breast augmentation—breast implant options, breast implant screening, the importance of choosing a surgeon who is board certified, and more.
Breast Augmentation at Restore SD: Your Safety First
At Restore SD Plastic Surgery, we consider our patients’ safety throughout every step of their breast augmentation procedure. Dr. Gallus only operates at select private outpatient surgical facilities located within minutes from her office that are fully accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAAASF). Considered the “gold standard” in facility accreditation, AAAASF facilities must meet over 350 standards for quality, safety, and sterility. Surgical procedures are performed in one of four cosmetic AAAASF certified operating rooms, including:
- The Scripps Ambulatory Surgery Center – Ximed Building
- The Outpatient Surgery Center of La Jolla
- La Jolla Professional Plastic Surgery
- La Jolla Surgery Center
We endeavor to provide highly trained anesthesiologists to care for our patients with compassion and skill. We also work with 2 major anesthesia centers in San Diego: Anesthesia Service Medical Group (ASMG) and Anesthesia Consultants of California Medical Group (ACCMG). ASMG participates in over 190,000 surgical cases per year in San Diego, while ACCMG has been serving patients in San Diego County since 1995. Both are certified for local anesthetic and have board-certified anesthesiologists. Dr. Gallus also has hospital privileges at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.
Always placing our patients first, we maintain the highest level of clinical competence and integrity in our relationships with patients, professional associates, medical facilities, and the communities we serve.