Breast augmentation (augmentation mammoplasty) is a surgical procedure many women choose to improve and balance their figure. Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures for women in Orange County and Newport Beach. Many undergo this procedure to “refill” their breasts after pregnancy and/or significant weight loss, enlarge the bust line to improve the balance of their figure, or to correct volume differences between the breasts. 

Is Breast Augmentation Right for Me?

An Orange County Breast Augmentation can be performed on anyone who is fully developed, though there are regulatory restrictions on implants in anyone under the age of 18. Prior to 2006, only saline-filled implants were available, now silicone-filled implants are available for those over the age of 22. There are pros and cons to each implant and Dr. Nitta will review those with you during your consultation.

Breast augmentation alone will not lift a severely droopy breast. Those patients would benefit from a breast lift (mastopexy), which is frequently done in conjunction with an augmentation.

The Procedure

The basic principle upon which this operation is based is the creation of a pocket into which either a saline-filled or silicone-filled implant is inserted.

The incisions that Dr. Nitta utilizes for the operation include:

Periareolar – under the nipple at the junction of the areolar and breast skin.

Inframammary – in the crease between the breast and the chest wall.

Axillary – in the armpit.

Placement of Implant:

In most cases, the implant is placed under the pectoralis major muscle (right image). Dr. Nitta prefers this pocket for a more natural, supported shape.

In some cases, the implant may instead be placed over the muscle, subglandular. (left image)

Saline vs. Silicone – Which One’s Right for Me?

As mentioned earlier, Dr. Nitta uses two types of material for breast operations – saline and silicone. Each carries with it its own set of pro and con arguments. During your visit, the doctor will walk you through the main differences and help you choose the one that’s best for you. But to give you an idea, here are some basic definitions

Saline Breast Implants

As the name suggests, saline breast implants are filled with a special type of saline water that is entirely sterile. The main advantage of saline implants is that, in case of collapse, the saline water can be absorbed back into the body without issue or risk.

Saline breast implants are known to offer a natural, smooth feel, as well as provide a firm and elevated shape that will contribute to your appearance and boost your self-confidence. The shape can be tailored specifically by an expert, especially if using structured saline implants (these stress the feel of natural breasts and are quite a common option for implants). In the United States, saline breast implants have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are generally recommended to anyone 18 and above.

Silicone Breast Implants

While saline breast implants are great, silicone ones tend to be preferred because of feel. Silicone breast implants, as their name suggests, are filled with a special silicone gel, which adds firmness and gives the implant a “squishy” feel similar to that of a natural breast.

However, silicone breast implants run the risk of leaking, with the leaked gel either remaining within the implant shell or escaping into the breast implant pocket. It is for this reason that, if you opt for silicone implants, you will have to schedule regular (often yearly) appointments with the doctor, to ensure your implants are in proper working order. Since a silicone implant will not outright collapse, it may be leaking without you even knowing, and that’s not desirable.

Saline implants, like silicone implants, have been approved by the FDA and are generally recommended for women over 22 years of age.

The Different Shapes of Implants

One last thing you need to know about before we go on to talk about recovery is that during your visit, you’ll be able to choose between two types of implant: round or anatomical.

Round breast implants are perfectly symmetrical and have the benefit that if one shifts inside the breast, it won’t look strange. They also tend to be somewhat less costly than anatomical implants, and in spite of a common misconception, round implants can look just as natural as anatomical ones. This is the most common shape used. They come in a variety of heights ranging from moderate profile to high profile.

Anatomical breast implants are more oval and tend to be more bottom-heavy, thus taking on the appearance of a natural breast. Initially designed for breast reconstruction operations, anatomical implants are costlier, yet sometimes preferred because many feel they give off a more natural look. Anatomical implants have the disadvantage that when they shift, they can cause the breasts to look asymmetrical.

Dr. Nitta will help you choose the right type of implant for you, during your consultation.


The general recovery time for breast augmentation surgery is ten full days of rest and relaxation. Most patients will be able to return to work after a week, and resume regular activities after a month.

You have made a big investment in your appearance, by investing another 10 days of total rest and relaxation your long-term results will be so much better.

Following your surgery, you will be discharged in a surgical bra and dressing. The first few days after a breast augmentation are uncomfortable. You will experience pain and the sensation of pressure in the breast area, but will be able to walk and move around. Dr. Nitta administers a long-acting local anesthesia in the surrounding muscles to ease the pain, as well as medications for pain and nausea.

Two days after surgery you may remove the dressings and take a shower. You will continue to wear the surgical bra or a sports bra for the next month. Walking and light activity is permitted, but driving is not recommended, and patients must avoid aerobic activities and heavy lifting for a month. Dr. Nitta has specific exercise protocols for her dancers and athletes as well as tips for Moms with newborns.


Overly large breasts can cause significant health and emotional concerns. They can cause severe back, neck, and shoulder pain which may lead to long-term, permanent injury, and prohibit one from leading an active life.

Is a Breast Reduction Right for Me?

A breast reduction removes excess breast tissue and lifts the breast, contouring the breast to be proportionate to the body and reducing the weight burden.

Breast reduction patients are often the most satisfied patients. The procedure allows the patient more mobility and less stress on their upper back and neck.

The Procedure

This operation historically requires an incision commonly known as an “anchor incision”. This includes an incision around the nipple, a vertical limb, and one along the bottom of the breast. If a patient has good skin quality and the reduction is moderate (<500gms), the incision at the bottom of the breast is limited.

Dr. Nitta trained with Dr. Elizabeth Findley-Hall in Canada who refined the vertical reduction technique. She was also trained by master reconstructive breast surgeon Dr. William Shaw.

To find out more about our Breast Services, call our office at (949) 722-6644 to schedule a consultation with Double-Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Katharine C. Nitta today!