Specializing in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

Usha Rajagopal, MD

San Francisco plastic surgeon, Dr. Usha Rajagopal specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery with an emphasis on breast augmentation (both saline and silicone), body contouring (liposuction and abdominoplasty), and facial surgery (face lift, rhinoplasty, and blepharoplasty).

Her practice, the San Francisco Plastic Surgery & Laser Center, also offers a full range of cosmetic dermatology procedures (Botox, Dysport, and Juvederm); advanced medical skin care services; and state-of-the-art laser treatments (laser hair removal, tattoo removal, and photofacials)—all brought to you in the comfort and privacy of her accredited, in-suite surgery center.

In a medical specialty field in which female physicians are so widely outnumbered, finding an outstanding female plastic surgeon can be challenging. Dr. Rajagopal brings exemplary experience, training, and skill—along with a woman’s insight and sensitive touch—to the art of plastic surgery.

Meet San Francisco’s Premier Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Usha Rajagopal.

Dr. Rajagopal’s office has a warm, welcoming feel, and she is dedicated to the highest standard of patient care and treatment excellence. Surgery consultations take place in a relaxing, pressure-free environment: before and after pictures are available, and patients are urged to contact past patients who have offered to share their personal experiences. Numerous affordable financing plan options are also available.

Dr. Rajagopal’s office is located in downtown San Francisco near Union Square. Parking is available in the building, and BART is nearby.

Because Dr. Rajagopal cares about her patients, she recently purchased CosmetAssure as added assurance for post-surgery care.

To discover how cosmetic surgery can improve your appearance, confidence, and outlook on life, call Dr. Usha Rajagopal’s San Francisco Plastic Surgery & Laser Center today at 415-392-3333.


Breast Augmentation

Women choose to have breast augmentation surgery when they are dissatisfied with their breasts, whether because they are unhappy with their overall size, have a breast that is smaller than the other and wish to balance the two, or to restore volume to their breasts that may have been lost due to pregnancy, weight loss, or the aging process.

Breast implants can be saline (silicone shells filled with sterile salt water) or silicone (silicone shells filled with plastic gel). The incision to place them can be made in the natural crease below the breast, around the nipple, in the armpit, or in the upper edge of the belly button; the implants are then positioned in the breast, either directly behind the breast tissue or underneath the pectoral muscle. The incisions are then closed with sutures or surgical tape. In total, the procedure takes around one to two hours. Afterward, the breasts are wrapped with gauze dressing or outfitted with a surgical bra, and drainage tubes may be put in place for up to three days. The scars from breast augmentation surgery are permanent, but should fade after the first year, and should not be noticeable, even in a bathing suit or low-cut clothing.


Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure to reshape the nose; it can change the angle between the upper lip and the nose, straighten the bridge of the nose, reshape its tip, or reduce or increase its overall size. Rhinoplasty can correct disfiguration of the nose due to an injury or birth defect, and can help improve some difficulties with breathing.

During the procedure, the surgeon first makes incisions inside the nostrils; sometimes they will also make an incision in the nasal septum, the area between the nostrils. They then separate and lift the skin to access and adjust the bone and cartilage of the nose. Depending on the goal of the rhinoplasty, some bone and cartilage may be removed, or tissue may be added. When they are finished reshaping the nose, the surgeon redrapes the skin and then places splint or plaster cast on the nose to support its new shape as it heals—some cotton may also be packed inside the nose for extra support. These usually need to stay in place for about a week; bruising should disappear after a little over a week, but the swelling resulting from the surgery can take as long as 12 months to fully resolve itself.


Gynecomastia Surgery

Gynecomastia, which literally means “woman breast”, is the medical term for male breast overdevelopment. It is estimated that 40 to 60 percent of men will at some point in their life experience gynecomastia, although the causes are unknown. For some, this occurs only during puberty and resolves itself after a few years; for others, once it develops, it’s a permanent condition. For this latter group, surgery for gynecomastia is the only real corrective option. It can be performed on healthy men of any age; the best candidates for the procedure are those with relatively elastic skin—the more elasticity it has, the better the skin reshapes after the surgery.

To begin gynecomastia surgery, the surgeon will make a small incision around the edge of the areola or in the armpit. The most common type of gynecomastia is primarily composed of excess fatty tissue—for this, a slim, hollow tube (cannula) will be inserted through the incision and used to suction out the fat. If much of the enlargement of the breast is due to excess glandular tissue, the surgeon will work through the incision with a scalpel to cut the tissue away from the area around the areola and the sides and bottom of the breast. If large amounts of glandular tissue are removed, some skin may also have to be trimmed away to ensure that the skin redrapes well after surgery. Following the procedure, an elastic pressure garment is worn for six weeks; swelling will go down after the first few weeks, but it can take three months or longer for it to disappear entirely. Normal activity can be resumed after about one month, although sun exposure should be avoided to reduce the risk of noticeable scarring.


Botox, which is a brand name for a medicinal product of botulinum toxin type A (a neurotoxin), is used to reduce or eliminate facial lines and wrinkles. It can be used anywhere on the face, including frown lines in the forehead, crow’s feet around the eyes, and laugh lines around the mouth. It can also be a non-invasive means of contouring the face; Botox injections can be used as an alternative to jaw reduction surgery to slim down the face, including the jawline, Ideal candidates for Botox are between 25 and 65 years old—Botox can’t reverse lines caused by sun damage, which is often the kind of wrinkling experienced by those over the age of 65.

Botox works by blocking the chemical signals sent by the nerves to the facial muscles; botox injections essentially create targeted paralysis, relaxing the underlying muscles of the face in specific places to smooth out the overlying surface. The needles used to inject the liquid are tiny; no sedative or anesthetic is used in the procedure, because the discomfort it causes is so minimal—and it only lasts for about 5 seconds before going away. The effects of Botox generally last for around 3 to 6 months.

Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Most people who seek out eyelid surgery—technically referred to as blepharoplasty, and more commonly known as an eye lift—do so because they feel the droopiness or bagginess of their eyes is making them look tired or sad, or even older than they actually are. Eyelid surgery removes excess skin from the upper eyelids and reduces bagginess under the eyes, resulting in a more youthful, rested look.

In upper eyelid surgery, the surgeon makes an incision arching from the natural crease at the inside corner of the eye to a little bit past the outside corner. They remove the excess skin and fatty tissue, and then close the incision. In lower eyelid surgery, the incision is made just underneath the lower lashes, and the necessary skin, fatty tissue, and muscle is removed. The surgeon may also redistribute the fat or tighten the muscles underneath the eye to eliminate puffiness. If both lids are done together, eyelid surgery takes about two hours total. Oral sedation and a local anesthetic will likely be used to prevent discomfort during the procedure. In both procedures, the location of the incisions allows them to blend in after healing—the natural crease of the upper eyelid and the lashes of the lower lid mask them well. Afterward, the stitches used to close the incisions will be in place for about one week; after one to two weeks, the bruising and swelling from the procedure will go down, and the eyelids will look normal.

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Causes and Treatment of Acne

According to the Mayo Clinic (mayoclinic.com), acne, which is a distressing condition that heals slowly, occurs when hair follicles become plugged by oil and dead skin cells. Since this condition can lead to emotional distress and scarring of the skin, it is best to seek treatment early.

There are two major categories of acne: non-flammatory lesions and inflammatory lesions.

The non-flammatory lesions (whiteheads and blackheads) are follicles clogged with oil, dead skin, and sometimes bacteria.

The inflammatory lesions include papules (inflammations or infections in the follicles); pustules (red, tender bumps with white pus at the tips); nodules (large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin); and cysts (painful, pus-filled, boil-like infections beneath the skin which can cause scars).

Acne is caused by the over-production of oil, irregular shedding of dead skin cells, and/or the build-up of bacteria.

A few factors can trigger or aggravate acne, including increased hormone production (during puberty or pregnancy); certain medications containing corticosteroids, androgens, or lithium; and dietary substances, such as dairy products or carbohydrates that increase blood sugar.

There are a few other risk factors, also, such as skin contact with oily substances or cosmetics; family history of acne; and friction or pressure on the skin by objects such as phones, helmets, tight collars, or backpacks.

Stress is not normally a cause of acne but can worsen an already-existent outbreak.

If you have been experiencing this distressing condition, you should consult with Dr. Usha Rajagopal—a well-respected plastic surgeon with over 17 years’ experience—about the best treatment for you.

Usually acne is treated with a combination of topical treatments and procedures. If one has new scars that are still red or scars that are hyperpigmented (dark), Dr. Rajagopal may recommend microdermabrasion, Refinity peels, or bleaching cream. She may also recommend laser skin resurfacing, which is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that refinishes the look and texture of the skin

If one has deep, pitted acne scars, Dr. Rajagopal, may recommend they be excised (removed by scalpel), stitched, and then treated with dermabrasion, during which the outer layer of skin is scraped away while the patient is under general anesthesia.

Alternatively, Dr. Rajagopal may recommend the use of Fraxel laser, DeepFX, or a CO2 laser treatment. These treatments can also be effective in treating deep, severe, or older acne scars.

Since each patient has different needs, if you are considering therapy for your acne, you should make an appointment with Dr. Rajagopal for a skin evaluation at the San Francisco Plastic Surgery and Laser Center before you purchase any skin care products or making an appointment for other treatment.
To schedule a free consultation, with Dr. Rajagopal, simply visit her site at www.sfcosmeticsurgery.com.

And if you want to see what her patients have said about her, check out   Dr. Usha Rajagopal’s Yelp Reviews.

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Dr. Usha Rajagopal Surgery Specialties

Dr. Usha Rajagopal is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, with offices located in the San Francisco Bay Area. She specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery, with a specific emphasis on: breast augmentation, body contouring, and facial surgery.

Breast augmentation: Most plastic surgeons offer breast augmentations, but it takes a true expert to choose an implant that will best compliment your breast and body shape. Dr. Rajagopal uses both saline and silicone implants, and makes a careful, informed selection based on each individual patient’s desires. She will also adjust her method of implant insertion and positioning to whatever best suits your anatomy.

Body Contouring: Dr. Rajagopal’s San Francisco Plastic Surgery & Laser Center is a Bay Area leader for liposuction utilizing ultrasonic & SmartLipo laser technology. The techniques Dr. Rajagopal employs require very little downtime, cause less swelling than traditional lipo, and leave minimal scarring in the areas treated—and they’ll turn bulging areas into more attractive contours, improving your body’s natural shape. Dr. Rajagopal is also very skilled at abdominoplasty (known more commonly as a “tummy tuck”); she can remove excess skin and fat from the abdominal wall, tighten the muscles there, and dramatically improve the appearance of a protruding or sagging abdomen.

Facial Surgery: The artistry Dr. Rajagopal has a reputation for serves her patients well when it comes to face lifts—with her skilled hands performing the procedure, the clock truly seems to wind itself backward. By removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and re-draping the skin of your face and neck, Dr. Rajagopal virtually erases the most visible signs of aging from your face. She can also perform face lifts in conjunction with other facial procedures, including a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, or nose reshaping.

To learn more, call (415) 392-3333 to schedule your FREE consultation at her downtown San Francisco office.

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Impressive Qualifications and Notable Devotion to the Community

Dr. Usha Rajagopal earned her medical degree from Southwestern Medical School at Dallas; completed a Fellowship in Plastic Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco; and has been certified by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the Medical Board of California.She has also received well-deserved recognition for her expertise, earning the Top Doctor in Liposuction title from RealSelf.com in 2010; and being presented with the Patients’ Choice Award, which is given based on patients’ reviews, in 2012.

Dr. Rajagopal not only has very impressive credentials but also believes that community involvement is important. As a result, she supports several charitable organizations, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of America as well as PRASAD (the Philanthropic Relief, Altruistic Service And Development Project), which operates health care, educational, and other programs focused on community sustainability in India, Mexico, and the United States.Dr. Rajagopal also fulfills the role of educator, by sharing her expertise through the local media. She has been featured on KRON4, Eye on the Bay, Channel 7 and Channel 2 News, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Women Now TV Show, and Marie Claire magazine.
Dr. Usha Rajagopal at LinkedIn

Dr. Rajagopal’s Comments at The Hairpin

Dr. Rajagopal’s City Search Profile
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Impressive Qualifications and Notable Devotion to the Community