Making your dream breasts a reality is possible with breast augmentation. In West Des Moines, IA, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Carlisle is known for his personalized approach to creating attractive, natural-looking results with breast implants. Whatever their reasons for choosing breast augmentation, Dr. Carlisle helps women from Ankeny, Ames, Davenport, and beyond develop safe surgical plans, ensures they have realistic expectations about their results, and clearly communicates what is best for their bodies and goals.

Breast Augmentation
 Before & After Photos


This feature contains nudity. Please click OK to confirm you are at least 18 years of age and are not offended by such material.

What Are the Benefits of Breast Augmentation?

Women pursue breast augmentation for various personal reasons. Often it’s because they want to:

  • Increase the size of naturally small breasts
  • Restore volume lost after pregnancy or weight loss
  • Improve uneven or asymmetrical breasts
  • Enhance feminine proportions and contours

Studies show that women experience improved self-esteem and quality of life after breast augmentation.

How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost in Des Moines, IA?

At our West Des Moines plastic surgery practice, breast augmentation prices start at $5,500 and vary depending on implant type and other factors. Many women also have a breast lift at the same time as augmentation, and these prices do not include breast lifts. During your consultation, you will receive a customized price quote that reflects your specific surgical plan.

PatientFi banner

Breast Implant Options

While there are many options, the most commonly used implant is a smooth round silicone implant because of its natural feel and safety record. Dr. Carlisle will help you decide which implant is best based on your body type, concerns, and goals.


You may choose from the following implant fill materials:

  • Silicone gel
  • Highly cohesive silicone gel (“gummy bear” implants)
  • Saline


Dr. Carlisle will use one of the following incisions:

  • Inframammary (along the lower breast crease)
  • Periareolar (around the areola)
  • Transaxillary (in the underarm)


Implants may be placed just beneath the breast tissue (subglandular) or beneath the pectoralis muscle (submuscular). The overwhelming majority of implants are placed below the pec muscle. This is shown to have longer-lasting and more natural results.


Profile refers to how wide the implants are and how far they project from the chest. Dr. Carlisle will make a recommendation based on your body frame and aesthetic goals.

How Do I Choose the Right Size Breast Implant?

Implant sizes are measured using cubic centimeters (cc). As most women know, bra sizing varies significantly from brand to brand and is not a reliable or precise measurement of volume. However, having a desired cup size in mind is a good starting point to communicate with your doctor.

It is common for people to look at celebrities and others for inspiration on size, but it is important to remember that each body proportion is unique. What looks good on one woman may look different on other women of a different height, weight, breast size, or body type.

Your Sizing Session

During your consultation, you will be “sized” using a Volume Sizing System that creates a more realistic preview of your new size on YOUR body. A series of soft sterilized silicone inserts will be placed over your breasts inside a sports bra until your desired proportions are achieved. It is important to see how the new size looks on YOUR body when choosing an implant size. This system has been shown to increase the likelihood of size satisfaction over computer-generated images, which can be confusing.

Meet Our Providers

At Koch & Carlisle, we have assembled a team of three highly skilled, board-certified plastic surgeons—two for the face and one for the breast and body. The result: exceptional plastic surgery results from head to toe for the West Des Moines, IA, area.

What Is Fat Transfer (“Natural”) Breast Augmentation?

Using liposuction, Dr. Carlisle removes fat from one area of the body, purifies it, and injects it into the breasts. Because only 60% to 80% of the fat survives, and only a certain amount can be injected at one time, this technique will increase the breast size modestly. However, this is a practical alternative to using breast implants or an excellent enhancement to the breast shape during augmentation with implants.

Breast Augmentation vs. Breast Lift

Many women are unsure of whether they need breast augmentation or a breast lift. While both are breast enhancement procedures, they provide different benefits. In simple terms, breast augmentation increases size, and breast lift surgery reduces sagging.

Breast augmentation adds fullness to one or more breasts. It does not correct noticeable sagging or reshape the areolas.

Before & After Breast Augmentation Case 297 Front View in West Des Moines & Ames, IA
Before & After Breast Augmentation Alone

If the nipple/areola position is below the level of the breast crease, a lift will likely be needed to remove lax skin and achieve a desirable breast shape. A breast lift can correct stretched or misshapen areolas as well. Women who want to rejuvenate their breast shape without increasing breast volume make good candidates for a breast lift on its own.

Before & After Breast Lift Case 307 Front View in West Des Moines & Ames, IA
Before & After Breast Lift Alone

Women who have moderate to significant sagging and want to increase their breast size are usually good candidates for a combined breast augmentation and lift.

Before & After Breast Lift Case 321 Front View in West Des Moines & Ames, IA
Before & After Combined Breast Augmentation and Lift

What Procedures Can Be Combined With Breast Augmentation?

Procedures commonly combined with breast augmentation include:

Breast augmentation is often performed as part of a mommy makeover, which is a customized combination of procedures that is individually designed to improve multiple trouble areas in a single surgery and recovery period.

What Is Breast Augmentation Recovery Like?

Most patients find that recovery is easier and more comfortable than they expected. You’ll have bandages and a soft surgical bra, and we will provide instructions on how to care for incisions and dressings.

Recovery Timeline

While experiences vary, breast augmentation recovery generally follows the following timeline:

  • Day of surgery: Return home in the care of an adult.
  • 3 to 5 days: Ready to go back to nonstrenuous work, school, and activities.
  • 1 to 2 weeks: Swelling and bruising resolve. Nipple sensitivity returns to normal.
  • 2 weeks: Resume low-impact exercise.
  • 3 weeks: Incisions are healed enough to swim or go in the ocean.
  • 4 weeks: Resume regular exercise routine (with doctor’s approval).
  • 2 to 3 months: Breasts soften and implants settle (“drop and fluff”).
  • 3 to 6 months: Attain final results.
  • 6 to 12+ months: Scars fade.

Following Dr. Carlisle’s instructions diligently, which may include implant massage at a certain point, will ensure that your results meet (or exceed) your expectations.

How Long Should I Take Off Work After Breast Augmentation?

Typically, breast augmentation patients need only 3 to 5 days off work. However, if your job requires more use of your arms, we recommend taking 2 weeks off work to ensure proper healing. Too much arm motion can affect the final position of the implants and the shape of the breast.

When Can I Exercise After Breast Augmentation?

It is important to avoid strenuous activity for 4 weeks following breast augmentation. While you can go about your normal business after 3 to 5 days, purposeful exercise is NOT recommended because it can affect your final results. Light activity such as brisk walking may be done 1 week after surgery. Breast augmentation patients typically have no problem resuming normal exercise activity after the 4-week hiatus. Following your surgeon’s instructions is critical for achieving excellent results.

What Do Breast Augmentation Scars Look Like?

Most scars are simply fine lines that are only visible when you lay down without clothing. Genetics plays an important role in scar formation. We offer scar-reducing products after surgery and post-procedure laser packages to help your scars heal as inconspicuously as possible.

More Breast Augmentation FAQs

Still curious about breast implant surgery? Get answers to a few of our most frequently asked questions.

Does breast augmentation lift the breasts?

Implant surgery may elevate the breasts slightly, but an implant will not correct droopy breasts on its own. Many women combine implants with breast lift surgery, especially after pregnancy and breastfeeding. This is one of the first issues Dr. Carlisle will assess during your consultation.

Will my breast implants feel like real breast tissue?

Silicone gel implants have a soft, doughy feel that is more like natural breast tissue than saline implants. However, saline implants can also feel natural, especially when placed under the chest muscle.

How long will it take for my breasts to look natural after breast augmentation?

Generally, it takes 3 months for implants to soften and drop into a natural position. Most people are happy with their results 6 weeks after surgery, but their appearance will continue to improve for 3 to 6 months. Often, we will recommend massaging the implants and breasts to help with this process, but this should be done only at the direction of your surgical team.

How long should I sleep on my back after breast augmentation?

Typically, we recommend sleeping on your back for a few weeks to ensure favorable healing and an attractive, symmetrical shape. For women accustomed to sleeping on their sides or stomachs, this can be challenging. It is a good idea to begin several days before surgery to train your body to sleep on the back. Many people find it helpful to support their limbs with pillows. This helps them fall asleep and prevents them from shifting positions throughout the night.

Can I still breastfeed after getting breast implants?

Yes. It is safe to breastfeed after implants. The implants are placed under the actual breast tissue, and normal functions of the breast gland and ducts are not altered by augmentation through a typical incision. Having a breast lift at the same time may alter breastfeeding capability; however, this is difficult to predict. Plenty of women can still breastfeed after a breast lift.

Do breast implants interfere with mammograms?

While breast implants can make performing a mammogram more technically difficult, it has been shown that it does not interfere with detecting breast cancer compared with women who do not have implants. Special mammogram techniques are used in women with implants to view the breast tissue clearly. Placing implants under the pec muscle makes the implant interfere even less with viewing a mammogram. Breast augmentation surgery is so common that radiologists are vastly experienced at reading mammograms for patients who have implants.

Will I have to replace my implants eventually?

Breast implants are not lifetime devices; therefore, you will probably need to have them replaced at some point. The timeframe depends on your age, the type of implants you choose, and other factors. If you are not experiencing any problems and are happy with your current implants, you do not need to have them replaced within a specific timeframe. At any point, Dr. Carlisle can perform elective implant exchange if you want to change your implant size, fill material, or shape.

Your Consultation

Your first step toward making your dream breasts a reality is to schedule a private consultation with Dr. Carlisle. To get started, please request a consultation online or call (515) 277-5555. Women visit our West Des Moines practice for breast augmentation from Ankeny, Urbandale, Davenport, and throughout Iowa.

New Patient Paperwork Contact