Even though full breasts are often considered an asset, many women from Ankeny, Ames, Davenport, and nearby areas wish their breasts were smaller. Overly large, heavy breasts can cause discomfort and make it difficult to find clothing that fits. Breast reduction is one of the most common procedures that board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Carlisle performs—and one of the most life-changing.

Breast Reduction
 Before & After Photos


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What Is a Breast Reduction?

Overly large breasts make many women feel self-conscious, in addition to causing physical complications, from neck, shoulder, and back pain to rashes and chafing. The surgeon also corrects droopy breast skin and downward-pointing nipples during a breast reduction, much like during a breast lift. However, breast reduction also removes fat and glandular tissue to decrease the size and weight of the breast.

Who Is a Candidate for a Breast Reduction?

Women who experience one or more of the following could be a candidate:

  • Breasts that are out of proportion with the rest of the body
  • Persistent shoulder, neck, and back pain due to the weight of the breasts
  • Painful grooves in the shoulders caused by bra straps
  • Significant breast drooping due to the breast weight
  • Difficulty with exercising or physical activity due to the breast size
  • Rashes under the breasts
  • Self-consciousness due to the size of the breasts

Women who currently smoke are not candidates for breast reduction surgery. Patients must be nicotine-free for three months prior to surgery to safely undergo the procedure. Women with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 are not candidates for breast reduction surgery.

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.

How Small Can I Go With a Breast Reduction?

More important than cup size is the weight removed from the chest. Cup size can go down by anywhere from 2 to 6 sizes, but more importantly, Dr. Carlisle can remove 60% to 80% of the breast volume. The goal is to deliver significantly smaller and perkier breasts proportionate with the body frame. It is always difficult to predict exactly the final bra size as bra manufacturers don’t all have consistent cup sizing.

How Is a Breast Reduction Performed?

Dr. Carlisle performs your breast reduction while you are comfortably under general anesthesia. The incision he creates results in a scar that runs around the areola and vertically down toward the breast crease. Through this incision, he removes excess breast tissue, reduces the areola if desired, and creates a more lifted and proportional breast shape.

What Is Breast Reduction Recovery Like?

Most people need up to a week to return to desk work following a breast reduction. It’s normal to experience some swelling and bruising during the first 2 to 3 weeks of recovery. You will need to avoid strenuous exercise for 4 to 6 weeks as your body heals completely.

How Much Does a Breast Reduction Cost in Des Moines, IA?

The cost of a breast reduction at our West Des Moines, IA, plastic surgery practice starts at $6,800 and varies from person to person, depending on the specifics of your procedure. We will provide you with a personalized pricing estimate detailing your expected costs as part of the consultation process.

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Is Breast Reduction Surgery Covered By Insurance?

Your insurance may cover your breast reduction if your breasts are causing medical concerns, such as chronic back discomfort. We recommend checking with your insurance provider to determine your coverage.

Your Consultation

If you would like to discuss your breast reduction options with a board-certified plastic surgeon, please call (515) 277-5555 or request a consultation online. Our West Des Moines practice welcomes women interested in breast reduction surgery from throughout Ankeny, Urbandale, and the Davenport area.

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