Breast Reduction (Mammoplasty)
Very large, heavy breasts can negatively impact a woman’s physical and emotional well-being at any age. Breast reduction surgery involves the reducing breast volume by removing glandular breast tissue and fat within the breast, reducing the amount of skin and reducing the size of the areola if needed. Large breasts often sag with age and / or after breastfeeding, breast reduction results in breasts that are smaller, lighter and firmer. This procedure restores a more youthful shape and repositions the breast higher on the chest wall.
Educate Yourself on Your Procedure
Breast reduction surgery is more common than it has ever been. If you are a patient considering a breast reduction, please continue reading for further information on this procedure and what you can expect. If you have any questions about breast surgery or any of our other procedures, please contact us.
What are the Benefits of Breast Reduction?
A small, better supported, proportional, natural looking, beautiful aesthetic result is the hallmark of the breast reduction procedure at Barr Plastic Surgery. Breast reduction patients often pursue breast reduction surgery in order to correct a number of issues including:
- Breast asymmetry
- Neck, shoulder and back pain
- Skin chafing and discomfort in the breast fold
- Difficulty finding bras and clothing that fits due to breasts that are disproportionately large relative to the rest of your body
- Aesthetic concerns
- Social acceptance
Like the thousands of women who undergo this procedure every year, you too can acquire the proportional measurements you’ve always wanted, and free yourself from the limits imposed on you by excessively large breasts.
Preparing for Your Breast Reduction Procedure
What is the first step in pursuing the breast reduction procedure?
The first step when considering Breast Reduction surgery is to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Barr. The consultation process provides an opportunity for you to obtain important information about the procedure and to have of your questions answered prior to proceeding with breast reduction surgery. It also enables Dr. Barr to properly assess you and determine whether you are a suitable candidate for breast reduction surgery.
You should be prepared to discuss your medical history, including any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, previous surgeries including breast biopsies, all current medications, as well as any significant weight gain or loss.
During your consultation you will be asked about your desired breast size as well as anything else about your breasts that you would like to see improved. Dr. Barr will carefully assess your breast size and shape, tissue characteristics and placement of nipples and areolas. Measurements and pre-operative photographs will also be taken. He will evaluate your general health and explain which surgical approaches are best suited for you based on your breast size, body type and aesthetic goals.
The benefits, risks and potential complications associated with breast reduction surgery will be thoroughly explained during this consultation. The information provided at this initial consultation will be comprehensive and thorough. You will be provided all the information necessary for you to make an informed decision as to whether breast reduction is the right choice for you. A comprehensive information package will also be provided to you at the time of consultation.
A natural looking, beautiful aesthetic result is the hallmark of breast reduction at Barr Plastic Surgery.
Am I a candidate for a breast reduction procedure?
The ideal candidates for a breast reduction procedure are healthy women who have realistic expectations of surgical outcomes. You may be a good candidate for breast reduction if you have one or more of the following conditions:
- Breasts that are too large in proportion to your body frame
- Heavy, pendulous breasts with nipples and areolas that point downward
- One breast that is much larger than the other
- Skin irritation beneath your breasts
- Indentations in your shoulders from tight bra straps
- Restriction in your physical activity due to the size and weight of your breasts
- Dissatisfaction or self-consciousness about the size of your breasts
Will my breasts stay the size they are after surgery?
Results achieved with breast reduction surgery are usually permanent, although a significant weight gain after surgery can result in enlargement and hypertrophy of the breast tissue. Weight maintenance, good bra support and healthy eating habits should help maintain the results following breast reduction surgery.
Can I combine another surgery with my breast reduction?
It is possible to schedule another surgery at the same time as your breast reduction. Patients often undertake ultrasonic liposuction of their bra strap region and lower breasts with their breast reduction. Many women also combine abdominal surgeries such as abdominoplasties in order to enhance their aesthetic results. Please let us know when booking if you would like to discuss other procedures during the consultation process.
What will I need to do prior to surgery?
Prior to surgery you will be scheduled for a pre-op session with our Registered Nurse to review your medical history and your post-op instructions. She will review the information you will need to know to prepare yourself for surgery and the normal post-operative course.
Where will my breast reduction surgery be performed?
Your procedure will be performed in the state-of-the-art facilities of Barr Plastic Surgery, located within the Northern Ontario Surgical Centre.
The Northern Ontario Surgical Centre has been awarded accreditation by the CAAASF (Canadian Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities) and the CPSO (College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario) for meeting the standards of a hospital in regards to monitoring, emergency and resuscitation equipment. With two levels and entrances that conceal the actual size of the facility, the centre itself spans 8000 square feet and incorporates fully equipped major and minor operating rooms, a monitored multi-bed recovery area, 10 laser and treatment rooms, spacious consultation areas, private offices, elegant waiting areas and a private waiting room and secure rear entrance/exit for additional privacy when you leave after your procedure.
How is a breast reduction procedure performed?
Dr. Barr performs the “Vertical Reduction Mammoplasty”, the latest surgical technique for breast reduction surgery. This technique provides much improved immediate and long term results over most other breast reduction techniques. The procedure is executed through two incisions. One incision is hidden around the border of the areola because of the colour difference between the areola and the breast skin. The other incision is oriented vertically between the lower aspect of the areola and extends to the fold below the breast. Both of these incisions become virtually undetectable with time. Using this surgical technique, Dr. Barr can significantly reshape and reduce the size of the breasts, while elevating the nipple and areola. The final outcome is an attractive, well supported breast appearance.
During the procedure, Dr. Barr performs ultrasonic liposculpture of the lateral chest (brastrap) region and the area in front of the armpit. This completely eliminates the excess fullness in these areas that is present in nearly every patient. In addition, the liposculpture facilitates the reshaping of the lower portion of the breast and improves the long-term outcome.
Breast reduction patients at Barr Plastic Surgery have been extremely pleased with the results of their procedure. Minimal incisions, liposuction and the internal support of the new breasts are combined to generate a dramatic improvement in the appearance of the breasts and the self-esteem of the patient. Patients are quite comfortable at the time of discharge due to long-acting freezing medications and require only minimal analgesics during the first 2 days following the operation.
Who can I contact if I have any questions or concerns?
Post operative patients have 24/7 access to medical staff to answer any questions or address any issues or concerns a patient may have. Patient and surgical coordinators, as well as nursing staff, are available during normal operating hours and after normal operating hours, Dr. Barr is available by pager and cell phone.
How much does a breast reduction procedure cost?
Patients choosing to invest in their self-confidence and happiness through cosmetic surgery have many options available to make this investment more manageable.
In Ontario, Breast Reduction Surgery can be fully covered by OHIP due to the legitimate physical and emotional hardships caused by having excessively large breasts. OHIP approval will be requested when warranted, and can be discussed with Dr. Barr during your consultation process. In these cases, Dr. Barr will assess your condition and submit a request to the Ministry of Health to determine health insurance coverage. Please note that liposuction of the lateral chest region, the lower breast and the area in front of the armpit is not covered by OHIP. Our Patient Coordinators are familiar with various payment options and can facilitate the process for you.
Is full payment required or do you offer a financing plan?
Affording your procedure can be made simpler by using Medicard which enables you to pay for your surgery with monthly payments. Please note that this company is not affiliated in any way with Barr Plastic Surgery. For more information on how financing can help you afford your procedure, visit:
- Fax, online, phone application
- Approval within 1 business day
- Payment terms: 6 months to 5 years
- No down payment
- Rates based on overall credit history (11.9% – 25%)
- No penalties for early payments
Is my procedure covered by insurance?
Breast Reduction procedures in Ontario can be covered by provincial insurance such as OHIP. If liposuction is performed at the same time as your breast reduction, it will not be covered by OHIP. More information about the coverage eligibility of your surgery can be obtained during the consultation process.
What is included in the surgical fee?
The facility fee includes the following:
- all surgical supplies, drapes, sutures, disposable items, medications used during the procedure and surgical instruments
- the specialized surgical team including Dr. Barr, the anaesthetist, nursing staff, recovery room staff and processing staff
- operative garments and dressing supplies
- follow up visits
You will also be provided with prescriptions for medications to be taken after surgery. These prescriptions are subject to the same coverage you would receive from your personal medical insurance. If you do not have insurance coverage for medications, these medications will be at an additional cost to you.
When is payment for the surgery due if I am having liposuction performed at the same time as my breast reduction procedure?
Payment for your surgery is due 14 days prior to your surgery date. Payment can be made by:
- Certified Cheques
- Mastercard or VISA
- Financing plan
Will I need to stay overnight following my surgery?
Breast reduction surgery is an outpatient procedure. Following your surgery, you will need a friend or family member to pick you up and be available at your home for the next 24-48 hours. This person should be familiar with your prescriptions and post-surgery instructions. This information will be discussed with you and your friend / family member prior to leaving Barr Plastic Surgery on the day of your procedure.
How long will it take me to recover from my breast reduction procedure?
Patients are discharged with dressings and are asked to leave the dressings in place for 24 hours. Many patients have drains that we remove comfortably the day after surgery. On the second day, patients start to shower and do so daily after that. Most patients are able to return to work in 3 to 5 days. Patients who have more demanding physical jobs are usually able to return to work in 3 weeks. Any temporary soreness, swelling, change in nipple sensation, and bruising will disappear gradually, and can be treated with ice packs and prescription medication. Most incisions are healed by 2 weeks and the small external knots are removed at two weeks by our nursing staff. The remainder of the sutures will dissolve on their own over the next few months. Most patients return to light activity right away but must avoid activities that increase their blood pressure, such as working out at the gym, for 2 weeks. In addition, you cannot do chest workouts or run for 4 weeks following surgery.
Will there be any loss of sensation in my breasts?
Due to the swelling after surgery there will be some loss of feeling in your nipples and breasts. This altered sensation will subside as swelling decreases over the next few weeks. However, in some patients, this numbness may last a year or more, and in some cases may be permanent.
Will I have scarring?
Dr. Barr takes every precaution to ensure your scarring is as minimal as possible and hides the incisions so that they are almost undetectable. Time improves all incisions. During the post-operative visits Dr. Barr and his staff will discuss methods to optimize your incisions. These include massage, sun avoidance and silicone gel or sheeting. If needed, the use of light based treatments and injections can further improve incisions.