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 removal of breast tissue to reduce the fat, glandular tissue, skin, and sometimes areola of the breasts. Because large breasts often sag with age or after breastfeeding, breast reduction results in breasts that are smaller, lighter, firmer, restoring a more youthful shape and creating a higher location of the breast 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?

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 fitting into clothing
  • 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 all 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 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, and should enable you to make an informed decision as to whether or not breast reduction is the right choice for you. A comprehensive instruction package will also be provided to you at the time of consultation, and includes instructions for before and after surgery as well. 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 often permanent, although a significant weight gain can result in enlargement and hypertrophy of the breast tissue. Weight maintenance and a reasonable amount of exercise should prevent recurrent enlargement of the breast 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 combine a breast lift procedure or liposuction with their breast reduction procedure in order to enhance their aesthetic results. You should be prepared to discuss all possibilities during your consultation with Dr. Barr.

The Procedure

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 all of the information you will need to know to prepare yourself for surgery.

Where will my breast reduction surgery be performed?

Your breast reduction procedure will be performed within 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) 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 to discuss financing options, elegant waiting areas and a private waiting room and secure rear entrance/exit for additional privacy when desired.

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 the conventional technique. The entire procedure is executed through two small incisions. One incision is hidden within your natural line of colour change around the areola. The other small vertical incision 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 to return them to an attractive, well supported breast appearance. During the procedure, Dr. Barr may also perform liposuction of the lateral chest region and the area in front of the armpit. This completely eliminates the excess fullness in the area that is present in nearly every patient. In addition, the liposuction facilitates the reshaping of the lower portion of the breast and improves the long term outcome. Those patients who have previously undergone other breast reduction techniques and did not have liposuction of the lateral chest area and in front of the armpit, often seek to have this fullness eliminated. Breast reduction patients 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?

During office hours our Patient Coordinators and nursing staff are available to answer any questions or concerns following your surgery. After hours, Dr. Barr is available by pager.


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 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:
MEDICARD 1-888-689-9876
  •  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, surgeon, nurses, anaesthesia and anaesthetist, surgical supplies, and equipment used are all covered in the fees. 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 medical insurance. If you do not have personal insurance then these medications are 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:
  • Cash
  • Certified Cheques
  • Mastercard or VISA
  • E-transfers
  • Financing plan


Will I need to stay overnight following my surgery?

Breast reduction surgery is an outpatient procedure and does not require an overnight stay. Following your surgery you will need a friend or family member to pick you up and care for you for 24-48 hours after surgery. This person should also be familiar with your prescriptions and post-surgery instructions.

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.  After 2 days, patients are asked to shower daily.  Most patients are able to return to work in 3 to 5 days.  Patients who have more demanding physical job requirements 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 and scabs heal within two weeks. Patients will be seen for a follow up the day after surgery for drain removal again at two weeks after surgery. Dissolving sutures are used, so there are no sutures that need to be removed. Most patients return to light activity within a week, but are to refrain from more strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for a minimum of 3 weeks. Regular exercise and activity can resume approximately 4-6 weeks after 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. However, as with any surgery, there is a risk of scarring from the incisions. Once your incisions have healed there are products that can be used to minimize the redness in scars as well as improve the texture. Reusable silicone strips as well as medical grade topical scar creams are available for purchase that will help to reduce the discolouration found in new scars. Precautions to minimize scarring will be discussed during consultation.