Breast reduction surgery is a procedure considered by many women across the world. It is a fairly common surgery as there is a vast array of factors that can lead a person to want a breast reduction. Whether it be due to an uncomfortable breast size, desired aesthetics or health reasons, everyone seeks a breast reduction surgery for their own individual reasons.

One of the first questions many women have surrounding breast reduction surgery is whether or not the reconstructive procedure is covered by insurance companies. Without insurance, breast reduction patients can expect to pay between $9,000 and $12,000, a considerable amount of money. Therefore, if individuals can obtain coverage for breast reduction with their insurance, it makes it a more financially manageable operation.


Who should consider breast reduction surgery?

Most people seeking breast reduction surgery are doing so because they have an excess of breast tissue, meaning they have large breasts that can be obtrusive to a good quality of life. Others get breast reduction surgery for aesthetic reasons and some for the health benefits it can offer.

There are prerequisites that a person must meet to be a ready breast reduction patient. If you have realistic expectations of what your breasts will look like post-surgery, have a good understanding of what is required during the healing process, and are willing to put in some time with your plastic surgeon to ensure the outcome is something you are going to be happy with, you will likely be a good candidate.

Equally, some factors inherently make someone a bad candidate. Certain basic health conditions are required, and if they are not met, you will most likely not be accepted as a candidate for breast reduction. For example, if you are a heavy smoker, are pregnant, or severely obese, you are not the ideal candidate for breast reduction surgery.

If you are considering a breast reduction and think you might have some pre-existing health conditions that might complicate the procedure, we recommend consulting a plastic surgeon to talk about your options.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is breast reconstruction covered by health insurance?

Although each Canadian province has different rules and regulations regarding what is covered by health insurance, most insurance companies will fully cover breast reduction surgery if deemed medically necessary.

In Quebec, through RAMQ, there are sometimes additional requirements regarding the amount of breast tissue that is being removed for it to be covered. RAMQ requires that you have a breast reduction of more than 250 g per breast for differences in the size of more than 150 g.

It also covers breast reductions and an accompanying augmentation breast lift that is often necessary if you are undergoing the surgery for reconstruction purposes after a mastectomy or other traumas. Although there is a vast range of situations in which insurance will cover your breast reduction surgery, it will not necessarily cover you for all potential reasons. We suggest you consult your health insurance provider before going ahead with the surgery.

Do I Need a Breast Lift or Reduction?


Is breast reduction surgery safe?

Yes, breast reduction surgery is safe. Nevertheless, as with all other medical and cosmetic procedures, it does come with some risks. Your plastic surgeon will talk you through all the possible risks and complications that come with the surgery, but on the whole, it is a fairly simple and routine procedure.

Some examples of risks that accompany not only breast reduction procedures but many other cosmetic procedures include things such as allergic reactions, poor wound healing, and infection. If you are prone to any kind of complications, you should discuss your worries with your doctor to decide the best course of action.


What to Expect During Breast Reduction Surgery

It helps to know what to expect during a breast reduction surgery to help you decide whether or not this is the right decision for you. Breast reduction surgery goes as follows to ensure the health of the patient:

  1. Consultation phase
  2. Surgical phase
  3. Aftercare phase


Consultation Phase

The first thing you should expect when going into the breast reduction process is the consultation phase. This is the initial step in which you talk with your plastic surgeon. They will discuss what the surgery entails in-depth and will talk you through every step of the procedure. Questions regarding the coverage for breast reduction surgery should be addressed at this stage.

This is your opportunity to voice any concerns and will give you the chance to build a comprehensive plan with your plastic surgeon to create a surgery outline that works with you. You will also be able to convey your expectations and what you want to get out of the surgery. Your doctor will likely discuss with you additional breast reconstruction options such as breast augmentation or a breast lift to find you the perfect solution.


Surgery Phase

The surgery phase is often feared by breast reduction patients as it is not every day that we find ourselves on an operation table. Here are the steps to a successful breast reduction surgery:

  1. The anesthetic must be administered to the patient, which is a simple process that will either be realized through a gas or IV method.
  2. The second step is to make the incision around the areola. Whilst traditional methods of breast reduction surgery could cause women to lose feeling in the areola and nipple, Dr. Mouffarege’s innovative technique ensures you still have feeling and function in your nipple and areola.
  3. Once the incision has been made, the next step is to remove any excess fatty tissue from inside the breast. This step might also require some additional breast reconstruction depending on the original size of the breast and how much tissue is being removed.
  4. The final step is to close the incision, which is done with sutures that are embedded into the tissue to provide support.


After Care Phase

Looking after yourself after your surgery is just as important as the surgery itself as you could do serious damage if you do not follow your surgeon’s recommendations. It is generally recommended to avoid any kind of strenuous activity up to two weeks after your surgery, which includes activities as simple as lifting things. Your body needs time to heal.

You can expect your stitches to be taken out anywhere between 5 and 10 days after your surgery, but that does not mean the healing process has finished. You should also take good care of your scars and should make sure to keep your breasts clean, washing them daily with soap for sensitive skin and warm water.

In some cases, your surgeon might recommend consulting a physical therapist to help you with the recovery process. Recovering from a procedure such as a breast reduction surgery is not going to be instantaneous, so you need to be patient and embrace the process, doing exactly as your doctor recommends.


How to get insurance to cover your breast reduction surgery

The steps involved in getting your insurance to cover your breast reduction surgery are fairly limited. All you need to do is have a sit down with your plastic surgeon to discuss your options. This will ensure you know the exact surgery that you are planning on getting and whether it is covered by your health insurance.

You will be pleased to know that you do not need to be referred to a plastic surgeon by your doctor. Instead, your plastic surgeon will ask all the relevant questions and perform all the paperwork required to qualify for RAMQ if applicable.

Schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon