Breast Reduction

Dr. Zelt is one of Montreal’s leading plastic surgeons performing breast reductions. In the province of Quebec, breast reductions are covered by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) when the amount of breast tissue removed is greater than 250 grams of tissue per breast.

Women with large, heavy breasts may suffer from numerous health issues including shoulder, back and neck strain, poor posture and limited ability to exercise. Breast reduction surgery can greatly reduce or eliminate these symptoms. The surgery reduces the volume of the breasts and lifts them into a more youthful, pleasing position on the chest. The surgical techniques used for reducing a woman’s breasts are identical to those used for breast lifting.

What can breast reduction do for me?

Every woman who considers having a breast reduction has her own personal reasons. Most common of these is to simply feel better about themselves and relieve the unwanted symptoms of neck, shoulder and back pain. Breast reduction can greatly increase the ability to participate in physical and sporting activities. Patients who have undergone breast reduction are thought to be the happiest patients in all of the plastic surgery and can achieve a level of satisfaction that is life-changing. Patients will often tell us that their satisfaction with surgery was beyond their preoperative expectations!

How are the breasts reduced?

Breast reduction is tailored to suit the needs of each patient and depends on the size of their breasts and the expected outcome. Volume is removed from each breast to achieve a natural balance form and size proportional to the height and weight of the patient. The nipple and areola are raised to a much higher position on the chest. The excess breast tissue is removed and the incisions closed with hidden buried sutures that will dissolve themselves. Patients leave for home with only a light dressing in place that Dr. Zelt will remove on the first postoperative visit a few days later.

Where is the procedure performed?

Breast reduction procedures that are covered by Quebec Health Care (RAMQ) are performed in the hospital on an outpatient basis – patients go home the same day of surgery. Dr. Zelt operates at l’Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, l’Hôpital Fleury and St Mary’s Hospital.

How long does the procedure take?

In most cases, this procedure takes 1 to 1 ½ hour.

What kind of anesthesia will be required?

General anesthesia is the preferred method of anesthesia.

Can I have my breasts enlarged at the same time?

While this sounds very odd considering patients are coming to have their breasts reduced in volume, some patients have breast that is hanging very low (sagging) and the upper portions of their breasts are flat. These patients sometimes have a deflated or “empty bag” appearance. Following breast reduction, the flat upper portions of their breasts sometimes remain the same and these patients may opt to undergo breast enlargement at the same time to enhance the roundness and projection of their breasts. Breast enlargement will add approximately 30 to 45 minutes on to the lifting procedure and cannot be combined with a government (RAMQ) covered surgery. These procedures would be performed privately as a breast lifting/breast augmentation procedure.

What will my breasts look like after surgery?

Following breast reduction, many patients will notice their breasts are slightly higher and downward pointing than expected. This is normal and they will fall into a more normal position and transform into the desired pleasing form in the weeks following surgery.

When can I resume my normal activities?

Most patients can return to light activity and work within a few days following surgery. Return to normal physical activity, including sports, is permitted after 4 weeks.

Are there any risks to breast reduction?

Generally, breast reduction is a very safe and reliable procedure. During your office consultation, Dr. Zelt will discuss with you the associated risks and complications. Fortunately, most are very uncommon and the vast majority of patients enjoy an uneventful surgery and recovery period. Patients who continue to smoke cannot undergo breast reduction surgery due to the high risk of vascular complications. Fortunately, if smoking is stopped for 3 to 4 months preoperatively, the procedure can be performed safely.

Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.