More than 600 female youth under the age of 18 have had their breasts either fully removed or reduced in Canada since 2018, according to new data provided by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and compiled for National Post.
The CIHI documented hospitalizations and day surgery visits for bilateral mastectomies as part of gender reassignment surgery, with 536 in 2018–2019, and rising to 985 in 2022–2023. A total of 4,071 visits were recorded for mastectomies or breast reductions by transgender individuals, and of those, 602 were carried out on children under the age of 18.
The youngest child documented was age 14, and 303 of those procedures were performed in teenagers aged 17 and younger. The data from CIHI did not include hospitals in Quebec or private clinics.
A specialist in transgender health told Postmedia that 50 to 70 percent of youth who apply for funding from the Ontario government for gender surgeries choose a private clinic in Mississauga, so the number of young women having mastectomies could be significantly higher. Some provinces provide public coverage for these surgeries, but not the additional cosmetic procedures to fine-tune after the mastectomies—for example, liposuction or contouring to appear more masculine.