Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)
Gynecomastia is a condition of over developed or enlarged breasts in men. It can occur at any age and can be hereditary, caused by the use of certain medications or the result of hormonal changes and obesity. While the condition generally doesn’t signify a serious health threat, it can have devastating effects on a man’s self-esteem and can cause emotional embarrassment, social embarrassment as well as impair self-confidence. Typically men with gynecomastia will avoid certain activities such as changing clothes in the locker room or swimming in public. Fortunately, plastic surgery offers a safe and permanent solution for male breast reduction surgery.
- The best candidates for male breast reduction surgery are men who have: excess breast tissue despite being in good physical shape.
- Male breast reduction surgery is not a form of weight loss surgery and is not effective for men who are chronically obese.
- Patients who have lost a large amount of weight and are struggling with excess skin in the chest area, male breast reduction surgery may be an excellent choice.
- Surgical candidates must be in good health.
- Individuals must not have an underlying medical condition for the gynecomastia such as the use of medications, illegal drug use or anabolic steroid use.
- Individuals must be healthy enough to undergo surgery and have realistic expectations.
- Non-smokers or non-tobacco users.
Typically gynecomastia surgery has multiple approaches. The surgery can be performed with liposuction alone that removes the fatty tissue that is associated with gynecomastia. There can be an excision of the actual breast tissue, which occurs underneath the nipple areola complex, and there is sometimes a reduction of the nipple areola size. Which surgery is most appropriate for you depends on the severity of gynecomastia. Most of the time this can be done with very minimal incisions just around the nipple areola complex or small little poke holes for liposuction. However when there is a large amount of breast tissue and excess skin, occasionally a larger scar that looks like a sideways lollipop or an incision under the chest crease below the breast area must be performed to correct the excess tissue and remove all the loose skin.
Length of Surgery
Male breast reduction surgery typically takes about 2-3 hours dependent on the techniques used.
Recovery, Risks and Results
Common side effects include fluid formation or seroma, which sometimes has to be drained with the use of a needle in the office or a temporary drain is placed during surgery. Changes in nipple sensation, bruising and swelling are also common but temporary.
Typical recovery time is 4 weeks, depending on your duties of your job. Usually a week to two weeks off of work or if you have a very physical job you may need 4 full weeks off of work. Exercise needs to be put on hold until 4-6 weeks after surgery.
Patients must be willing to wear a compression garment after surgery, which is typically a vest that is worn for 4 weeks after surgery. After 4 weeks, a compression type tank top or t-shirt can be worn for another week or two especially when exercising.
Expected results after gynecomastia surgery are a smaller chest, reduction of the breast tissue and the reduction of the nipple areola complex as needed. It is important for men who undergo this procedure to continue to live a healthy lifestyle by eating well and exercising on a regular basis after recovery.