Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia Surgery):
A male breast reduction is the most effective known treatment for gynecomastia, or enlarged male breasts. This cosmetic surgery procedure removes excess fat and glandular tissue to restore a flatter, firmer and more masculine contour to the chest.
Due to genetics, use of certain medications, or other unspecified reasons, some men develop the appearance of enlarged breasts. It is estimated that up to 50% of men in the United States experience some degree of gynecomastia during their lifetime. Gynecomastia can present at any age, and male breast reduction can be performed safely and successfully on teenagers and adult men alike.
Who is a good candidate for breast augmentation?
Gynecomastia surgery candidates include:
- Men whose condition cannot be corrected through alternative medical treatments
- Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
- Nonsmokers and non-drug users
- Men with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for improving the physical symptoms of gynecomastia
- Men who are physically healthy and of relatively normal weight
- Men who have realistic expectations
- Men whose breast development has stabilized
- Men who are bothered by the feeling that their breasts are too large
Adolescents may benefit from surgery, although secondary procedures may be needed in the future should breast development continue.
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The options include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best option for you.
In cases where gynecomastia is primarily the result of excess fatty tissue, liposuction techniques alone may be used. This requires insertion of a cannula, a thin hollow tube, through several small incisions.
The cannula is moved back and forth in a controlled motion to loosen the excess fat, which is then removed from the body by vacuum suction.
There are various liposuction techniques that may be used; the technique most appropriate in your case will be defined prior to your procedure.
Excision techniques are recommended where glandular breast tissue or excess skin must be removed to correct gynecomastia. Excision also is necessary if the areola will be reduced or the nipple will be repositioned to a more natural male contour. Incision patterns vary depending on the specific conditions and surgical preference.
Combination of liposuction & excision techniques
Sometimes gynecomastia is treated with both liposuction and excision.
Preparation and Recovery:
In preparing for gynecomastia surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
The success and safety of your gynecomastia procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.
During your gynecomastia surgery recovery period, dressings or bandages will be applied to your incisions and an elastic bandage or support garment may be used to minimize swelling and support your new chest contour as it heals after surgery.
A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
It’s important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion or motion during the time of healing.
Treating Gynecomastia with Liposuction
Today, cosmetic surgeons are able to treat a growing number of gynecomastia patients using liposuction. This is due in part to advances in liposuction technology, which have resulted in a wider selection of less invasive techniques. However, surgeon skill plays an important role too, and it is important to choose a cosmetic surgeon who is trained in liposuction and has specific experience performing male breast reduction using liposuction.
The procedure for treating gynecomastia with liposuction is typically performed using local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia, and involves a small incision on each side of the chest. Depending on your needs and your cosmetic surgeon’s preferred technique, incisions may be located along a portion of the edge of the areola or within the armpit. Through these incisions, your cosmetic surgeon will remove excess fat and/or glandular tissue, at the same time sculpting a new chest contour that looks natural to your body.
This patient had liposuction to treat gynecomastia and reduce lovehandles.
The recovery process following liposuction is typically quite tolerable. Patients are often given a compression garment to wear for the first few weeks after surgery; this helps to minimize swelling and offers support to the healing tissues. While vigorous exercise is typically off-limits for about 3 weeks, many men return to work or school within several days after their procedures. However, it is important to understand that everyone heals at a unique pace; your cosmetic surgeon will give you individualized instructions for recovery.
Risks and Complications:
The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal, and you will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of gynecomastia surgery are acceptable.
Gynecomastia surgery risks include:
- Reactions to tape, suture materials, glues, topical preparations or injected agents
- Anesthesia risks
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Blood clots
- Breast asymmetry
- Breast contour and shape irregularities
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation may be temporary or permanent
- Damage to deeper structures—such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles and lungs—can occur and may be temporary or permanent
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Fatty tissue found in the breast might die (fat necrosis)
- Fluid accumulation (seroma)
- Persistent pain
- Poor wound healing
- Possibility of revision surgery
- Unfavorable scarring
How will be my life after Breast Augmentation?
After gynecomastia surgery, you should notice an immediate improvement in the shape and appearance of your chest. While you may feel sore for a few days, pain is usually minimal. While your cosmetic surgeon will likely prescribe some pain medication, many men find that over-the-counter options, such as Tylenol, is sufficient. If you are given a compression garment, wear it. This will enhance your comfort and help your chest heal optimally.
While every patient’s healing process is unique, most patients feel ready to return to work just a few days after a male breast reduction, depending on the nature of their work. Some men experience a loss of sensation in the treated areas after a male breast reduction, but this is almost always temporary. Any loss of sensation should gradually return over the months following your procedure.
Will the results of gynecomastia last?
Male breast reduction results are meant to be permanent – the excess fat, glandular tissue and skin removed are gone for good. However, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Significant weight gain, steroid use, or certain medical conditions could result in a recurrence of gynecomastia. Additionally, drugs that influence testosterone levels could also affect your results.