Cosmetic breast surgery is not limited to just women. Some men experience gynecomastia which causes enlarged breasts. When this excess tissue proves resistant to diet and exercise, many of those individuals seek out a male plastic surgery procedure to have the affected areas reduced in size. This treatment is known as gynecomastia surgery, or commonly referred to as male breast reduction.
Gynecomastia generally appears in more than 20% of males. Often occurring among adults, this condition can also develop in teenagers and younger boys as well. There are no severe health risks that are related to gynecomastia, but many men choose to change the appearance of their chest as they find it unappealing, which can cause them physical and mental discomfort.
What are the steps of the procedure?
Gynecomastia surgery can be performed under either general or local anesthetic, depending on the requirements of the surgery and the preferences of the patient.
In any case of gynecomastia, it’s important to first determine the cause, because the treatment will vary depending on the type of male breast tissue targeted for elimination. Gynecomastia tends to manifest in one of three ways: excess skin, excess fat, or a combination of both.
There are three basic approaches to surgical treatment for gynecomastia:
Liposuction-based: If your breast tissue is composed mostly of fat, a liposuction-based approach will be the most suitable. During this procedure, our surgeon will make several small incisions in strategic locations around the chest. These incisions will likely be no longer than 1-2 centimeters. A small tube called a cannula will then be inserted to break up and remove the unwanted fat.
Excision-based: When your gynecomastia is caused by glandular tissue or excess skin, liposuction will be ineffective on its own. As a result, an excision-based approach is necessary, using an incision that will enable the removal and repositioning of tissue. The exact nature of this incision will vary depending on the type, amount, and placement of tissue to be removed. Patients who want their nipple(s) reduced or moved to require an excision-based approach.
Liposuction- and excision-based: In many cases, male breast tissue is a combination of fat, glandular tissue, and excess skin. In these cases, only an approach that combines liposuction and excision will be successful. Even in some cases where the breast is composed primarily of fat, somebody contouring may be necessary to ensure you end up with a more masculine profile. That’s because while the liposuction will diminish the volume of tissue, your skin may not have the elasticity to bounce back on its own. A combination of liposuction- and excision-based approaches is very common for a wide variety of gynecomastia patients seeking treatment.
During your consultation with our surgeon, you’ll discuss which approach is best for your specific condition.
What should I expect in my recovery period?
Within a few days you should be able return to work and most daily activities following breast male reduction surgery. Individuals who undergo gynecomastia surgery will be instructed to wear a postoperative garment for approximately three to six weeks to aid in the recovery and results of the procedure. There will likely be swelling and soreness immediately following surgery, but these side effects subside over time.
What should I expect as a result of gynecomastia surgery?
Almost all of our gynecomastia surgery patients say they feel more confident after the procedure. Once recovery is completed, patients fully appreciate their more proportional, masculine-looking contours. Male breast reduction surgery can make the chest appear flatter and more athletic. With excess breast tissue removed, the overall profile of the upper body often looks much more masculine. Gynecomastia surgery can significantly improve the self-esteem of patients who feel self-conscious about the current size and shape of their chests.