Gynecomastia Surgery

(Male Breast Reduction)

What Is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a relatively common condition that is characterized by enlarged male breasts. Men with gynecomastia may have localized breast fat, puffy nipples, excess and/or sagging breast tissue, and a feminized chest appearance. Gynecomastia surgery, also referred to as male breast reduction, can be performed to eliminate this condition and give men a more masculine chest contour and appearance.

The Benefits of Gynecomastia Surgery

  • Permanently eliminates gynecomastia
  • Creates a more masculine chest
  • Gives men a firmer, flatter chest
  • Enhances appearance both with and without clothing
  • Reduces a major cause of embarrassment and social anxiety
  • Strengthens self-confidence and self-esteem

Causes of Gynecomastia

Hormones

Gynecomastia may be caused by hormonal imbalances. Many young males develop gynecomastia due to hormone surges during puberty. Often, but not always, pubertal gynecomastia resolves by itself as the young man reaches adulthood. Adult men who are going through andropause may develop symptoms of male breasts due to age-related hormonal changes. Stabilizing the hormone levels can reduce gynecomastia. For more severe cases, gynecomastia surgery can permanently eliminate the condition.

Weight Gain

Weight gain may create the image of gynecomastia if the body accumulates fat in the chest region. Weight loss alone may be able to treat this form of gynecomastia. However, if the localized fat deposits do not go away with weight loss, liposuction can remove the pockets of fat to erase the appearance of male breasts.

Steroids and Drugs

The use of certain medications, steroids, and drugs (such as marijuana) may contribute to the formation of male breasts. While men can simply avoid steroid abuse and certain drugs, prescription drugs used to treat another health condition may be an unexpected cause of enlarged male breasts. It is important to discuss all health conditions with a primary care physician before discontinuing any prescribed medications, even if it is suspected that the medicine may be causing gynecomastia.

Other Causes

Other common causes of gynecomastia include heredity, aging, and unrelated medical conditions. Unfortunately, this condition may also be idiopathic, meaning there is no identifiable medical cause. The cause of gynecomastia, though it may be difficult to pinpoint, should be identified if possible before pursuing gynecomastia surgery so that the appropriate treatment can be determined. Otherwise, treatment is less effective, and gynecomastia may return after surgery. For instance, patients who undergo male breast reduction but are not receiving treatment for the medical condition that caused their gynecomastia are more likely to see a recurrence of male breast tissue growth. On the other hand, patients who receive an accurate diagnosis and the appropriate treatment can have permanent results with gynecomastia surgery.

Your Gynecomastia Surgery

The details of your gynecomastia surgery are determined by the severity of your gynecomastia. One of the following three techniques may be used:

Liposuction: Fat Removal

Where gynecomastia is characterized by fat alone, liposuction is performed to remove the surplus fat from the breasts. The procedure is performed under IV sedation on an outpatient basis. Miniscule incisions are made, through which a thin, hollow tube is inserted into the fatty tissue. The fat is then extracted from the chest area through the tube to create a smooth and even chest contour.

Incisional Technique: Breast Tissue & Fat Removal

Gynecomastia that is characterized by fat and excess breast tissue requires both liposuction and surgical removal. The procedure is performed under IV sedation on an outpatient basis. An incision is made along the lower edge of the areolas, and excess glandular tissue and fat are extracted from the chest to create a more masculine shape.

Incisional Technique: Breast Tissue, Fat, & Skin Removal

In more severe cases, gynecomastia may be characterized by excess fat, breast tissue, and skin. The procedure is performed under IV sedation on an outpatient basis. Liposuction is performed to remove excess fat, and extraneous breast skin and tissue are surgically excised. If necessary, the nipples and areolas may be moved to a more attractive position on the chest wall.

FAQs

Gynecomastia can be quite embarrassing and may lead to emotional distress, a lack of self-esteem, and social anxiety. If you have gynecomastia and are consequently suffering from any of these conditions, male breast reduction surgery can give you a more masculine appearance. This procedure may be appropriate for men of any age who are embarrassed about their enlarged breasts. Candidates should have a healthy body weight, good physical health, and no diseases or disorders that could limit healing or lead to excessive bleeding. All potential causes of your gynecomastia should be considered and discussed with your primary care physician before undergoing gynecomastia surgery.
Some men with gynecomastia may find that surgery is unnecessary. Weight loss, coming into adulthood, stopping the use of certain drugs, and other treatments may eliminate gynecomastia without surgery. However, for many men with gynecomastia, the condition will remain unless surgery is performed. Fortunately, gynecomastia surgery is incredibly effective, and the results tend to be permanent and quite satisfactory.
The results of male breast reduction surgery are usually permanent as long as the patient avoids known causes of gynecomastia and maintains a healthy lifestyle and weight. If an unrelated medical condition has caused gynecomastia, this condition must be treated to ensure that the results of gynecomastia surgery remain permanent.
Recovery after male breast reduction surgery may include temporary swelling, bruising, and soreness. A compression garment will be provided to minimize swelling for the first few weeks. Prescription medications will be provided to ease any discomfort, most of which will subside within a few days. Most patients return to work just a few days after their surgery. All patients should avoid strenuous physical activities, including heavy lifting and exercise, for up to six weeks. While results are immediately noticeable, it will take several months for the tissues to heal completely.
Gynecomastia surgery can reduce emotional and psychological distress. It can also contribute to a more positive body image and greater self-confidence. After gynecomastia surgery, many men feel more comfortable baring their chests or wearing fitted clothing. This procedure can help you look and feel more masculine, which can considerably raise your self-esteem and quality of life.