Men’s Breast Reduction
Gynecomastia is a medical term that refers to a rarely talked about condition, however, it’s actually quite common – the overdevelopment of male breasts affects roughly 40 to 60 percent of men. Gynecomastia can start in adolescence and may persist throughout adulthood, or can develop in an older man due to steroid abuse, weight gain, hormonal imbalance, or as a side effect of certain medications.
Men with male breast enlargement (or “Gynecomastia”) may avoid certain clothing, social situations, and physical activities. The condition can also cause emotional distress and hinder self-confidence, as some men may avoid intimacy to hide their condition.
Gynecomastia is characterized by:
- Excess localized fat
- Excess glandular tissue development
- Excess breast skin
- Affects one breast or both
For patients where gynecomastia is mostly excess fatty tissue, liposuction techniques can be used to remove the excess fat. In this scenario, small incisions are made typically around the areola and a liposuction cannula is inserted to loosen and suction out the fat. This approach has the benefit of limited incisions for minimal scarring and most activities can be resumed within two weeks.
In patients where gynecomastia is mostly glandular breast tissue, where excess skin must be removed, where nipple placement must be returned to a more natural position, or where the size of the areola must be reduced, excision techniques are used. Incision locations vary based on the surgical approach but are most often hidden along natural contours of the breast and around the pigmented area of the areola. In many cases, both liposuction and excision techniques are used to achieve an aesthetically pleasing result.
Who is a good candidate for male breast reduction?
When a young man or even a middle-aged gentleman is fearful or embarrassed to remove his shirt at the pool or the beach because of enlarged breasts (gynecomastia) then there is good reason to consider male breast reduction surgery. It is one of the most gratifying procedures both for the surgeon and patient.
I recall a fourteen-year-old who came to visit me and almost refused to take his shirt off. He was so embarrassed. After his surgery, it was life-changing for him. He would look me in the eye, easily remove his shirt and had a great burden lifted from his life.
Patients who are in good health, don’t smoke, and are motivated make the best candidates. Skin quality and size of the breasts are important factors. Some patients with very large and pendulous breasts will need more aggressive surgical maneuvers to achieve the desired result.
What causes male breast enlargement?
Sometimes different drugs and marijuana can cause the male breast to enlarge and become feminine (gynecomastia). A careful history to rule this out is important. Another contribution may be increased weight which can cause the breast to appear larger.
What procedure is right for me?
Usually a combined approach is wise, using liposuction and actual surgical removal of hard to suction breast tissue. The incision is usually made at the areola junction and is inconspicuous. Occasionally we can simply suction the breast and get a very nice result and conversely a very small subareolar gynecomastia can simply be removed surgically without any suction.
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LENGTH: 1-2 hours.
ANESTHESIA: Usually asleep.
SIDE EFFECTS: Discomfort, swelling, transient altered nipple sensitivity.
RISKS: With any surgery, risks such as infection and blood clot exist. Our surgeons will always talk with you about potential risks specific to your procedures in your consultation. Other risks may include permanent nipple insensitivity and scarring.
RECOVERY: Drains may be placed at the time of surgery and can be removed in the office after two to five days. You may be instructed to wear a compression vest for a few months to aid in the skin re-draping process.
DURATION OF RESULTS: Can be permanent.