Though this condition is rarely talked about, it’s actually quite common. Male breast reduction, or gynecomastia is the medical term for overly developed male breasts and it affects an estimated 40%-60% of men. Furthermore, it may affect only one breast or both. Though certain drugs and medical problems have been linked with gynecomastia over development, there is no known cause in the vast majority of cases. Patients with gynecomastia may be embarrassed when their chests are exposed. A male breast reduction surgery at SynergyMD Plastic Surgery can correct gynecomastia, and Dr. Brown can reshape the chest to a more masculine appearance. The effects of this surgery are not only physical, producing firmer, flatter and improved chest contours, but emotional as well, usually resulting in improved self-esteem.
WHAT IS MALE BREAST REDUCTION?
- Mild: Liposuction
- Moderate: Direct excision with or without liposuction
- Severe: Direct excision and skin excision with nipple repositioning
Gynecomastia reduction is the permanent surgical removal of excess breast tissue from the chest wall of a male. For mild cases, liposuction is typically all that is required to remove the breast tissue and excess fat, creating a more masculine contour and pectoralis definition. For more moderate cases, an incision must be made around the edge of the areola to excise dense or more firm tissue from behind the nipple with liposuction performed throughout the chest to further refine the final result. In severe cases, skin will need to be excised and the nipple brought to a new location.
WHAT CAUSES MALE BREASTS?
Excess breast tissue in men can be caused by a variety of reasons. For many male adolescents, excess breast tissue will resolve itself. For others, the issue may be permanent unless addressed surgically. In these situations, male breast reduction can improve upon a man’s self image and confidence. Below are several potential causes of male breast tissue:
- Hormone imbalance
- Weight gain
- Drugs and alcohol
- Anabolic steroids
- Some prescription medications
WHAT TO EXPECT IN YOUR INITIAL CONSULTATION
- Initial discussion
- Physical exam
- Treatment planning
At your initial consultation, Dr. Brown will speak with you and listen to your concerns. He will obtain a thorough history while doing so and make sure you do not have an underlying cause of male breast tissue that must be addressed medically. Dr. Brown will take every precaution in making sure to prioritize safety over everything else. A physical exam will be performed to assess your chest wall morphology, how much much excess breast tissue, fat, and skin there is in order to determine the best treatment option. Typically, photographs are taken and are part of your confidential medical record. These are not published without your explicitly discussed and written consent. Finally, a safe treatment plan to obtain your goals will be discussed. Typically, a complimentary preoperative consultation will also be had during which all questions will be answered and prescriptions will be given ahead of time so they can be filled and ready for when you get home.
For most patients, the procedure is performed under general anesthesia, meaning the patients are asleep. After being safely monitored in the recovery room, patients will go home the same day with their previously filled prescriptions waiting for them. A compression garment is worn day and night for about 3 weeks to help facilitate the final shape and contour of the chest during the immediate healing process. Strenuous activity is avoided for about 4 weeks during the recovery period. For most patients, sleeping in a reclining chair or on a bed with several pillows to keep the upper body slightly elevated is recommended for comfort and swelling.
- 2 weeks – no strenuous activity
- 2-4 weeks – light activity may be initiated
- 4-6 weeks – gradual return to normal strenuous activity level
WHO IS A SURGICAL CANDIDATE?
- Overall good health
- Overall good health
Male breast tissue, or gynecomastia, is a very common disorder. Most patients will find that it resolves itself if it occurs during adolescence. If you are bothered by excess skin or fat over your chest muscles but are at or close to your ideal body weight, you may have breast tissue as opposed to normal fatty tissue. If this doesn’t improve itself after the age of 18 in about a year, then it may be time to seek consultation regarding this. Excess breast tissue that has been present for over a year in men over 18 years of age will not improve with diet and exercise alone and you may benefit from surgical excision to achieve your goal.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
CAN THE BREAST TISSUE COME BACK?
The tissue that is removed during this operation is removed permanently. It cannot and will not return.
CAN THIS PROCEDURE BE PERFORMED AT THE SAME TIME AS ANOTHER SURGERY?
This procedure can safely be performed in combination with other surgeries. A lot of men also desire improvement in the contour of their abdomen or other regions. Liposuction of the abdomen and flanks can absolutely be performed during this same operation without increasing the down time or recovery process.
IF MY NIPPLES ARE LOW, DO YOU REMOVE THEM AND MAKE NEW ONES?
In very severe cases of male breast tissue, or gynecomastia, there is too much skin to allow for retraction after the liposuction or direct excision of breast issue. In these instances, the nipple can be temporarily removed with the excess skin then placed back into a more optimal and masculine position.
CAN I EXERCISE AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
Immediately after the procedure, it’s important to limit activity to minimize bruising and fluid. After enough time has passed to heal, I strongly encourage exercise to maximize and maintain the best possible result longterm.