Gynecomastia (Male Breast Reduction)
Although rarely discussed, an enlarged male breast, also known as gynecomastia, is a common condition. Gynecomastia affects approximately 40 to 60 percent of men. There is often no known cause for gynecomastia, although there has been some correlation with various drugs or medical conditions. Men who feel self-conscious about their appearance are helped with breast reduction surgery. The procedure removes fat and/or glandular tissue from the breasts, and in extreme cases removes excess skin, resulting in a contoured chest that is flatter and firmer.
Who are good candidates for Gynecomastia (Male Breast Reduction)?
Men of any age who are healthy and emotionally stable are considered good candidates for male breast reduction surgery. The best candidates are those who have firm, elastic skin that will reshape to the body's new contours. In some instances, surgery may be discouraged for overweight men who have not first tried an exercise and diet regimen.
How is Gynecomastia (Male Breast Reduction) performed?
Enlarged male breasts can be reduced by liposuction and/or by cutting out excess glandular tissue. The procedure for male breast reduction takes an average of two hours, and is usually performed on an outpatient basis using general or local anesthesia. If excessive glandular tissue, fat and skin are present, they will be removed. Surgery may be performed alone or in conjunction with lipoplasty, where the suction device will typically be inserted through the existing incisions. For the removal of excess fatty tissue alone, liposuction may be all that is needed; in such cases, scars will be small and barely visible.
What are the results and recovery like for Gynecomastia (Male Breast Reduction)?
Results are permanent, although subsequent obesity can create a gynecomastia-like effect. Some of the benefits of surgery include a firmer, flatter, more contoured chest which may give the male patient a boost in self-confidence. There is little downtime, and you may return to work within one week usually, unless you are involved in strenuous activities. There will be scarring around the nipple of the breast (areola) from this procedure, but this will fade over a period of time and be less visible. There will be some post-operative bruising, swelling, and burning sensations. To assist with the healing process, the patient will wear an elastic pressure garment for 3-6 weeks and must avoid exposing scarred areas to the sun for at least 6 months.
What are the risks / complications associated with Gynecomastia (Male Breast Reduction)?
Other considerations include temporary numbness or lack of sensation that could last up to a year. Rare complication may include infection, skin damage, fluid accumulation, bleeding, scarring or pigment changes. Post-operative asymmetry, while rare, is possible; a second procedure may be needed to remove additional tissue.