Gynecomastia: What to Know About Male Breast Reduction

Gynecomastia: What to Know About Male Breast Reduction

Many people think of cosmetic breast surgery as strictly a female procedure, but male breast reduction, or Gynecomastia surgery, has steadily been gaining popularity in the U.S. In fact, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), gynecomastia surgery was the 4th most performed plastic surgery procedure for men in 2008.

Why has it become so popular? Quite simply, proper physical fitness and a strong, masculine physique are very important confidence factors and self-esteem boosters for many men. Just like women, men are often concerned about body imperfections. Thus, the development of enlarged or saggy breast tissue can be an immense source of embarrassment and self-consciousness. Fortunately, male breast reduction surgery now provides a way to correct this physical condition, which can restore men with a sense of self-assuredness and improve their overall body image. So what causes enlarged male breasts? And what do you need to know about gynecomastia surgery to determine if it's right for you?

What Causes Enlarged Male Breast Tissue?

The surgical procedure for Gynecomastia, or male breast reduction, was designed to help men correct an excess amount of fatty breast tissue in the chest area. The ASAPS estimates that this condition occurs in as many as 40% of men today, but the direct causes are still uncertain. Some medical professionals cite these possible causes of enlarged male breast tissue:

  • Obesity
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Medications with estrogen
  • Testosterone deficiency
  • Alcohol and marijuana consumption

Other possible related causes include:

  • Impaired liver function
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Radiation therapy
  • Hormone treatments

If you are a healthy adult male who's recently developed enlarged breasts in spite of regular exercise, you might want to consult your doctor about a possible correlation between the condition and any recent medications or health concerns.

How is Male Breast Reduction Performed?

The surgery itself can be performed under general or local anesthesia, depending on the level of surgery required and the specifications of the plastic surgeon. Incisions are made at even points on the chest, and fatty tissue is then removed via liposuction. If there is excess skin as well as fat cells, the surgeon will remove that as well before closing up and suturing the incisions. Male breast reduction surgery typically lasts up to two hours, and is considered an outpatient procedure.

Post Gynecomastia Surgery

Post surgery, the patient will be asked to wear an elastic garment under their clothes for roughly 3-6 weeks to ensure proper healing. Patients must also refrain from intense physical activity, keep the healing area safe from sun exposure, and be watching for possible side effects or complications.

In the first week following gynecomastia surgery, temporary side effects may include:

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Tenderness
  • Numbness
  • Slight burning sensation

Rare complications of male breast reduction may include skin damage, bleeding, pigment changes, scarring, fluid accumulation, asymmetry and infection. If any of these conditions develop following gynecomastia surgery, contact your physician or plastic surgeon right away to address the problem.

Is Male Breast Reduction Right for Me?

To determine if you're a candidate for male breast reduction surgery, you'll first want to verify that your enlarged breast tissue isn't simply the result of recent weight gain. If, in spite of dieting and exercise, you find you can't tone or mold your chest tissue into a firmer, more masculine contour, you should consult with a male breast reduction surgeon near you.

A qualified plastic surgeon will help you identify the possible cause of your enlarged breasts, answer your questions in greater detail, and discuss male breast reduction costs to better inform your decision. If you decide to pursue gynecomastia surgery after thorough research and a professional consultation, your plastic surgeon will work with you to create a surgical plan that best fits your schedule and personal needs.

To get more information and begin your male breast reduction treatment process, contact our representatives today. They will match you with a board-certified plastic surgeon in your region to assist you in reaching your male breast reduction goals.

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Dr. Mark Schusterman and Dr. Sanaz Harirchian

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