Male Breast Reduction
It is not uncommon for men to be affected by an accumulation of excess fat and/or glandular tissue in the breasts, which can result in an enlarged appearance. While this condition, known as gynecomastia, can have serious effects on an individual’s self-confidence, those who suffer from gynecomastia should know that there are advanced surgical treatments available that can effectively address the concern. Our plastic surgeons offer customized male breast reduction procedures designed to successfully treat gynecomastia and produce a flatter chest.
What Is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a condition that occurs in men and is characterized by enlargement of the breasts caused by a collection of excess fat, skin, and/or glandular tissue. Men can experience gynecomastia for a number of reasons. The condition often begins in adolescence as a natural part of puberty, then resolves over time for many individuals. For others, it may never go away, even if they are in excellent physical shape and maintain healthy diet and exercise routines. There are several causes that have been potentially linked to gynecomastia, including weight fluctuations, significant weight loss, certain kinds of medications, hormone imbalances, genetics, or the use of marijuana or anabolic steroids. For some individuals afflicted with gynecomastia, there is no clear cause.
Gynecomastia can create feelings of extreme self-consciousness and a pronounced lack of self-esteem in men who have the condition, particularly for those with more severe cases. It is important to know that gynecomastia is not only quite common, but also quite treatable for many men who suffer from it.
True Gynecomastia vs. Pseudogynecomastia
While “gynecomastia” is often used as an umbrella term for conditions characterized by enlarged breasts in men, there are actually two distinct types of gynecomastia. The specific type of gynecomastia that an individual is experiencing will ultimately play a major role in determining the best treatment technique to address the condition. True gynecomastia typically describes breast enlargement that is caused by excess breast tissue or glandular tissue. Pseudogynecomastia is generally ascribed to gynecomastia conditions caused by an accumulation of excess fat in the breasts. Some men who suffer from gynecomastia are affected by both excess tissue and excess fat.
During your confidential consultation with our plastic surgeon, he will perform an evaluation to ascertain whether you have true gynecomastia, pseudogynecomastia, or a combination of these conditions. Once this has been established, he can talk with you about whether liposuction and/or surgical removal of excess tissue will be the most ideal treatment to effectively address your concerns.
How Do I Prepare for Male Breast Reduction Surgery?
Before male breast reduction surgery, we ask patients to stop taking medications that may increase bleeding. These typically include aspirin, Plavix®, NSAIDS (i.e. ibuprofen, Advil®, Alleve®, etc), and herbal supplements like vitamin E. Patients should be in good overall health and ensure they have their blood pressure controlled. Once you are evaluated during the initial consultation and your treatment plan has been designed, we will provide you with additional information on preparing for your surgery so you will know what to expect.
How Is Male Breast Reduction Performed?
For many patients, the correction of gynecomastia can be performed utilizing liposuction alone. In cases where an excess of glandular tissue is present, or for patients with more severe cases of breast enlargement where the skin has been stretched, more incisions are required to extract the tissue and create a flatter chest. Our plastic surgeons at Florida Plastic Surgery Group have experience with the latest male breast reduction techniques, which allow them to minimize scarring while successfully reducing the effects of gynecomastia.
Male breast reduction procedures can typically be performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia.
What Can I Expect During Recovery from Gynecomastia Treatment?
Most individuals are able to resume normal daily routines and work schedules (depending on the specific occupation) within approximately one week after gynecomastia surgery. Swelling and soreness can be expected as the area heals; however, medication can help control discomfort during recovery. Patients should wear a compression garment for a minimum of three to four weeks after the operation. In most cases, no drains are used after surgery and all the sutures are dissolvable. Strenuous exercise and lifting of heavy objects should be avoided for several weeks after surgery. As you heal, it is important to keep well-hydrated and nourished, as nutrition is an important part of healing. Our team will provide you with a thorough post-operative guide to help you achieve the safest, most effective recovery possible.
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How Noticeable Are the Scars from Gynecomastia Treatment?
The precise nature of scarring after treatment for gynecomastia will depend on the technique utilized; however, in most cases, residual scars following male breast reduction surgery are often minimal. When liposuction is utilized, the scars are typically very small since the incisions required for that procedure are generally only a few millimeters in length. For patients who have a more extensive surgical procedure to remove excess glandular tissue, the incisions can often be placed in relatively inconspicuous areas that are less noticeable to others. Our plastic surgeons understand patients’ concerns about how scarring may affect their appearance following surgery and employ advanced techniques that can make the resulting scars as minimal as possible.
How Much Does Gynecomastia Treatment Cost?
The total cost of gynecomastia treatment at our practice often falls in the range of $4,999 to $7,499. With this in mind, the price of male breast reduction is highly variable among patients since it is based on the specific technique utilized and associated components that are unique to the individual patient’s customized treatment plan. Additional factors that will be taken into account for the total price include the complexity of the operation, the fee for the surgeon, operating facility and anesthesia fees, post-operative garments, and other costs. When your customized treatment plan is developed during the initial consultation, a member of our team here at Florida Plastic Surgery Group will produce a cost estimate of the procedure that includes all related expenses and present it to you for review. We will be happy to talk with you about the array of convenient forms of payment we accept, and we can answer any questions you may have about the possibility of financing your procedure. Our practice works with reputable lending firms that offer a range of affordable plastic surgery financing plans to qualified applicants with options that can be suitable for a variety of budgets.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Gynecomastia
Is there a way to treat gynecomastia without surgery?
The answer to this question can depend on the specific type of gynecomastia—true gynecomastia or pseudogynecomastia—an individual is experiencing. In cases of true gynecomastia, surgery is likely the only effective remedy since it is the only option that can successfully reduce excess breast tissue or glandular tissue. With pseudogynecomastia, the enlarged breast appearance is primarily caused by excess fat cells, and some men may find that dietary adjustments and exercises focusing on the chest address the concern to a certain extent. It is necessary for individuals to have their chest examined for a proper diagnosis. This can determine the type of gynecomastia present and further steps that can be taken to improve the condition.
Is liposuction performed alone an adequate treatment for gynecomastia?
Patients diagnosed with pseudogynecomastia may only require liposuction for optimal results. If the condition is mainly caused by excess fat collection in the breasts, it could be possible for some patients to achieve the ideal aesthetic outcome with liposuction as a stand-alone procedure. In cases of true gynecomastia, liposuction alone will generally not be effective, and tissue excision will be necessary. With that in mind, some individuals benefit from a combination of liposuction and tissue excision if the condition is being caused by excess breast or glandular tissue in addition to an accumulation of excess fat in the breasts.
During male breast reduction surgery, will the entire gland be removed?
In most cases, all or nearly all of the glandular tissue is removed. A very small amount of glandular tissue may be left for some individuals; however, this will depend on each patient’s needs and the technique that offers the best possible aesthetic outcome.
Can the breast tissue come back after gynecomastia surgery?
Glandular tissue and breast tissue should not regenerate after surgical removal for most patients; however, it is still possible to regain excess fat in the breasts. This is why it is important to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle to minimize the chance of weight fluctuations that could have an effect on the appearance of the chest.
Is surgery for gynecomastia painful?
Some extent of discomfort and soreness in the treatment areas will be likely for a few days after gynecomastia surgery. This is normal after virtually any type of surgery and can often be well-controlled with rest and medication. Although each patient’s recovery experience is unique, some individuals who have surgical treatment for gynecomastia do not even require pain relief medicine after 48 to 72 hours.
Will nipple sensation be affected after gynecomastia surgery?
It is not uncommon for patients to feel numbness and loss of sensation in the nipples after gynecomastia surgery. These effects should be temporary and sensation usually returns gradually. Although permanent reduced nipple sensation or total loss of sensation is a risk of this procedure, it should be noted that this is an extremely rare occurrence.
If you are interested in learning more about treatment for gynecomastia, please do not hesitate to contact our office for additional information, or to schedule a consultation.