Male Breast Reduction Procedure
*Content provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS)
What is a Male Breast Reduction?
Male breast reduction, or gynecomastia, is a condition of over-developed or enlarged breasts in men that can occur at any age. The condition can be the result of hormonal changes, heredity, obesity or the use of certain drugs. Gynecomastia can cause emotional discomfort and impair your self-confidence. Some men may even avoid certain physical activities and intimacy to hide their condition.
Gynecomastia is characterized by:
Excess localized fat
Excess glandular tissue development
Sometimes excess breast skin
Presence unilaterally (one breast) or bilaterally (both breasts)
Plastic surgery to correct gynecomastia is technically called reduction mammaplasty. The procedure reduces breast size, flattening and enhancing the chest contours. In severe cases of gynecomastia, the weight of excess breast tissue may cause the breasts to sag and stretch the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple). In these cases, the position and size of the areola can be surgically improved and excess skin may be reduced.
Is it right for me?
You may be a good candidate for male breast reduction if:
You are physically healthy and of relatively normal weight
You have realistic expectations
Your breast development has stabilized
You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too large
Adolescents may benefit from surgery, although secondary procedures may be needed in the future should breast development continue.
Surgical correction of gynecomastia is best performed on:
Men whose condition cannot be corrected through alternative medical treatments
Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
Non-smokers and non-drug users
Men with a positive outlook and specific goals for improving the physical symptoms of gynecomastia
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The options include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best option for you.
Step 2 – Liposuction
In cases where gynecomastia is primarily the result of excess fatty tissue, liposuction techniques alone may be used. This requires insertion of a cannula, or thin hollow tube, through several small incisions. The cannula is moved back and forth in a controlled motion to loosen the excess fat, which is then removed from the body by vacuum suction. There are various liposuction techniques that may be used; the technique most appropriate in your case will be defined prior to your procedure.
Step 3 – Excision
Excision techniques are recommended where glandular breast tissue or excess skin must be removed to correct gynecomastia. Excision also is necessary if the areola will be reduced or the nipple will be repositioned to a more natural male contour. Incision patterns vary depending on the specific conditions and surgical preference.
Sometimes gynecomastia is treated with both liposuction and excision.