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Gynecomastia, also called male breast reduction surgery, is a procedure to remove excess fat, glandular tissues and/or skin from overdeveloped or enlarged male breasts. 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 need to be reduced. Gynecomastia may result from hormonal changes, heredity, disease or the use of certain drugs, and can present unilaterally (one breast) or bilaterally (both breasts). There are a variety of different techniques used by doctors to treat gynecomastia. Gynecomastia surgery can be combined with other forms of body-contouring surgery, including liposuction, or performed at the same time with other elective surgeries.

 

Quick Facts About Male Breast Reduction Surgery

Typical Timing/Age

After the completion of puberty with most men having surgery between 19 and 50 years of age.

Problem

Excessive breast tissue in men.

Procedure

Most cases of gynecomastia can be treated using liposuction which only requires small incisions on the periphery of the chest. Skin excess in most cases will tighten up on its own after liposuction, thereby NOT requiring removal by excision and the requisite scars. If the breast tissue is too fibrotic to be treated by liposuction alone, an incision may be made from 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock along the edge of the areola to directly remove the fibrotic breast tissue.

Before
Gynecomastia by Dr. Leveque
After
Gynecomastia by Dr. Leveque

Goal

To remove breast tissue and create a more male chest contour.

Facility

Office/Clinic, Surgery Center or Hospital

Preparation

Patients should be at a stable weight.

Anesthesia

Local anesthesia in the office/clinic; or general anesthesia at a surgery center or hospital.

Hospital stay

This is outpatient surgery and patients usually go home after surgery.

Assistance

You will be able to walk around, feed and bathe yourself. Depending on your pain medication requirements, you may not be able to care for others or drive a car.

Walking

You are encouraged to walk around as much as possible to help reduce the risk of DVT and thromboembolism.

Showering

If only liposuction is performed, you may shower immediately after surgery, otherwise you may remove dressings and shower 48 hours after surgery.

Exercise

You should do mild/gentle stretching exercises immediately after surgery to prevent your arm and chest muscles from getting tight. Exercise with limits guided by pain is ok 1 week after surgery.

Sex

Wait 1 week because you don’t want to increase your blood pressure during the early healing period. After 1 week, sex is ok ONLY if your partner is able resist touching your new chest. You are the only person allowed to touch your chest for the 6 weeks following surgery.

Work

1 week or less depending on your type of work.

Swelling

Usually peaks around 3 days and gradually goes away.

Bruising

Should subside within 1-2 weeks.

Inherent Risks & Complications

Hematoma, Infection, Contour irregularities, Poor scarring, Need for revision, Complications related to anesthesia.

Performed by: Dr. Butler, Dr. Leveque, Dr. Patterson

*Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank: Statistics 2013. (2014). Aesthetic Surgery Journal / the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 34(1 suppl), 1S-22S.doi:10.1177/1090820X14542571

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