Male Breast Reduction or Gynecomastia Surgery
Gynecomastia is a common condition that affects more than 40% of all males. Although certain drugs (e.g. estrogen-containing medications, anabolic steroids, etc.) or specific medical conditions (e.g. impaired liver function, cancer, etc.) can cause male breast enlargement, in most cases, the exact cause is unknown.
Gynecomastia means enlargement of the male breast. The definition has nothing to do with what causes the enlargement or what tissue it is composed of. It is most common around puberty and can involve one or both sides. Most commonly the enlargement is centralized in the breast but occasionally it is not. It is present to some degree in about a third of male population. Although certain drugs (e.g. estrogen-containing medications, anabolic steroids, etc.) or specific medical conditions (e.g. impaired liver function, cancer, etc.) can cause male breast enlargement, in most cases, the exact cause is unknown. Drug induced gynecomastia will sometimes respond to cessation of the causative drug. If the gynecomastia is resistant to treatment or is the adolescent type but persistent surgery is required.
The type of surgery depends on the type of tissue contributing to the breast enlargement.
- glandular: requires surgical removal of glandular tissue
- fatty-glandular: requires surgical removal of glandular tissue with or without removal of adjacent fat to give the best overall shape
- simple fatty: requires diet/exercise for weight loss, possibly removal of the fat and or skin
It is very important to review your complete medical history with your plastic surgeon during your initial consultation in order to rule out any specific medical problems. Ideal candidates will be close to normal weight with good skin and muscle tone. Gynecomastia cannot correct breasts enlarged due to obesity. Our patients say that male breast reduction surgery
- enables them to wear any type of clothing they want.
- helps them to feel more confident at the beach or pool.
- helps them to improve their overall self image.
Gynecomastia is performed as an outpatient procedure in a surgical facility, usually with general anesthesia. The procedure usually takes about two hours but may take more or less time depending upon the individual and the specific techniques used.
An incision is made in an inconspicuous area (e.g. around the areola or in the underarm area) and tissue is then removed around the breast. Liposuction may also be used to remove excess fat. Sometimes, excess skin may have to be removed in order to ensure a more normal and firmer breast contour.
When closed, the incisions are wrapped in a dressing or the entire chest area may be wrapped to keep the skin firmly in place.
Generally, our patients return to work within a couple of days although it may take a couple of weeks to fully resume heavy physical activity. There may be some breast sensitivity or swelling which will gradually dissipate. Healing of the scars will depend upon the individual.
*Choosing male breast reduction is a very personal decision that needs to be thought through carefully to be sure this is what you want and you also need to have a complete understanding of what a realistic expectation is. This surgery can boost self-confidence and the result can be very satisfying. For any further information, questions, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at our Seattle, Washington practice at (425) 366-8222.