Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Gynecomastia, a medical condition in which excess glandular tissue or fat make the male breast appear overdeveloped, can affect men of all ages, shapes, and sizes. This condition is so common, in fact, that it affects an estimated 50 percent of men. Gynecomastia may affect only one breast or both and may be responsible for other medical complications such as neck, back, and shoulder pain, rashes underneath the breasts, loss of sensation in the hands, dilated veins on the breasts, and/or enlarged areola as well as reduced self-esteem. Male breast reduction is performed to remove excess glandular tissue and fat from the breast to shape a flatter contour of the chest.
Am I a Good Candidate for Male Breast Reduction?
Men of all ages are good candidates for male breast reduction. The ideal candidate should be of a normal healthy weight and have overdeveloped breasts that do not respond to diet and exercise.
Possible Male Breast Reduction Risks and Complications
Male breast reduction surgery complications when performed by a board certified plastic surgeon are rare. Nevertheless, such complications should be taken into account when considering any cosmetic surgery procedure. Depending on the individual and his adherence to the surgeon’s instructions there may be risk of excessive bleeding, infection, and/or reaction to anesthesia.
Scarring will result, but the incisions are made where they will appear as inconspicuous as possible. Poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers. Patients may experience decreased or lost sensation in the nipples and breasts. This is normal and usually lasts for only a few months but may be permanent in some patients.
Male Breast Reduction Consultation
During your male breast reduction consultation your surgeon will take into account your age, the size and shape of your breasts, the condition of skin and your overall health and well-being to assess whether you are a good candidate for male breast reduction. You’ll need to inform your surgeon of any previous problems you’ve had such as lumps, nipple discharge, pain and any previous surgeries you may have had in the past as well as any family history of breast cancer, and medications you are taking at that time. (Even men can develop breast cancer.) Your surgeon will also discuss your expectations and respond to your questions and concerns regarding the procedure as well as the male breast reduction cost.
Preparing for Surgery
Male breast reduction surgery should be performed on patients who are at a healthy weight. If you are a smoker, you are strongly encouraged to refrain from smoking for at least one week prior to the procedure and continue to refrain from smoking until your incisions have healed (about two weeks after the procedure). This will promote faster healing and reduce the risk of infection. At your preoperative visit, your surgeon will most likely provide a homeopathic remedy such as Arnica, which is taken the day before surgery and a week to ten days after to help reduce the effects of bruising and swelling.
Male Breast Reduction Procedure
The male breast reduction procedure takes between one and two hours per breast. Once anesthetized, you will be cleaned and draped. Depending on the cause of breast development, the plastic surgeon will either use liposuction or direct excision. Direct excision can be performed alone or in conjunction with liposuction. During consultation, the surgeon will discuss which technique will be needed to give you the best possible result. If liposuction alone is performed, the surgeon will make an incision in the armpit and remove excess fatty tissue with a cannula (a gentle vacuum like instrument used in liposuction). Otherwise, the surgeon will make an incision on the edge of the areola. Through the incision he will remove the excess glandular tissue, fat and skin with a scalpel and/or cannula. The skin surrounding the areola is brought down and together to reshape the breast. Sutures close the incisions giving the chest its new contour.
After Male Breast Reduction Surgery
During the male breast reduction recovery, your breast will be wrapped in a compression bandage over gauze dressings. A small tube may be placed in each breast to drain off blood and fluids for the first day. Any discomfort experienced after the procedure is controlled with oral pain medications. Bandages will be removed a day or two after surgery, though you’ll continue wearing the compression bandage until the swelling and bruising subsides (usually one to two weeks). In most cases, stitches will be removed within one to three weeks.
Though you may be up and about a day or two after your surgery, your breasts may still ache for the next few weeks. Avoid lifting or pushing anything heavy for three or four weeks. Most are able to return to work, school and social activities within two weeks. Physical activity should be limited (i.e. stretching, bending, walking) until your energy level returns (typically within two to four weeks).