What is Male Breast Reduction?
Male breast reduction is a plastic surgery procedure that is performed to remove excess breast gland tissue and fat from a man’s chest. Many men develop a condition known as gynecomastia, which causes excess breast tissue to develop and results in a feminine-looking chest.
Gynecomastia surgery permanently removes unwanted tissue for a flatter, smoother contour and an enhanced appearance. After surgery, men can feel more comfortable at the beach or gym and wear tighter-fitting shirts without feeling self-conscious.
Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
What is Gynecomastia? Causes and Symptoms
Breasts in both men and women are made up of breast gland tissue and fat, but higher levels of estrogen in women typically make the breasts much larger, while higher levels of testosterone in men keep breast tissue development to a minimum. However, a man can develop more gland tissue if there is an imbalance in his hormone levels. Higher levels of estrogen cause swelling of the breast tissue and a feminized chest appearance that can be either temporary or permanent.
Babies, adolescents, and older men are the most susceptible to developing gynecomastia because these phases of life trigger dramatic changes in hormone levels. Other causes of gynecomastia include steroid use (prescription and anabolic performance-enhancing), marijuana or hard drugs, pituitary or thyroid issues, and tumors. Pseudogynecomastia (excess fat in the chest) could also be causing unwanted aesthetic changes.
If you think your gynecomastia may be the result of a medical condition, then it’s important to see your doctor and work toward diagnosis and treatment before moving forward with cosmetic surgery. If you are taking prescription steroids, talk to your doctor about your concerns and find out if any adjustments can be made to your medications.
Gynecomastia vs. Pseudogynecomastia
Many men who think they have gynecomastia are actually suffering from pseudogynecomastia. Although the two issues both cause enlarged breasts, they have two very different causes.
True gynecomastia is driven by hormones and involves the development of enlarged breast gland tissue. Pseudogynecomastia, on the other hand, simply refers to excess fat in the chest area. Weight gain can cause fat cells all over the body to expand, creating pockets of fat in areas like the stomach and chest.
Even after weight loss, these stubborn pockets of fat may persist. Patients who have pseudogynecomastia may benefit from chest liposuction and do not usually need to have their natural breast tissue excised. Pseudogynecomastia treatment with liposuction is most successful for men who have reached a stable weight.
Will Gynecomastia Go Away Without Surgery?
In general, surgery is considered a last resort for men with gynecomastia. The good news is that gynecomastia does sometimes disappear on its own, without surgical intervention. Whether or not an individual case will require surgery depends on many factors. For example, gynecomastia in babies typically resolves on its own fairly quickly and is no cause for concern.
Adolescents are often embarrassed and concerned about male breast development, but the good news is that these cases of gynecomastia often resolve on their own as well. Once hormone levels have stabilized, most adolescent boys will notice that their chests look less puffy.
Adults who develop gynecomastia are the least likely to see the condition reverse without male breast reduction. Treating an underlying medical condition or stopping the use of steroids may help prevent further development, but the existing breast tissue may need to be removed in order to reverse the changes that have already occurred.
Benefits of Reduction Surgery
The good news about enlarged male breasts is that they don’t cause medical problems on their own, even though they may indicate an underlying health issue. However, men with breasts often feel extremely self-conscious and wish to correct the problem as soon as possible.
Men who undergo male breast reduction can feel more confident and enjoy the beautiful Florida beaches without worrying about the appearance of their chest. Many men with male breast enlargement wear baggy shirts to hide their chests all the time and feel uncomfortable anytime they’re expected to be shirtless.
After male breast reduction, most men experience a major boost in their confidence and self-esteem that improves their overall quality of life.
Candidates for Gynecomastia Surgery
Good candidates for male breast reduction are healthy adults who are dissatisfied with their male chest contour and feel like their< male breasts are interfering with their well-being and social comfort.
Patients should have realistic expectations and should be willing to follow all pre- and post-operative care instructions to help ensure good results. All plastic surgery patients should be non-smokers or willing to quit well in advance of the surgery as smoking can compromise safety and proper healing.
Men who are interested in cosmetic surgery to improve their chest contour should first ensure that there are no unresolved issues that may be causing the problem, such as a medical problem, medications, or drug use. If the underlying cause of gynecomastia is not treated before the breast reduction procedure, then the condition may eventually return.
Men who are experiencing gynecomastia symptoms are encouraged to schedule a consultation with Dr. Baker. Each patient’s candidacy is evaluated individually.
How Much Does a Male Breast Reduction Cost?
The cost of a male breast reduction procedure can vary significantly depending on a number of factors. These include:
- Surgeon’s experience in the procedure
- Surgeon’s qualifications, training, and years in practice
- Amount of tissue to be removed
- Surgical techniques
- Geographical region
There are typically separate charges for surgeon’s fees, anesthesia, and facility fees. Most patients will not need to stay overnight, which reduces the overall cost. At Dr. Baker’s Miami practice, male breast reduction costs are explained at the time of the consultation to ensure that patients have all the information they need. Financing is typically available.
Typically, gynecomastia surgery is performed on an outpatient basis with general anesthesia. Patients can be driven home by a friend or family member soon after the procedure is complete. The surgery takes about one and a half hours to complete, on average.
To begin, incisions are made in the chest to access the unwanted fat and gland tissue. Dr. Baker ensures that male breast reduction scars are minimized by making small incisions at the edge of each areola, which disguises the scar tissue once the area has healed.
Once the incisions are made, Dr. Baker will use liposuction techniques to remove unwanted fat before he excises the breast gland tissue and contours the chest.
After he has ensured that the contours are symmetrical and in line with the patient’s goals, Dr. Baker will close the incision. Compression foam and a compression vest will help support the new contours.
Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery & Downtime
Patients should plan to take a week off from work to recover from male breast reduction surgery. It is important to wear the compression garment as directed, typically for three weeks. It should be worn at all times during this initial recovery period, except when showering and laundering the garment.
Dr. Baker will prescribe pain medication for the first few days of recovery and will recommend ways to keep swelling and bruising to a minimum. Any sutures (typically just one on each side) are removed about a week after the surgery.
After surgery, men will need to postpone strenuous exercise for several weeks. Light activity like walking will help encourage proper healing, however. Most patients return to work in about a week.
Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Risks & Potential Complications
Male breast reduction is a very safe procedure overall when it is performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Baker. However, it is important to understand all of the possible risks and complications before deciding to move forward with the procedure. Gynecomastia surgery has been associated with:
|Unfavorable scarring||Poor healing||Pigment changes|
|Numbness||Contour irregularities||Mismatched nipples|
Dr. Baker assesses each patient for candidacy before recommending male breast reduction at his Miami practice. Patients should also be aware that proper pre- and post-operative care, based on the instructions Dr. Baker provides, will help ensure a good outcome.
About Dr. Stephan Baker
Stephan Baker, MD, FACS, is a renowned South Florida plastic surgeon who emphasizes natural-looking results in his practice. Men from all over the world come to Dr. Baker for male breast reduction surgery because of his training, experience, and integrity.
Dr. Baker is board-certified and has decades of experience in helping patients look and feel their best. He offers a wide range of body and facial procedures and tailors each surgery or treatment to meet the patient’s individual goals. He maintains privileges at several hospitals and surgical centers in order to best serve his patient’s needs.
In addition to running his busy practice, Dr. Baker has spent his career advancing his knowledge in plastic surgery and contributing to the advancement of the field as a whole. He is a clinical researcher, belongs to numerous respected plastic surgery organizations, and has contributed to reconstructive surgery missions in Colombia, the Philippines, and Panama.
Frequently Asked Questions about Gynecomastia & Male Breast Reduction
Male breast reduction is considered to be permanent. The fat and breast tissue that is removed during the procedure is gone for good. However, additional factors can occasionally lead to the recurrence of gynecomastia symptoms.
Patients who continue to use steroids and other drugs that affect the body’s hormone levels may be at risk for developing enlarged male breasts once again. This is why it is so important for patients to address the underlying cause of their male breasts before moving forward with surgical correction
Many men are eager to get back into the gym after surgery and work on their pecs. However, it’s important to give the body ample time to heal before resuming strenuous exercise. Moderate exercise can be resumed in about 3 weeks, but chest exercises and strength training should be postponed for 4 to 5 weeks to ensure proper healing and good results.
Dr. Baker will give you detailed preparation instructions prior to your procedure, which you should follow carefully. The first thing you should do if you are a smoker is quit. The earlier you do this, the better, but you should quit at least a month before the procedure. Smoking can cause anesthesia complications, poor healing, and other problems.
Patients will also need to stop taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs and certain supplements two weeks before the procedure. You will be given a list of what to avoid. Alcohol should also be avoided in the weeks leading up to surgery.
Because general anesthesia will be used, you will need to arrange for a ride to and from your appointment. You must not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before and the morning of your surgery.
It’s very hard to predict when a teen’s hormone levels will begin to balance out. In some adolescents, gynecomastia resolves quickly. Others may not see positive changes until they reach the end of their teen years. It is generally best to wait for the condition to resolve on its own, but teens who are experiencing severe distress due to breast development may be candidates for surgery.
Many prospective patients ask how to get rid of man breasts without surgery. Unfortunately, the creams and pills you’ll find online are nothing more than a waste of money. The only way to treat gynecomastia is with male breast reduction.
Why Choose Dr. Baker
- American Board of Plastic Surgery
- New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, Doctor of Medicine
- General Surgery: Five-Year Residency/Chief Residency, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York
- Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Four Year Residency/Chief Residency/Fellowship with Dr. D. Ralph Millard Jr., MD, FACS, Hon. FRCS England, University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, Miami, Florida
- University of Miami, School of Business Administration, Miami, Florida, Exec. MBA-Health Administration, Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society