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Male breast surgery

Gynecomastia or male breast enlargement occurs in a relatively high percentage of adolescent boys, and although it frequently resolves, it still persists in many men as they grow into adulthood. It can affect one breast or both and though certain drugs and medical problems are linked to gynecomastia, there is no known cause in the majority of cases. For men who are self-conscious about their breasts, male breast reduction surgery can help. The procedure removes fat and glandular tissue from the breasts and in extreme cases, excess skin may also be removed. This results in a chest that is flatter, firmer, and better contoured.

The best candidates for surgery are those with firm, elastic skin that will reshape itself to the body’s new contours. Although most of our male breast reduction patients are adults, we do perform breast reduction on teen-aged boys, as large breasts on a teenager can be embarrassing for them and create problems with socialization.

Patients who drink large amounts of alcohol, take anabolic steroids, or smoke marijuana are instructed to stop the use of them to see if the breast fullness will go away spontaneously.

Your surgeon will take your medical history and inquire about medications that may increase estrogen levels. Next we will examine your breasts and check whether the excess tissue is fat or breast tissue. Further workup including checking estrogen levels and a mammogram may be indicated. If a medical problem is the suspected cause, you’ll be referred to an appropriate specialist prior to surgery.

Male breast reduction procedures are performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. If excess glandular tissue is the main cause of the breast enlargement, it is removed either with a scalpel alone or in conjunction with liposuction. In a typical procedure, an inconspicuous incision is made on the edge of the areola or in the underarm. Working through the incision, we remove excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin from around the areola and from the sides and bottom of the breast. The removal of a significant amount of tissue and skin may require larger incisions that result in more conspicuous scars.

If large amounts of fat or glandular tissue have been removed, skin may not adjust well to the new smaller breast contour. In these cases, excess skin may have to be removed to allow the removed skin to firmly readjust to the new breast contour.

Recovery

Following your breast reduction procedure, you will have some swelling and bruising and feel some discomfort for a few days, which can be controlled with medication. Depending on the extent of tissue or fat removal, you may need to wear an elastic pressure garment 24 hours a day for the first week or two and at night for an additional two to four weeks. It may take up to three months or longer for the final results of your surgery to be apparent. Any sutures that are not absorbable will be removed in your postoperative visit 1-2 weeks following the procedure.

We recommend that you avoid sexual activity for a week or two and any heavy exercise for 3-4 weeks. You will want to avoid any activity that will risk a blow to the chest area for at least a month. If you enjoy sunbathing, we recommend that you avoid this for at least six months, as sunlight can permanently affect the skin’s pigmentation causing the scar to be darker than it would otherwise be.