What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is the medical term for enlargement or swelling of breast tissue in males. Often referred to as “man boobs”, gynecomastia can affect one or both breasts. Gynecomastia does not respond to exercise because it’s a medical condition rather than simply being out of shape. It is most commonly the result of medication, illness, genetics, or an imbalance between the hormones estrogen and testosterone. In some cases, a cause cannot be identified. It can involve any combination of excess breast glandular tissue, excess breast fat, and excess skin.
What is Gynecomastia Surgery?
Gynecomastia surgery (also known as male breast reduction or reduction mammaplasty) is a procedure to correct unwanted breast tissue found in men. The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis under anesthesia and requires minimal recovery time. Since every case is unique, it’s a good idea to schedule a consultation with me to discuss your goals and available treatment options. The majority of cases are treated with a modification of liposuction that removes both breast fat and breast glandular tissue, so the incisions and scarring are minimal. Breast skin in men tends to be fairly elastic, so in most cases no skin is removed. If you’ve lost a large amount of weight, from diet or bariatric surgery, there may be enough excess skin that skin reduction and nipple repositioning may be necessary. All these issues will be discussed at your consultation.
What is the recovery like from Gynecomastia surgery?
This depends on the precise surgery you require. Most men are candidates for the modified liposuction procedure and in that case you can be up and about in a few days. You will wear a special compression vest with foam padding for a week, but many men are back to non-physical work in 2-3 days following the surgery. If you require substantial skin reduction and nipple repositioning, typically you’ll be off work for 5-7 days. Return to physical activity, like working out, is graded depending on your individual procedure. We can discuss all these issues at your consultation.
What are the Risks?
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks and potential complications. Changes to the appearance or sensation of the nipple, and infection or scarring at the surgical site may occur. Nerve, muscle, or blood vessel damage are occasionally experienced. These risks are greatly reduced when performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in breast reduction in men, like myself. I will discuss all the risks prior to your gynecomastia surgery.