What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia, or the overdevelopment of male breasts, is an endocrine disorder characterized by an excess of localized fat and/or glandular tissue in the breast area. This disorder can be caused by disease, genetics, hormone variation or medication and affects an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men. The condition often goes away without medical intervention, but for some, the condition becomes permanent and patients can require surgery.
Gynecomastia can occur in one or both breasts and affects babies, preteens, teenagers and grown men. Symptoms of gynecomastia include breasts that feel rubbery or firm, enlarged breasts, and, in young boys, nickel- to quarter-sized breast “buds.”
Candidates for Breast Reduction Surgery
Men who have large or sagging breasts that make them feel emotionally and/or physically uncomfortable are candidates for surgery. Men can receive breast reduction surgery when they:
- Have complete breast development
- Are in good health, both physically and emotionally
- Do not smoke
- Are not overweight
Ideally, candidates have firm, elastic skin that will reshape itself to fit the contours of their breasts post-surgery.
The Male Breast Reduction Procedure
Male breast reduction usually takes about 1 to 3 hours and the patient will be under general anesthesia during the surgery. This procedure is on an outpatient basis allowing patients to return home that same day. Male breast reduction can be performed using liposuction or surgery, or a combination of the two.
At Signature Plastic Surgery Dr. Shah can help you remove fat and/or glandular tissue from your breasts. In extreme cases we can also remove excess skin, resulting in a contoured chest that is flatter and firmer. We use ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) to remove the fibrous tissue and help you achieve the best possible results.
Male Breast Reduction Recovery
Following surgery, bruising, swelling and discomfort can occur. Pain should dissipate after a few days but Signature Plastic Surgery can prescribe medication in order to alleviate discomfort. In order to reduce swelling a compression garment should be worn at all times for 2 weeks and at night for several weeks after that.
After 1-2 weeks Dr. Shah will remove stitches and your skin discoloration should subside at about the same time. After about a week patients can return to work and resume light aerobic exercise. Patients should avoid strenuous activity for 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.
Risks of Male Breast Reduction
There are risks that come with surgery and anesthesia alone. The following are additional risks related to male breast reduction surgery.
- Asymmetrical breasts or nipples
- Loss of nipple sensation
- Skin injury
As long as the patient’s weight remains stable the results of gynecomastia surgery are typically permanent. The patient must permanently stop taking drugs if they were the cause of the condition in order to maintain results.