Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)
Excess breast tissue in men is known as gynecomastia and can be a result of hormonal imbalances, weight gain, genetics, or certain medications and drugs. This condition can be psychologically distressing and have a negative effect on one’s quality of life. A male breast reduction surgery can improve one’s chest contour and enhance one’s self-image.
Am I a candidate for male breast reduction?
Gynecomastia or the development of enlarged breasts in men, can be caused by a number of factors, including obesity, certain medication or drug use, hormonal changes, and even genetics. If despite lifestyle changes and medical treatment, one has persistent gynecomastia, one may be a surgical candidate. Men with realistic expectations, who are non-smokers and normal body weight, and whose breasts have remained stable in size, are better candidates for surgery.
Does male breast reduction require surgery?
That depends. Only surgery will remove palpable breast tissue under the nipple. Gynecomastia can also be associated with excess fat, which may improve with weight loss or liposuction to the area.
What are the benefits of having gynecomastia surgery?
Gynecomastia can affect one’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Some men are uncomfortable wearing certain clothes and are reluctant to take off their shirt at the pool. Others avoid certain physical activities and are uncomfortable with intimacy due to their condition. In the right candidates, gynecomastia surgery can help improve the appearance of one’s chest and help restore self-confidence.
How is a male breast reduction performed?
There are several techniques that are employed in a gynecomastia procedure, including liposuction to remove fat, direct excision of excess skin and breast tissue, or a combination of both techniques. The nipple/areola may need to be re-positioned or reduced in some cases. During your individualized consultation, Dr. Belz will discuss your surgical options, review the risks and benefits of plastic surgery, and clarify the post-operative recovery course.
What is the recovery like for a male breast reduction?
Gynecomastia surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Patients will be required to wear a compression garment for several weeks following surgery and should anticipate 5-7 days of downtime for recovery. Bruising and swelling may be present for two to three weeks. Strenuous activity and exercise, including weightlifting, should be avoided for approximately 4 to 6 weeks or until cleared by Dr. Belz.
See What Our Patients Are Saying!
"Dr. Belz is an amazing surgeon. She changed my life! She’s friendly, accommodating, understanding, professional and more than anything I was 100% comfortable during the entire process. She was recommended to me on a Breast Reduction Support group page on Facebook. There was even a moment right before surgery when the anesthesiologist was giving her and I a hard time about something a nurse had written down on my chart and she handled the situation with professionalism, and class. Ultimately we were able to explain the miscommunication and the surgery was able to happen. She persevered for her patient and made it happen. Meredith and the front desk team are also always very kind and welcoming and they improve the over all inviting environment of the office. I highly recommend this team and Dr. Belz!" – A. B.
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What results can I expect from this surgery?
There is a stigma attached to having enlarged breasts when you’re a man. You find yourself turning down invitations to pool parties and the like. With true gynecomastia, the enlarged breasts are due to hormone fluctuations that are a part of normal aging. Having a few extra pounds can only exacerbate the problem by adding a little fatty tissue. When Dr. Belz performs these procedures, we hear feedback from patients saying it’s the first time in years they’ve felt comfortable taking their shirt off. It seems like a small thing but reducing enlarged breasts can really improve a man’s self-esteem. These procedures will slim the contour of your breasts to normal proportions. Scars are very small and discrete. These are satisfying procedures for our patients from San Antonio and the surrounding areas.
Is gynecomastia surgery safe?
What are the risks involved with male breast reduction?
Like everything in life, surgery has risks. Risks of gynecomastia surgery, include, but are not limited to: bleeding, infection, fluid collection (seroma), asymmetries, change in sensation, delayed wound healing, unsightly scarring, anesthesia risks, and the need for revision surgery. Dr. Belz will review these risks and others at the time of your consultation.
Is this procedure permanent, or will I need reduction again?
Patients wonder if this surgery will need repeating later on. True gynecomastia, versus enlarged breasts due to weight gain or other lifestyle factors, is caused mainly by excess glandular tissue. This causes the protrusion of the nipple-areola complex. In male breast reduction surgery, Dr. Belz removes the majority of the mammary gland, leaving enough to support the nipple-areola. With this tissue gone, the chances of recurrence are very low.
However, if the gynecomastia was due to the use of steroids, marijuana, or other medications, it is possible for a patient’s breasts to become enlarged again if usage is continued. Also, a sizeable increase in weight can allow fat to accumulate in the breasts, although this isn’t true gynecomastia.
If you want to maintain your new chest contours, keeping to a healthy weight and avoiding steroids and marijuana will be necessary.
How soon after breast reduction surgery can I get back to normal activities?
It is unfortunate that more men who suffer from enlarged breasts don’t have surgery to correct the problem. After two weeks or so, patients can return to light exercise, such as walking. Strenuous exercise, including weight training that targets the chest, will need to be avoided for four to six weeks.