I am surprised how many men live with this condition — even limiting their activities because of it. They are unaware that very effective yet minimally invasive treatments are available.
Gynecomastia is a condition marked by protuberous or hanging breasts on men. Though rarely discussed, gynecomastia is actually quite common—affecting 40 to 60% of men. The cause in those within normal weight range has been linked to drug side effects, heredity, age, hormones, massive weight loss, or certain medical conditions resulting in excess loose skin in the chest area. In most cases the cause is unknown.
For men who feel self-conscious about their appearance, gynecomastia correction or male breast reduction surgery can help. Since the procedure removes fat and /or glandular tissue from the breasts, the result is a chest that is flatter, firmer and better contoured. In extreme cases excess skin is removed to achieve optimal outcome.
Age is not necessarily a consideration—men at any age can benefit. Male breast reduction is permanent. However, significant weight gain, or exposure to drugs and steroids can affect the size of a man’s chest.
If you are a young man or adolescent, care must be taken to first exclude hormonal abnormalities, drugs or medical conditions contributing to this condition. Healthy men are the best candidates.
It is important to understand the components of gynecomastia. A physical exam will determine the extent of the procedure. Is fat the predominant issue, or is there a large glandular element? Is excess skin part of the condition? Most men can have a minimally invasive procedure.
The type and location of incisions will be predicated upon the procedure that is best for correcting the condition. It is important and possible to keep scars to a minimum and in hidden locations. Another key priority is to preserve the appearance of the natural male chest wall by avoiding removal of too much tissue.
The procedure for gynecomastia correction is dependent upon the amount of fat, glandular tissue, and excess skin that needs to be removed. My preferred technique for removing fat and glandular tissue is power assisted liposuction. Special gynecomastia cannulas are used that are very effective in reducing male breasts. Scars are only 3-5 mm (comparable to 1/8”) and hidden within the armpit and under the nipple making them inconspicuous.
If there is significantly dense gland tissue that cannot be removed with special liposuction cannulas, then an open technique is used to directly remove the glandular component. A slightly longer incision (under ½ inch) under the nipple is used for this tissue removal.
Most men are candidates for liposuction alone or limited open technique without extensive scars. Skin characteristically shrinks around the new, flatter chest wall. Should there be significant excess or hanging skin, it can be removed with the shortest possible scars that extend to each side of the nipple or can go around the nipple.
Age is not necessarily a consideration however the best candidates have firm, elastic skin that will reshape to the body’s new contours. Gynecomastia correction is a highly effective and life altering procedure with extremely high satisfaction rates.
Anesthesia: general or sedation
Length of surgery: 2 hours
Adjunct procedures: liposuction, breast lift
Recovery: 1 week; strenuous exercise discouraged for one month