Gynecomastia surgery, sometimes referred to as a male breast reduction, is a procedure done to improve and flatten the male chest and to treat overdeveloped or enlarged breasts. Enlarged breasts in men can occur at any age and can result from factors like hormone changes, heredity, obesity, or the use of certain drugs. Gynecomastia surgery is done to remove excess localized fat, glandular tissue, and sometimes excess skin. The surgery can be performed unilaterally (on one breast) or bilaterally (on both breasts) to provide the patient with a flatter and more masculine silhouette.
Good surgical candidates are men whose breast development has stabilized, and whose condition cannot be corrected through alternative medical treatments or lifestyle changes. Patients should be physically healthy and of relatively normal weight.
Gynecomastia surgery is conducted as an outpatient procedure, with the patient under either IV sedation or general anesthesia. The procedure itself will vary based on the patient’s needs and body type. If the patient’s gynecomastia is primarily due to an excess of fatty tissue, this can be corrected through liposuction. In this case, small incisions are made and a tumescent fluid (a dilute local anesthesia) is infused into the tissue, in order to numb the area and reduce bleeding. A thin cannula is then used to suction out the fat.
For other patients, a direct excision is needed to remove enlarged tissue, reduce the size of the areola, or reposition the nipple on the chest. In this case, an incision is made on the breast. Different incision patterns may be used depending on the patient’s specific condition and needs. Following the excision, liposuction may also be used to provide additional contouring.
Drains, or thin flexible tubes attached to a collection bulb, may be placed to temporarily drain away any bleeding or swelling fluid. Incisions are closed with layers of dissolving sutures. Dressings and a compression vest are placed over the chest at the end of the procedure to aid in the healing process.
Recovering patients may require pain medication for a few days following the operation. Drains may stay in for a week. Recovering patients can resume light duty work at two weeks, while more physically demanding work will take longer to resume. Patients can typically commence light and lower body exercise at three weeks and can resume full activity six weeks after surgery. A chest compression garment should be worn for four to six weeks.
"I've been embarrassed of my man boobs since I was a young teenager. Dr. Kim and his staff were great! I was in and out of surgery in no time and could not believe how fast I recovered. I fit in my clothes much better now and I am so happy with my results. Thank you Dr. Kim!"
49 year old, CT
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