Living with enlarged male breast tissue (gynecomastia) can cause emotional distress on top of the physical discomfort of breast tenderness, swelling, pain, and nipple discharge. Gynecomastia occurs most frequently in men over 50 and can affect one or both breasts. Usually, it is caused by a hormone imbalance when the body produces too much estrogen and not enough testosterone.
While some underlying medical issues related to this condition can be serious (alcohol and marijuana use, hyperthyroidism, kidney or liver failure, and cirrhosis), gynecomastia itself is not life-threatening. Most cases resolve independently or with medication. In some cases, gynecomastia surgery, also known as male breast reduction, may be necessary.
Types of Gynecomastia Surgery
Liposuction, a common cosmetic surgery, removes fat but not breast gland tissue. By inserting a thin hollow tube into small incisions around the breast area, fat cells can be suctioned out by vacuum. Liposuction alone can be used if the primary cause of enlarged male breasts is excess fatty tissue, and only requires local anesthesia.
The excision technique is recommended when both glandular breast tissue and excess skin are involved. Like breast reduction, this may also include reducing the size of or relocating the nipple area and reshaping the breast tissue to create a more masculine chest contour.
In some cases, gynecomastia surgery or male breast reduction involves both liposuction which is the removal of fat through a small surgical vacuum, and excision, when surgical incisions are made to remove excess skin and tissue.
Using ultrasound guidance techniques, our highly-skilled surgeons can precisely target fat cells in the male breast. Ultrasonic waves then turn fat cells into a liquid for easier removal. This process is sometimes used in place of traditional suction-assisted liposuction.
Using medical laser beams, our board-certified plastic surgeons can help some men reduce uncomfortable breast size to liquefy fat cells before using traditional liposuction methods to remove them.
Candidate for Male Breast Reduction Surgery?
Men beyond puberty with excess glandular tissue, fat, or skin on one or both breasts and whose condition can not be corrected with other treatments could benefit from male breast reduction. Ideal candidates for gynecomastia surgery are non-smokers and non-drug users in generally good health. Obesity and other life-threatening conditions that could impact healing might affect eligibility for this procedure. Underlying conditions that may cause the development of excessive breast tissue in men include alcohol and marijuana use, hyperthyroidism, kidney or liver failure, and cirrhosis.
Male breast reduction and gynecomastia surgery consultations are available at all Plastic Surgery Center locations. To determine the best procedure for you, our highly-skilled surgeons will review your medical history and discuss your ideal surgical outcomes before making personalized recommendations. Using computer-assisted photography, we can also provide sample imagery of your expected surgical results.
about this procedure?
What to Expect
Our expert surgeons will recommend the male breast reduction procedure best for your surgical goals, health history, and the amount of skin, tissue, and fat to be removed. The least invasive approach is liposuction only. This is recommended when fat removal is a primary concern, and overall skin condition is elastic.
Gynecomastia excision surgery removes breast tissue and skin and will involve one of the following incisions:
- Circular areola: a cut around the dark patch of skin surrounding the nipple.
- Keyhole incision: a semi-circle cut above the areola and two vertical cuts, allowing the nipple to stay connected to blood supply and nerves.
Once the incisions are made, the surgeon will carefully reshape a more masculine chest contour and remove any excess skin. Typically, incisions are closed using buried, dissolvable stitches to reduce visible scars and increase patient comfort.
Each person's recovery from gynecomastia surgery will vary based on the extent of skin and tissue involved and your healing process. A sterile bandage is placed over the incisions following surgery, and your chest will be wrapped in a supportive bandage. Typically, you can expect to go home within a few hours.
Recovery and discharge instructions depend on the nature of your surgery, but you should plan to have a family member or friend drive you home. Pain and swelling can be managed with medication and ice in the first few days after surgery.
Some patients will go home with small tubes to drain blood and fluid that collect at the surgical site. Care instructions will be included in your discharge paperwork, and drain tubes will be removed in the office during your post-operative visit.
Most patients can resume regular activity within 2-3 weeks. Heavy lifting and strenuous exercise should be avoided for up to 6 weeks. Most patients experience a more masculine chest profile within 1-3 months of surgery, once the initial swelling goes down. However, it can take up to a full year or longer to experience complete healing.
Our board-certified plastic surgeons combine the most advanced surgical techniques and decades of experience to ensure safety and satisfaction for each patient. Through rigorous training and exceptional attention to detail, we pride ourselves in providing world-class care and surgical outcomes that will exceed your expectations.
Michael RoseMD, FACS
Matthew KaufmanMD, FACS
Tushar PatelMD, FACS
Russell AshinoffMD, FACS
Adam SaadMD, FACS
Eric WimmersMD, FACS
Hamid AbdollahiMD, FACS
Eric I. ChangMD, FACS
Sean HermanMD, FACS
Tzvi SmallMD, FACS
Financing & Insurance
Insurance companies generally only cover gynecomastia surgery if it is deemed medically necessary, such as to correct severe asymmetry or to correct a congenital deformity. We will work with you and your health insurer to obtain the approvals for your covered surgical procedures. If you are interested in learning more about our cosmetic options, please contact us today at 833-615-2621.
During your consultation, our expert surgeons will listen and work with you to fully understand the look you wish to achieve.
We will review and explain all of your cosmetic options and identify which procedure is right for you.
Our friendly and compassionate staff and physicians will guide you through the entire process, answer all of your questions and alleviate any concerns.
Gynecomastia Surgery Near PA and NJ
Financing & Insurance
Plastic surgery is an investment. Our dedicated staff is happy to help patientsnavigate insurance coverage and understand the costs and financing of care.
You deserve to feel confident and comfortable in your body. Contact us today to explore how our advanced male breast reduction procedures can redefine your appearance.