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Male Breast Reduction (gynecomastia)

Male Breast Reduction Surgery 

 

Gynecomastia is common in men of all ages and may be the result of hormonal changes, heredity, health issues, or the use of medications or illicit drugs.   Up to 70% of men are affected by gynecomastia at some point in their lives.  In many, the condition will spontaneously resolve without intervention.  In other men, symptoms persist despite diet and exercise.  True gynecomastia represents enlargement of the male breast glandular tissue rather than simply excessive chest fat.  

 

Gynecomastia may adversely affect one’s appearance and overall self-esteem.  Adolescents frequently suffer from this condition and may find themselves embarrassed to participate in sports or social activities.  

 

What Are Some Causes of Gynecomastia?

 

Prescription drug use, Cimetidine, Tricyclic Antidepressants, Diazepam, Certain Antihypertensive Medications, Calcium channel blockers, ACE Inhibitors, Spironoloctone, Furosamide, Metronidazole, Ketoconazole, Cisplatin, Recreational Drug Use, Marijuana, Excess Alcohol, Cirrhosis of the liver, Thyroid disease, Renal disease, Hormonal imbalance, Testicular tumors (Rare), Pituitary or adrenal tumors (Rare)

 

In most cases, there is no underlying cause.  

 

 

What are the symptoms of Gynecomastia?

 

Excessive breast glandular tissue may feel like a firm nodule beneath the nipple that is sometimes tender. In pseudogynecomastia, only excess fat is present. A combination of excessive fat and breast glandular tissue is sometimes present. Gynecomastia may occur in one or both breasts and may range from mild to severe.

 

Is male breast reduction surgery for me?

 

Surgery is not for everyone.  However, if breast tissue is tender, an underlying cause should be investigated.  If gynecomastia causes embarrassment and a low self esteem, surgery can provide a lasting safe solution.  Male breast reduction is best for those who are in otherwise good health and is best performed when other causes of gynecomastia have been ruled out (medication use, correctable hormonal factors, etc.).

 

Male Reduction Surgery

 

The surgical approach is tailored to each individual.  The technique used depends on the severity of gynecomastia.   The goal of surgery is to minimize breast size to yield a masculine chest appearance.   Modest amounts of excess fat can be completely corrected with liposuction alone.  Extreme cases of gynecomastia are characterized by excessive skin, breast droopiness, and enlarged areolar diameter.  Thus, severe gynecomastia may require excision of excess skin, glandular tissue, and fat.

 

Liposuction

 

Liposuction is one of the most commonly performed of plastic surgical procedures.  This technique allows reduction of fat from specific regions via very small incisions.  Fat is evacuated deep beneath the skin with a small surgical cannula. This will yield a smooth, even contour.  Liposuction is appropriate only when there is no excess skin or firm, fibrous glandular tissue.

 

Breast Reduction Surgery

 

In moderate to severe cases of male breast enlargement, reduction of both skin and fat may be necessary to achieve the desired outcome.  An incision may be place around the areola to conceal the final scar.  In severe cases, additional incisions may be required to maximize removal of excessive skin.  Surgery may require 2-3 hours depending upon severity. The ultimate goal of gynecomastia surgery is to produce the most natural chest contour with the least evidence of surgery.

 

What to Expect Following Surgery

 

Immediately following surgery, a dressing is placed just on top of the chest and an elastic binder is placed around the chest and torso.   This garment compresses chest tissue as it heals.  Immediately following surgery, it is typical to experience drainage from wounds for 24-48 hours.  The best results are achieved with the use of a compression garment for approximately 4 weeks following surgery.  Modest swelling may persist for several weeks.