MALE BREAST REDUCTION
This procedure reduces the size and reshapes the contour of male breasts by removing excess breast tissue and fat. It may occasionally involve removal of excess breast skin with repositioning and reduction of the areola (dark skin surrounding the nipple).
Men with large or sagging breasts can be both emotionally and physically uncomfortable. Restrictions of activity, exercise, or social activities are observed because these men may be self-conscious about their breast size. Although, enlargement and tenderness of the breasts is commonly observed during puberty, it typically should last no longer than two to three years and be completely resolved by the age of 18 years. It is not uncommon in older adults and may be normal. In both age groups, it may be associated with obesity, liver disease, endocrinologic (hormonal) disorders, or medicinal causes and side effects. Although a trial of weight loss and exercise is recommended, gynecomastia frequently exhibits a minimal response to these interventions.
Gynecomastia correction is usually done in an outpatient or hospital setting. Depending on the condition of the breasts surgery may be limited to the use of liposuction** utilizing small incisions or may require ultrasound assisted lipoplasty and/or skin incisions to remove excess glandular tissue and skin. External scarring becomes less noticeable with the passage of time. Sometimes sensitivity in the breast and nipple is reduced and feeling may not return for several months. In rare cases, it is permanently diminished. Asymmetry and under-correction are common. Surgical revision may be necessary.
The surgery will take one to three hours depending upon its extent. Generally, incisions are made within or near the areola as well as the perimeter of the breast. Skin incisions following the natural contour of the breast are occasionally used to remove excess breast tissue, fat and skin are removed from the sides and central portion of the breast. If necessary, the nipple, areola, and underlying tissue are moved to a new, higher location. A compressive dressing is applied to minimize swelling and discoloration; a drain may be necessary.
Following surgery, you will experience pain for several days, but it can be controlled with medication. Within a week, the surgical dressing will be replaced with a compressive garment which may be worn for an additional 2 weeks. Swelling and skin discoloration will partially subside in a week or two and stitches will be removed at about that time. You can return to non-physical work in approximately one week and gradually resume fitness and other physical activities after three to four weeks.
More information about male cosmetic surgery
Please e-mail or call our Chicago or Arlington Heights plastic surgery offices for more information on gynecomastia and other cosmetic surgery procedures for men.
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Male Breast Reduction Questions
What cosmetic surgeries are men asking for?
- Nose reshaping — 85,000
- Eyelid surgery — 37,000
- Liposuction — 35,000
- Hair transplantation — 20,000
- Male breast reduction — 20,000
In 2005, the same five were in the top positions but in a slightly different order.
Are there more men wanting cosmetic surgery now than in past years?
Yes. Drawing again from the statistics collected by the ASPS, cosmetic procedures for men increased by 8% between 2000 and 2006. Among all male procedures done in 2006, there was an increase of 22% for male breast reduction while demand for facelifts went down by 39% and liposuction went down by 32%. Overall, there were 256,000 surgical procedures done for men in 2006. Including minimally-invasive procedures such as Botox and microdermabrasion, there were 1.1 million male procedures done in 2006.
What is gynecomastia?
The male breast contour is typically made from muscle, fat and skin. Glandular tissue may or may not be present in any significant quantity. Gynecomastia means male breasts, from Greek words meaning "woman-like breasts". It may be on both sides or only one. This enlargement can be caused by the presence of excess glandular tissue, or excess fat, or both. The causes are not known in most cases.
How is gynecomastia treatment done?
That depends on the proportions of fat vs glandular tissue that are the problem. Fat can be removed with liposuction. Glandular tissue is more solid and needs to be removed through an incision beneath the areola. Sometimes a medication is contributing to the problem, and that can be changed. Each male breast reduction is customized for that particular man.
Can the excess fat be removed by exercising?
No. Diet and exercise can help with excess fat overall, but they don’t help against the breasts specifically. In fact, if exercise increases the muscle size, that pushes the fat and glandular tissue further forward, making the breasts even more enlarged.
Dr. Placik is a big believer in patient education. The more you know about any procedure you are planning to have, the better you can understand what is happening in your body, and how to speed your recovery. Please contact our plastic surgery office to set up a complimentary consultation. Our two Chicago offices offer a full array of cosmetic surgery, including non-invasive procedures.