Genetics, hormones, weight fluctuations, aging and other factors can influence the way a person’s body stores fat and builds tissues. For men, one of the most common concerns related to this phenomenon is a condition called gynecomastia, in which stubborn fat clings to the pectoral area, and glandular tissues in the chest become enlarged. The result is a breast-like bulge that prevents men from achieving a muscular or masculine silhouette. Since gynecomastia symptoms are not based on body fat alone, they do not significantly diminish with diet and exercise efforts. The lingering “male breast” effect can substantially lower a man’s self-esteem and causes many men with this concern to seek a surgical solution.
*Disclaimer – Results will vary.
What is Male Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia surgery is a plastic surgery that removes stubborn fat and enlarged glands or breast tissue from the male breast area. It is intended to create a firmer, flatter and more masculine chest. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, approximately 25,000 men in the U.S. choose to undergo gynecomastia surgery each year. It is a common procedure that treats a common concern, but it offers exceptional results with the potential to vastly improve a man’s quality of life.
According to a 2009 study from the Mayo Clinic, gynecomastia affects approximately 65 percent of the male population between 27 and 92 years of age. This condition can be worrisome, uncomfortable or embarrassing. Even when there is no associated health risk, the toll that gynecomastia can take on a man’s self-esteem and lifestyle is significant, and it can noticeably interfere with his well-being.
Gynecomastia is often associated with obesity or a metabolic or hormonal imbalance. Heightened levels of estrogen or steroids in the body, sometimes caused by nutritional supplements or drugs, are also known to cause breast growth in men. The key indicator of gynecomastia is that the breast enlargement is not only due to overweight, obesity or excess body fat; the glandular tissues in the breast area also swell, which means that losing weight will not fully reduce the breast. Instead, gynecomastia surgery is used to permanently eliminate the swollen glands, addressing the underlying problem for long-lasting results.
Benefits of Gynecomastia Surgery
Male breast reduction can provide numerous benefits in both the short and long term. Dr. Man’s gynecomastia surgery patients report very high levels of satisfaction with their results, and we thoroughly enjoy seeing each man’s transformation into a new, more confident version of himself. Some of the benefits that patients often see include:
- A more masculine physique
- The ability to see results from pectoral muscle exercises
- Improved comfort in day-to-day life
- Boosted self-esteem
- Improved confidence wearing swimsuits or during intimacy
- Better ability to wear fitted shirts
- Renewed motivation to maintain a healthy body weight
Is Gynecomastia Surgery Right for Me?
Gynecomastia surgery is a procedure designed specifically for men who are struggling with enlarged breast tissue. It is a unique surgery that removes swollen glandular tissues in the male chest area and may also remove stubborn pockets of fat for improved chest contouring. It may be the right procedure for you if you are a man who struggles with any of the following issues:
- You have enlarged breast tissue or stubborn fat in one or both of your breasts
- Your concerns have not responded to weight loss efforts
- You feel insecure about, ashamed of, or self-conscious regarding your chest
- You feel like your enlarged breast tissue prevents you from dating or socializing
- You have experienced body shaming and ridicule for taking off your shirt
- You are at a healthy body weight and/or you are within 20 percent of your target weight
Patients pursuing gynecomastia surgery should be generally healthy, non-smokers and able to understand the risks and limitations associated with cosmetic surgeries. If you are currently working to lose weight, you will need to be within 20 percent of your goal weight to ensure that a safe and appropriate amount of breast tissue is removed.
If you are interested in finding out for certain whether a male breast reduction is right for you, you will need to schedule a consultation with Dr. Man at our offices in Boca Raton, FL. This in-person meeting allows you the opportunity to have a knowledgeable professional assess your concerns, determine the root cause of your gynecomastia and recommend a surgical plan, procedure or combination of procedures that will best achieve your goals.
How Involved is Male Gynecomastia Surgery?
Eliminating enlarged breast tissue can involve liposuction, surgical removal of breast tissues or a combination of the two. During your consultation with Dr. Man, he will determine whether your particular case is related to stubborn fat deposits around the chest area — a condition sometimes called pseudogynecomastia or adipomastia, which can be addressed with liposuction — or whether you have swollen breast tissue caused by a hormonal or glandular issue, which will require surgery. Some patients have a combination of swollen glandular tissue and stubborn body fat, which is best addressed by using surgery to remove the bulk of the breast tissue while simultaneously using liposuction to improve the contours of the chest.
Liposuction is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that gently removes localized deposits of fat cells from the body. Liposuction uses a specialized straw-like tool called a cannula inserted through a tiny incision placed in an inconspicuous location on the skin. With a vacuum system attached to the cannula, excess fat cells are gently loosened and suctioned out of the body. The result is a more sculpted and chiseled chest with minimal scarring and recovery time.
For patients who require surgical intervention, Dr. Man uses small incisions on the edge of the areola or hidden in the folds of the underarm. Through these incisions, Dr. Man can access the problematic glandular tissue as well as excess fat or skin. He then removes the proper amount of body tissues to ensure a more sculpted and masculine appearance. The incisions are carefully closed with small sutures to minimize scarring. Dr. Man may also place surgical drains to aid with healing.
Combined Liposuction and Surgery
For men with a combination of fat and glandular tissue, some surgeons choose to use a larger surgical incision and remove excess fat via surgical methods. Dr. Man has developed a more gentle approach using a combination treatment method, retaining the smaller surgical incision and adding Tickle Lipo™. Tickle Lipo™ is an advanced form of liposuction and laser therapy that removes unwanted fat much like traditional liposuction, but also provides laser technology for seamless fat removal and post-treatment skin tightening and scar reduction.
Dr. Man performs all types of gynecomastia surgeries in our state-of-the-art plastic surgery facility in Boca Raton. Most patients are administered general anesthesia to keep them comfortable during the procedure, though local anesthesia and IV sedation may be used in some cases. The surgery can last from one to three hours, depending on the extent of the correction.
Preparing for Gynecomastia Surgery
Your gynecomastia surgery process begins with your consultation appointment at our offices in Boca Raton. At this meeting, Dr. Man will talk to you about a variety of important topics, including your concerns, your lifestyle, the goals and expectations you have and your medical history. If male breast reduction is right for you at this time, you can schedule your procedure as soon as you are ready. Dr. Man will then provide you with detailed instructions on how to prepare. These instructions may include, but are not limited to:
- Having a complete physical
- Trying a course of a diet and exercise regimen
- Ceasing smoking at least six weeks before surgery
- Stopping aspirin or other NSAID use that can cause bleeding
- Staying hydrated
- Buying clothing that is easy to get into and out of without raising your arms
- Arranging for someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery
- Arranging for someone to help at home for the first few days of healing
After Gynecomastia Surgery
Once your procedure is complete, you will move to one of our comfortable recovery rooms where you can rest until your anesthesia begins to wear off. Any necessary medications are administered to prevent infection and minimize discomfort. Gynecomastia surgery is typically an outpatient procedure, which means you can return home in the care of a family member or close friend on the same day as your surgery. This person should be able to stay with you for the first 24 hours after the surgery to ensure you have everything you need and are not having any adverse reactions to your procedure or medications.
Patients may also choose to spend the night after their procedure at our comfortable, private surgical center. Our highly trained staff will be available for the first 24 hours to serve as caretakers. Our nurses are all ACLS certified, and our facility has specialized recovery options, including chest wall cooling methods to reduce pain and swelling, a hyperbaric chamber and oxygen treatments to speed healing.
How is the Recovery from Gynecomastia Surgery?
You should rest as much as possible in the first few days following your procedure. After one day of bed rest, we recommend getting up and walking around periodically to promote blood flow and encourage healing. You may experience some discomfort for several days, though this is typically managed well with pain medications, either prescribed by Dr. Man or over-the-counter depending on your needs. You will wear surgical dressings until your first follow-up appointment about three to five days post-op, and then you will be given a special compression garment that should be worn for about two weeks.
We recommend planning to take at least one week away from work or usual activities, possibly up to two weeks depending on your job type. Your expected recovery timeline will be discussed during your consultation. Physical activities like heavy lifting or exercise should be avoided for approximately four weeks after surgery. Dr. Man will meet with you periodically for follow-up appointments and can clear you to resume more strenuous activities as you heal.
How Much Does Gynecomastia Surgery Cost?
Due to the highly customized nature of male breast reduction, the cost of the procedure will vary widely from patient to patient. The extent of the surgery and any combined treatments (like liposuction or other body sculpting surgeries) will influence each patient’s estimated costs. Dr. Man will discuss the cost of your particular procedure during your consultation, and will also provide information about our payment and financing options.
What Do I Do Next?
If you are embarrassed by male breasts, are struggling with your lifestyle as a result of enlarged breast tissue and are interested in achieving a more masculine physique with gynecomastia surgery, please reach out to schedule a consultation. Only after a thorough in-person evaluation will you be able to make a fully informed decision about undergoing male breast reduction at this time.
Dr. Man prioritizes each patient’s safety and satisfaction and works tirelessly to create a warm and welcoming experience at our surgical facility. We strive to provide the type of compassionate and expert care that we would want our family members to receive — when you choose Dr. Man for your gynecomastia surgery, you can feel confident that you are in good hands and that you will be able to achieve the results you desire. Please contact us to set up your consultation today.
*The information about gynecomastia was reviewed by Dr. Daniel Man. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form below.