Male Breast Reduction
The over-development of male breasts, also known as gynecomastia, affects an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men. This condition may be caused by a hormonal imbalance, side effects from certain medications, or may occur for no particular reason at all. Regardless of the cause, the condition is significant and may pose a serious problem in a man’s life.
Men with large or sagging breasts can be both physically and emotionally uncomfortable, often restricting themselves from certain activities because they feel self-conscious about their breast size. Male breast reduction is an excellent way to decrease the size of a man’s breast, helping him feel more comfortable and confident.
Candidate for Male Breast Reduction
Many men who are bothered by excess tissue may be candidates for male breast reduction. The procedure can be performed on men of all ages who are in good health, both physically and emotionally. The best candidates for male breast reduction surgery have firm, elastic skin that will reshape well to their body’s new contours.
Male Breast Reduction Procedure
Male breast reduction surgery is usually performed in a surgical facility with the patient under general anesthesia. The surgery typically takes one to three hours to complete and the patient goes home the day of the surgery (an “outpatient procedure”). Several techniques can be utilized in male breast reduction, depending on the physical findings and the desires of the patient.
If the enlarged breasts are primarily caused by excessive fatty tissue, liposuction may be performed through tiny incisions to remove the excess fat. The incisions may be made around the edge of the areola (the area around the nipple) or in the underarm region. If excess glandular tissue is the primary cause of the enlarged breast, this thicker tissue may need to be excised (“cut out”) in addition to liposuction.
In more extreme instances when large amounts of fat or glandular tissue have been removed, excess skin may have remained that has not reshaped well to the new contour of the breast. In these cases, the excess skin may have to be removed as well. The incisions are then closed using sutures and are usually covered with a dressing. The chest may be wrapped to keep the skin firmly in place.
Recovery after Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Following male breast reduction surgery, patients will experience some bruising, swelling, and discomfort. This discomfort usually dissipates after a few days and can be reduced with prescribed medication. To help reduce swelling, an elastic pressure garment should be worn day and night for about two weeks, and at night for several weeks after that. Swelling and any skin discoloration will partially subside after a week or two.
You will be encouraged to walk around on the day of your breast reduction surgery and can expect to return to work in approximately one week. You may also begin light aerobic exercise after a week, but you should avoid strenuous activities for about four to six weeks following the surgery.
Risks and Complications of Male Breast Reduction
As with all surgical procedures, male breast reduction surgery contains a possibility of complication. Although rare, these complications include:
- Skin injury
- Excessive bleeding
- Excessive fluid accumulation or loss
- Loss of nipple sensation
- Asymmetrical breasts or nipples