Are you self-conscious about the shape of your chest? Embarrassed to take your shirt off in public or wear tight fitting shirts? If you have excess breast tissue, you may have gynecomastia and be a candidate for male breast reduction surgery. If you are considering male breast reduction surgery you are not alone – over 30,000 men underwent this surgical procedure in 2016.
Men with gynecomastia have an increase in glandular breast tissue resulting in overdeveloped or enlarged breasts. You may have gynecomastia if you feel rubbery, firm tissue under your areola or firm tissue that extends to the outer part of your chest.
Gynecomastia is a common condition that affects up to two-thirds of adolescent males as a result of hormone imbalance during puberty. In most teens, the excess tissue resolves naturally over time. In approximately 1 out of 4 men the excess tissue persists, resulting in features such as a puffy nipple, a breast mound, or other unfavorable contours.
The most common cause of gynecomastia in adults is hormone imbalance and occurs in 25% of men over 50 years of age. Excess breast tissue can also result as a side effect of certain drugs and medical conditions.Schedule a Consultation
The Surgical Options
There are several ways to approach excess male breast tissue but the most common ways involve direct excision of the tissue and liposuction. If you have excess tissue and skin you may require skin excision in addition to surgical reduction of the breast tissue.
Male breast reduction surgery is most often performed under general anesthesia to offer maximum comfort and ensure safety. The surgery usually takes 1-2 hours depending on your degree of gynecomastia and individual surgical plan. Your Restore SD surgeon will carefully mark the areas of excess tissue and planned incisions prior to surgery.
At Restore SD Plastic Surgery we utilize the SAFELipo™ technique to safely and consistently offer optimal results. The procedure starts with PAL® (power assisted liposuction). PAL® uses small vibrating cannulas (hollow metal tubes) to assist in loosening and suctioning the unwanted fat cells. PAL® decreases surgeon fatigue and improves surgical precision as well as reduces tissue trauma. Your Restore SD surgeon will begin with small incisions on the chest to infuse saline fluid containing lidocaine (for numbing the area) and epinephrine (to decrease bleeding) in the chest area and using PAL®, remove the unwanted excess tissue. Next, a small incision is extended around the bottom edge of the areola to remove the excess glandular tissue. Glandular tissue feels firm or rubbery – differing from fatty tissue – therefore direct excision in conjunction with PAL® is the most effective treatment to achieve optimal results. In certain cases skin excision is performed – the type of incision and technique uses is tailored to your individual appearance and desired outcome.
Once the tissue is removed and an optimal chest contour is achieved, the incisions are closed with absorbable sutures. Most patients do not require drain placement. Surgical dressings are applied and a compression vest is placed to ensure that swelling is minimized and a smooth contour is maintained.
Gynecomastia is an outpatient surgery, so once you have recovered from anesthesia you are able to go home with a responsible adult. You should arrange to have a friend or loved one stay with you for the next one to two days. Some surgical pain is expected and is treated with pain medications. Most patients will not have drains to care for. While you will be able to shower the next day, you should refrain from soaking in a tub or swimming for 2 weeks. You will be able to engage in normal daily activities such as eating and walking after 24 hours but intense physical activity should be avoided for 4-6 weeks. You will wear the compression vest for 4-6 weeks after surgery. Most patients return to work after 1-2 weeks. During the recovery period, you will have follow up with your Restore SD surgeon and will be guided back to your usual activities. Most complications occur from getting too active too early, so select a surgical date that allows an appropriate amount of time to heal and gradually return to your more vigorous activities.
Commonly Combined Procedures
Gynecomastia surgery can be combined with other aesthetic procedures, most commonly liposuction. SAFELipo™ of stubborn fat around the waist can easily and safely addressed during the same procedure.