Most discussions about cosmetic breast surgery are centered around women. However, women aren’t the only patients who want a chest they can feel comfortable with. When men develop excess tissue in the breast area, it can cause embarrassment and self-consciousness which holds them back on a daily basis. For these patients, male breast reduction may be the solution to getting their confidence back. To help men have a better understanding of the procedure, I’ve broken down some of the most commonly asked questions about male breast reduction.
What is gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is the clinical term for male breast enlargement. The condition can be caused by a number of factors, including hormonal changes, weight fluctuations, heredity, or certain medications or illegal drugs. For some men, gynecomastia simply involves the development of excess fat tissue in the breast area, while others also experience an increase in glandular breast tissue and/or breast skin. In many cases, the most effective way to treat gynecomastia and improve the appearance of a man’s chest is through plastic surgery.
What is involved in a male breast reduction procedure?
The details of each patient’s surgery vary based on the nature of his gynecomastia. If the breasts only require fat removal, liposuction alone may be the best choice. However, for most men, the procedure requires the removal of excess breast tissue and/or skin. This is especially true for men whose skin has begun to lose elasticity with age, because the skin will likely not be able to regain its firmness after liposuction removes the fat that once supported it.
What can I expect during my recovery from male breast reduction?
The most important way to help your body heal properly is to follow all post-surgical instructions and to keep up with your follow-up appointments. Most men are able to return to work within a week after their procedure, although this depends on how extensive your surgery was and how much physical activity is involved in your job. We typically advise patients to avoid exercising for two to three weeks after surgery.
What scarring will I have after male breast reduction?
Because I design each patient’s procedure based on their individual needs, incisions and scars will vary from patient to patient. If only liposuction is used, you’ll have tiny scars around the breast area, and if skin and/or glandular tissue needs to be removed, you will likely have a horizontal scar which is either in line with your nipple or across the bottom of your pectoral area. In extreme cases which require areola reduction, you will also have a scar around your areola where some pigmented tissue is removed. Regardless, I place every incision as discretely as possible to minimize the appearance of future scars.
Are male breast reduction results permanent?
For patients who maintain a healthy lifestyle after their surgery, yes, the results of male breast reduction are expected to be permanent. However, if a patient resumes or takes up a habit which contributes to gynecomastia (such as weight gain or using specified medications and drugs), he can develop new breast tissue or excess fat which may recreate the appearance of enlarged breasts. To maintain your results long-term, be sure to follow post-surgical instructions about how to avoid breast redevelopment.
While male breast reduction is not the most talked-about plastic surgery, the value it holds for men with gynecomastia shouldn’t be underestimated. If you think male breast reduction may help you restore your confidence, schedule a consultation with me, Dr. Franklyn Elliott. Or, for more helpful information about plastic surgery, join me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.