As cosmetic procedures continue to grow in popularity in the United States, they are also expanding their reach to more and more demographics, and gone is the stereotype that plastic surgery is only for the socialite wives of wealthy businessmen. Part of this trend is an increase in plastic surgery for men. One particular procedure that few think of in terms of men is breast reduction, even though male breast reductions have increased by nearly 30% since 2000. It’s important to recognize, however, that breast reduction for men is a very different procedure than breast reduction for women. The comparison below sheds some light on these two procedures and how they can benefit their unique patients.
Female Breast Reduction
Who are the right candidates for breast reduction?
Breast reduction can make a significant difference for women with excessively large breasts, especially considering that their breasts often cause a litany of health problems and discomforts, like back pain, exercise struggles, difficulty finding clothing that fits, and permanent shoulder “dents” left by overly-taxed bra straps. While there is no ideal age for breast reduction, it’s typically best to wait until the breasts have finished developing. The procedure can also be successful for women who have asymmetrical breasts and who prefer the size and shape of their smaller breast.
Why do excessively large breasts develop?
There are a number of factors that can influence a woman’s breast size, most notably genetics. However, breasts can also become larger due to changes like weight fluctuations, pregnancy, and breastfeeding.
What is involved in female breast reduction?
To reduce a woman’s breast size, the surgeon will remove fat and glandular tissue from within the breast. In many cases, the breasts are lifted to a more youthful shape during the procedure as well, so the breast surgery typically begins with an incision around the areola, then down the center of the lower breast, meeting up with an incision along the crease of the breast to form an “anchor” shape. The necessary tissue and excess skin is removed, and the nipple is repositioned to give the breasts a firmer, perkier appearance.
What does breast reduction recovery involve?
While the healing process varies from person to person, most patients are back to performing most of their daily activities (and back to work) within one to two weeks after surgery. Exercise is typically limited for up to a month, and breast reduction patients are also instructed to wear specially-designed surgical bras for a month after their procedure.
Male Breast Reduction
Who are the right candidates for male breast reduction?
Male breast reduction addresses a condition called gynecomastia, which occurs when a man develops breasts that consist of fat as well as denser glandular tissue. Because future breast growth can diminish male breast reduction surgery results, patients should be confident that their breast size is stable before undergoing surgery.
What causes gynecomastia?
Male breast enlargement can be the result of several factors, like genetics, hormonal changes, and weight fluctuations. Certain prescription medications have been known to contribute to gynecomastia, as have some illegal drugs.
What is involved in male breast reduction?
In rare cases, male breast reduction can be achieved through liposuction alone to remove the fat in the breast area. However, most gynecomastia patients require a combination of fat removal and glandular tissue removal to achieve their desired results. In severe cases of gynecomastia, the weight of the excess tissue may have stretched the size of the areola, and for these patients, the areola may be reduced in size as well as repositioned during the procedure.
What does male breast reduction recovery involve?
Male breast reduction patients are often able to return to work around one week or less after their surgery, although this depends on the types of activities that the patient’s job entails. A compression garment is typically worn during the recovery period, and most patients are instructed to avoid exercising for at least two to three weeks after their procedure.
Whether the purpose is to minimize discomfort and health concerns or to give patients the freedom of feeling more confident in their appearance, breast reduction can have a powerful impact on patients’ lives. However, like any plastic surgery, it needs to be tailored to fit the individual patient’s needs. To start discussing how breast reduction can make a difference for you, schedule a consultation with me, Dr. Franklyn Elliott. Or, for more information about a variety of cosmetic procedures and the latest updates in the world of plastic surgery, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.