Gynecomastia is a medical term that comes from the Greek words for “women-like breasts,” and is quite common affecting an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men. It may affect one or both breasts. For men who feel self-conscious about their appearance, breast-reduction surgery can help. The procedures remove fat and/or glandular tissue from the breasts, and in severe cases remove excess skin, resulting in a chest that is flatter, firmer, and better contoured. The best candidates for surgery have good skin elasticity, and the surgery may be discouraged for obese men who have not first attempted to correct the problem with exercise or weight loss. Individuals who drink alcoholic beverages in excess, smoke marijuana, or use anabolic steroids are usually not considered good candidates for surgery. These drugs may cause gynecomastia and should be discontinued to see if the breast fullness will diminish before surgery is considered an option. Generally, excess glandular tissue will be excised through an incision made on the edge of the areola. The excision may be performed alone or in conjunction with liposuction. If your gynecomastia consists primarily of excessive fatty tissue, liposuction may be used alone to remove the excess fat. Major reductions that involve the removal of a significant amount of tissue and skin may require larger incisions that result in more conspicuous scars. In severe cases where large amounts of fat or glandular tissue have been removed, the skin may not contract to the new smaller breast contour. In these cases, excess skin may have to be removed resulting in more conspicuous scars.
Surgery for gynecomastia may be performed:
- As an inpatient or outpatient procedure under general anesthetic.
- In approximately an hour and a half.
The majority of your swelling will dissipate in the first few weeks; however, it may be three months to a year before the final results of your surgery are apparent. In the meantime, it is important to begin getting back to normal. You’ll be encouraged to begin walking around on the day of surgery, and can return to work when you feel well enough–which could be as early as a day or two after surgery. Any stitches will generally be removed about 1 to 2 weeks following the procedure.