Gynecomastia, or male chest reduction, affects an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men. It may affect only one breast or both. Though certain drugs and medical problems have been linked with male breast overdevelopment, the cause is not always known, in most of the cases. This condition can cause extreme embarrassment and self-consciousness, for men who suffer from it.
If you think that you have this condition and you are healthy, you should consult with your plastic surgeon about your case and decide the appropriate procedure. Breast reduction surgery can help your appearance and self-confidence. The procedure removes fat and or glandular tissue from the breasts, and in extreme cases removes excess skin as well. The result is a flatter, firmer and better contoured chest.
In general, the best candidates for male breast reduction are healthy men, who have knowledge about the procedure and want to improve their appearance, having realistic expectations. Men with good skin elasticity, not heavy users of alcohol and certain drugs. Patients are first directed to stop the use of these drugs to see if the breast fullness will diminish before surgery is considered an option.
In some cases, it would be good to first attempt to correct the problem with exercise or weight loss.
All surgery carries some uncertainty and risk. In male chest reduction surgery these include infection, skin injury, excessive bleeding, adverse reaction to anesthesia, and excessive fluid loss or accumulation. The procedure may also result in noticeable scars, permanent pigment changes in the breast area, breasts’ or nipples’ asymmetry. If asymmetry is significant, a second procedure may be performed to remove additional tissue.
When male chest reduction surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Any loss of breast sensation or numbness is temporary and may last up to a year.
The first visit to your surgeon is very important because, after you give your full medical history, your surgeon will examine your breasts and check for causes of the gynecomastia. If he finds that liposuction or male chest reduction surgery is appropriate for you, you will decide together which is the suitable procedure for your case.
Dr Gaitanis will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating, drinking, and taking certain vitamins and medications.
Smokers should plan to stop or reduce smoking for a minimum of one or two weeks before surgery and during recovery.
The procedure for male chest reduction takes about one to two hours, using general or local anesthesia. An incision is made in an inconspicuous location -either on the edge of the areola or in the under arm area. Working through the incision, the surgeon cuts away the excess glandular tissue, fat and skin from around the areola and from the sides and bottom of the breast. When the amount of tissue and skin is significant, larger incisions may be required, that result in more conspicuous scars. Surgery may be performed alone or in conjunction with lipoplasty (where the suction device will typically be inserted through the existing incisions). For the removal of excess fatty tissue alone, liposuction should be all that is needed, leaving small and barely visible scars.
After the surgery
You will feel some discomfort for a few days after surgery, which can be controlled with medications prescribed by your surgeon. It would be good to arrange to have someone drive you home after surgery and have some help for a few days, if needed.
You will wear an elastic pressure garment, continuously for one or two weeks and only at night, for a few weeks longer, in order to help reduce swelling and bruising. The final results will be visible about three months after your surgery.
You will return to work after a week, at the end of which you will visit your surgeon. You can return to gym after three weeks. In general, it will take about a month before you’re back to all of your normal activities.
Your new look
You will get a firmer, flatter and more contoured chest. The results of the procedure are permanent and if your expectations are realistic, you will have significant boost in your self-confidence.