Gynecomastia is a condition in which the male breasts become enlarged. The condition is quite common, to varying degrees. Though gynecomastia is more widespread than most people think, it is still a source of psychological distress for those who suffer from the condition. Patients who have developed an excess of breast tissue and skin can undergo male breast reduction surgery. Plastic Surgeon John R. Griffin performs male breast reduction techniques to produce a flatter and more masculine chest for his Bay Area patients.
Gynecomastia affects men of all ages. Men and teens can be affected by the embarrassing condition can undergo male breast reduction surgery. Good candidates for the procedure should:
- Be near their ideal weight range
- Have an excess of breast tissue and skin
- Be in generally good health
- Not smoke
- Have realistic expectations
There are two general male reduction techniques that are performed on patients. If the patient only has an excess of fat in the breasts, along with good skin elasticity, liposuction may be performed. If excess skin and tissue are a problem, the skin excision technique is employed.
- Liposuction: Liposuction results in minimal scarring. In this approach, small incisions are made at the chest. The cannula is inserted into each incision, and fat is suctioned out of the breasts. Since the tissue in this area may be dense or fibrous, Dr. Griffin can use a special cannula that facilitates with fat removal by breaking up the fat with ultrasound waves or vibrations. Once the excess fat is removed, the skin will conform to the underlying tissue, and take on a more chiseled appearance.
- Skin excision: The skin excision technique involves an incision around the areola. If there is a greater amount of skin and tissue to be removed, an additional incision may extend outward horizontally from the areola, or an additional incision may be made in the inframammary crease. Through the incisions, Dr. Griffin can remove the excess tissue, glands, and skin that are contributing to the enlarged breasts.
The male breast reduction procedure is performed on an outpatient basis with general anesthesia. The surgery takes two to four hours to perform. Once the patient is sedated, the incisions are made, and the fat is either removed via liposuction, or excess tissue and skin are removed with surgical tools. If the skin excision technique is performed, the incision will be closed with sutures. Finally, bandages are applied to the breasts to aid in the healing process.
The initial recovery from male breast reduction surgery takes about a week to 10 days. Patients should take this time off of work to rest and allow time for discomfort, swelling, and bruising to subside. During this phase of the healing period, patients should spend most of the day relaxing, but take intermittent light walks around the house to keep the blood flowing. Pain medication can be taken every few hours to relieve discomfort. Showering can be resumed about 48 hours after surgery, but patients should protect the healing incisions while bathing.
About a week after surgery, patients will attend a follow-up appointment with Dr. Griffin. At this appointment, stitches can be removed and progress can be checked.
For the remaining five weeks of recovery, patients should wear a compression garment and avoid heavy activity.
The side effects of male breast reduction include swelling, discomfort, bruising, and itching and numbness of the incision sites. These side effects are at their worst for the first three days after surgery, and then they will gradually fade over the course of the next few weeks.
The risks of male breast reduction surgery include:
- Allergic reaction
- Nipple numbness
- Delayed wound healing
Patients can view the results of the male breast reduction surgery when the bandages are removed. However, it is important to note that bruising and swelling will obscure the final results of surgery for a few weeks.
With a healthy diet and exercise routine, the results of surgery are expected to be permanent. However, patients should note that weight gain will result in the accumulation of excess breast fat, tissue, and skin, reversing the results of the male breast reduction procedure.
Contact Dr. Griffin’s practice to schedule a male breast reduction consultation.