It’s not uncommon for men to struggle with excess breast tissue, a condition known as gynecomastia — or, more commonly, “man boobs.”
Gynecomastia can make men feel extremely self-conscious. Many feel embarrassed taking their shirts off, dodge going to the beach, and generally avoid wearing anything other than thick sweaters and sweatshirts because thinner shirts can accentuate the condition.
Fortunately, there are several cosmetic procedures that can help. Below, we’ll outline how you can tackle this condition with male breast reduction surgery. First, however, let’s talk a bit more about gynecomastia.
Why do some men have excess breast tissue?
Many men who go through puberty develop a nominal amount of breast gland tissue. This is very common. What’s different in some men is that it doesn’t always go away, and this can cause the persistence of excess tissue that makes the breasts appear larger.
This isn’t the only reason for excess tissue in male breasts. Certain medications and even some tumors can also cause gynecomastia. Finally, if a man loses a significant amount of weight, sometimes it can appear as if they have larger breasts because the skin has stretched and did not bounce back after weight loss.
What happens during male breast reduction surgery?
There are two main ways that excess breast tissue can be removed:
Liposuction for gynecomastia
If the excess breast tissue is relatively small, all that is generally needed to slim the chest area is liposuction. In fact, for most patients who struggle with gynecomastia, liposuction is the most effective treatment method.
In a liposuction procedure for gynecomastia, your surgeon will make a single incision beneath each breast. Using a liposuction cannula, your surgeon will then agitate and remove any excess fat in the breast area, ultimately contouring a smoother, flatter, and more masculine chest.
The incisions will then be stitched up, and you’ll be released to go home for recovery.
Glandular tissue removal
In some cases, a more involved surgery may be required to fully remove the excess tissue around the breast and to contour the chest. This is generally the case when the breast gland is what is actually making the breasts appear larger.
As stated above, nearly every male, when they go through puberty, will get a small amount of breast gland. This is completely natural and normal because of the surge of hormones that appear during puberty. For most men, this breast gland will disappear over time. However, in some men, it stays. Furthermore, the size of the glands can vary. For example, some men may have a breast gland that is the size of a grape — or even the size of an egg.
Either way, having this excess tissue can cause the individual to appear to have larger breasts and this can be quite embarrassing.
A plastic surgeon can help, but to ameliorate this problem, liposuction alone won’t be enough. This type of tissue is simply too fibrous to be removed with a liposuction cannula. Instead, the glandular tissue will need to be taken out surgically. Small incisions will be made beneath each areola, and the glandular tissue will be removed this way. Incisions can be easily closed up using absorbable sutures.
If there is even more tissue that needs to be removed, it is possible that additional incisions will need to be made as well. This is a topic that you’ll be able to discuss in detail with your plastic surgeon during your consultation appointment.
What about when extra skin needs to be removed?
Every gynecomastia patient is different. Some men have excess breast tissue as well as excess skin on the chest area. This is common, for example, when someone has lost a large amount of weight and the skin around the chest has been stretched and is now loose and causing problems.
In this situation, one or both of the above procedures would be used to remove the breast tissue and/or glandular tissue, and other incisions may be made as well to remove the excess skin and tighten the remaining skin. Your surgeon will do his utmost to ensure discrete incisions, and you will also be put through a scar therapy program following your surgery to help reduce the appearance of any scars later on.
Who is a good candidate for male breast reduction surgery?
Good candidates for male breast reduction surgery are past puberty and at a stable weight. It’s important that you attain and maintain a healthy weight before and after your surgery. Post-op, you should aim to stay within 10 to 15 pounds of your target healthy weight.
It’s also important that you have reasonable expectations when it comes to your surgery. Breast reduction surgery can greatly boost your confidence and help you feel more comfortable in your own skin. With that being said, it’s always important to have a healthy and reasonable mindset when it comes to cosmetic procedures.
The best way to determine if you are a good candidate for male breast reduction surgery is to speak directly with Dr. Sieber. This can be done at your initial consultation appointment. Dr. Sieber will evaluate your anatomy and decide what the best treatment option will be for you and your personal goals.
What is recovery like?
Recovery from male breast reduction surgery is relatively straightforward. First, make sure you have a responsible friend or relative who can take you home from your procedure. You may need some at-home assistance for the first few days as well.
As with any major procedure, it’s important to follow the directions of your doctor. They will give you a number of care steps to follow through with after your surgery. This includes wearing compression garments that can help promote healthy healing, reduce fluid accumulation, and better contour the chest.
It’s not uncommon to have some mild discomfort and swelling after your surgery. This swelling can last for several weeks up to several months. You’ll need to refrain from doing any strenuous exercise during the first two weeks after surgery. After four weeks, you’ll be able to do some more intense exercise. Finally, after six weeks of recovery, you can return to your full range of activities and resume a normal life.
The best news about recovery is you’ll be able to see the positive results from your surgery right after the procedure if finished! Furthermore, as the swelling reduces, the results will become even more visible.
As far as the longevity of your results, expect them to last indefinitely as long as you maintain a healthy weight (within about 10-15 lbs). Your breast tissue will have been physically removed, so there’s no reason for the results to wear off otherwise.
Contact Sieber Plastic Surgery to Book a Consultation
There’s no reason to avoid living your life to the fullest. If excess breast tissue is what’s been holding you back from going to the beach, wearing certain clothes, dating, or doing other normal and enjoyable activities, consider gynecomastia surgery.
Male breast reduction surgery is a safe, effective approach to slimming your chest and achieving a more masculine profile that you can feel good about. See some of Dr. Sieber’s before and after photos for examples of his past gynecomastia patients.
Schedule your consultation with Dr. Sieber today!