Male Breast Reduction
Gynecomastia is the medical term for undesirable breast growth in men. It can be caused by genetic factors, but can also occur due to the following:
- Abuse of alcohol, marijuana, or steroids
- Chromosome abnormalities
- Chronic liver disease
When caused by hormonal imbalance, gynecomastia is the direct result of the faulty interaction between the estrogen and testosterone hormones. This condition can affect one or both of the male breasts, often times in an uneven pattern. The problem can become so significant that it affects the career and social life of those who suffer from it due to embarrassment. Other men resign themselves to wearing loose-fitting shirts so as not to draw attention to their breast area.
Gynecomastia sometimes resolves on its’ own when the hormones balance out or it may improve with the help of medication. Some indications that it is present include swollen breast gland tissue and tenderness of the breast. A common misconception about gynecomastia is that men have to be overweight to develop it.
Isn’t it time to take the next step?
UPMC Western Maryland Plastic Surgery
12502 Willowbrook Road, Suite 460
Cumberland, MD 21502
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday and Thursday 8 am – 5:30 pm
Friday 8 am – 12 pm
Surgical Steps for Male Breast Reconstruction
The patient and plastic surgeon must decide on the type of anesthesia to use as well as the surgical technique prior to the day of the procedure. After providing the patient with general anesthesia or intravenous sedation, the next step is to perform either the liposuction, excision technique, or a combination of both.
Liposuction is most appropriate when the gynecomastia is mainly the result of excess fatty tissue. To start the procedure, the surgeon makes several tiny incisions and then inserts a cannula. This is a hollow tube used for the purpose of loosening fat. After making several back and forth motions with the cannula, the surgeon removes the loosened fat with a vacuum-suctioning device.
When excess skin or glandular breast tissue must be removed to correct gynecomastia, the excision technique works better. This procedure is also appropriate when the size of the patient’s areola needs to be reduced or the nipple repositioned. Surgeons prefer this technique for severe cases of gynecomastia. That is because it allows them to remove more skin and glandular tissue than they could with liposuction alone.
Both of these actions create a contour that is more recognizably male. In certain cases, the surgeon uses a combination of liposuction and excision techniques to treat gynecomastia. The surgery is complete once the incision sites have been closed. Some patients may even require a two-stage procedure where they have liposuction in the first stage and then several weeks have to pass to allow the skin to recoil or “shrink” as much as possible. The excess skin is then excised at the second surgery. This may allow few scars to be placed on the chest.
Recovery from Gynecomastia Surgery
Most men are ready to return to work within a few days of the procedure when the surgeon used a liposuction technique. The average return to work time after gynecomastia surgery with the excision technique is one week. Soreness may persist for several days and can be relieved with either prescription or over-the-counter pain medication. Patients will receive a compression garment after surgery and should wear it for the amount of time directed by Dr. Jackson. Most men are able to return to a regular exercise routine within a couple of weeks.
Men should not feel alarmed if they notice a loss of sensation in the breast area after their surgery. This is normal and should resolve within a few months. It is important to keep in mind that the results of this procedure are intended to be permanent. The glandular tissue, skin, and excess fat that caused the condition are no longer present. However, gaining a large amount of weight, using steroids, or certain medical conditions could cause it to return. Men are also advised to avoid any type of drug that influences how testosterone reacts in their body to prevent a recurrence of gynecomastia.