One of the most popular procedures for males is the male breast reduction procedure. While this may be surprising to most people, enlarged male breasts are actually a common - and growing - problem. The condition is known as gynecomastia. At our Philadelphia practice, we perform male breast reduction surgery to remove the excess of breast tissue and skin.
Male Breast Reduction Candidates
Male breast reduction surgery may be performed on teens and adults that are suffering from the embarrassing effects of gynecomastia. Gynecomastia refers to the abnormal growth of breast tissue in men. The condition may be caused by:
- Hormone changes such as those that occur during puberty
- Aging, which is associated with weight gain and a loss of progesterone
- Weight gain
- Certain medications, including anabolic steroids, anti-androgens, tricyclic antidepressants, antibiotics, and chemotherapy; anti-anxiety, ulcer, heart, and AIDS medications are also associated with the development of gynecomastia
- Certain medical conditions, including tumors, hypogonadism, hyperthyroidism, kidney failure, liver failure, cirrhosis, malnutrition
- Use of illegal drugs such as marijuana, amphetamines, heroin, and methadone
- Excessive use of alcohol
Candidates for male breast reduction should be at or near their ideal weight, be in good health, and not smoke.
Male Breast Reduction Techniques
Male breast reduction surgery may be performed using liposuction or skin excision techniques:
- Liposuction: Liposuction is indicated for patients that have an excess of breast tissue and good skin contraction. Tiny incisions are made in each breast, and the breast tissue is suctioned out. Tumescent fluid is injected into the tissue to facilitate the removal of tissue; if the breast tissue is especially dense, a specialized grinding cannula may be used to extract the breast tissue.
- Skin excision: If the patient has excess breast tissue and loose skin on the breasts, skin excision techniques are employed. In this approach, incisions are usually placed around the areola. If greater amounts of skin removal are required, an additional incision may be made in the crease of the breasts, or an incision that extends out in either direction from the outer edges of the areolas. This enables our surgeons to re-sculpt the breasts and produce an improved aesthetic by removing breast tissue, glands, and skin.
Male Breast Reduction Procedure
Male breast reduction surgery takes about two hours to perform, during which the following steps are followed:
- The breast incisions are marked with a surgical pen
- The patient is put under general anesthesia
- The anti-bacterial solution is smoothed over the breasts to reduce the risk of infection
- The incisions are made in the breasts
- Liposuction may be performed to remove excess breast tissue
- Excess breast tissue and skin is excised
- The skin is re-draped over the breast and the incisions are closed
- The breasts are checked for symmetry
- The treatment area is cleaned
- Medical tape and bandages are applied
- The patient is put in a compression garment
Male Breast Reduction Recovery
Recovery for male breast reduction takes some time. The first week after surgery, patients may experience some discomfort, bruising, and swelling in the treatment area. This can be minimized with pain medication, ice, rest, and elevation of the head.
By the second week after surgery, patients feel better and are ready to return to most of their normal routines. However, heavy exercise should be avoided for an additional week or two.
The compression garment should be worn at all times for at least four weeks after surgery; use of the compression garment will improve the final outcome.
Male Breast Reduction Side Effects
The side effects of male breast reduction surgery include:
- Itching or numbness at the incision site
Male Breast Reduction Risks
Though rare, the risks of male breast reduction include:
- Allergic reaction
- Slow healing of the incisions
- Breast asymmetry
Male Breast Reduction Results
Since it takes a few weeks to recover from male breast reduction surgery, it takes one to three months before the final outcome is apparent. Patients should also be aware that it will take a full year for the scars to fade as much as possible.
Philadelphia Male Breast Reduction Consultations
We invite you to contact our Philadelphia practice to schedule your male breast reduction consultation at Jefferson Plastic Surgery.