Gynecomastia surgery, also known as male breast reduction, is the surgical correction of overdeveloped or enlarged breasts in men.
What is gynecomastia surgery?
Gynecomastia surgery reduces breast size in men, flattening and enhancing the chest contours.
In severe cases of gynecomastia, the weight of excess breast tissue may cause the breasts to sag and stretch the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple). In these cases the position and size of the areola can be surgically improved and excess skin may be reduced. Plastic surgery to correct gynecomastia is technically called reduction mammaplasty.
What is gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a condition of overdeveloped or enlarged breasts in men that can occur at any age. The condition can be the result of hormonal changes, heredity, obesity or the use of certain drugs.
Gynecomastia can cause emotional discomfort and impair your self-confidence. Some men may even avoid certain physical activities and intimacy simply to hide their condition.
Gynecomastia is characterized by:
- Excess localized fat
- Excess glandular tissue development
- Sometimes excess breast skin
- Presence unilaterally (one breast) or bilaterally (both breasts)
Who is a good candidate for gynecomastia surgery?
Gynecomastia surgery candidates include:
- Men whose condition cannot be corrected through alternative medical treatments
- Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
- Nonsmokers and non-drug users
- Men with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for improving the physical symptoms of gynecomastia
- Men who are physically healthy and of relatively normal weight
- Men who have realistic expectations
- Men whose breast development has stabilized
- Men who are bothered by the feeling that their breasts are too large
Adolescents may benefit from surgery, although secondary procedures may be needed in the future should breast development continue.
What should I expect during a consultation for gynecomastia surgery?
During your gynecomastia surgery consultation be prepared to discuss:
- Your surgical goals
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
- Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and recreational drug use (including steroids)
- Previous surgeries
Your gynecomastia surgeon may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Perform diagnostic testing to determine the underlying cause of gynecomastia; this may include testing of your endocrine function
- Examine your breasts and may take detailed measurements of their size and shape, skin quality and placement of your nipples and areolas
- Take photographs for your medical records
- Discuss your options
- Recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of gynecomastia correction and any risks or potential complications
- Discuss the use of anesthesia during your procedure
The consultation is the time to ask your plastic surgeon questions. To help, we have prepared a checklist of questions to ask your gynecomastia surgeon that you can take with you to your consultation.
It’s very important to understand all aspects of your surgical procedure. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.