The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
A man’s chest is a key feature of his masculinity. A masculine chest is one that is firm and flat, with some muscular definition. On the contrary, you have a chest that appears more feminine, with prominent breasts.
Having overdeveloped male breasts, while not unusual, is something that you find aesthetically displeasing. It makes you feel very self-conscious, to the point that you constantly try to hide your chest with loose and bulky shirts. The feeling of embarrassment, and even shame, you have is probably preventing you from doing the things that you truly want to do.
One of my goals as a plastic surgeon is to help men and women resolve the problems they have with their appearance. I want to help so that it's no longer an issue. Male breast reduction is a commonly performed treatment that can do this for you. Also known as gynecomastia treatment, the procedure removes excess fat and tissue from your breasts for a flatter, more chiseled appearance.
Male breast reduction is one of the few plastic surgery procedures that’s exclusively for men. It’s something I’ve performed on a number of male patients without applying overly traumatic surgical techniques. This ensures you’ll enjoy a dramatic improvement of your body profile without an extended and intense recovery period.
Unique point: a thorough pre-surgery evaluation that pinpoints the cause
You may have developed excess breast tissue during puberty; there is no underlying cause for this. Male breasts can also be caused by obesity or other medical condition, as well as steroids or marijuana.
I believe that in order to have an effective treatment, you must first determine the cause of your enlarged breasts. During your initial consultation with me, you’ll first be examined to make sure that the surgical techniques performed during male breast reduction surgery are suitable for you. This prevents you from wasting your time (and money) on a surgery that won’t give you the results you want. For example, if drug use is the cause of your excess breast tissue, I’ll instruct you to discontinue using steroids or marijuana to see if your breasts decrease in size on their own — which they usually do. That means you might not have to have surgery.
Another cause that could be causing your breasts to be excessivey large is obesity. If you’re obese, it’s best to first attempt to lose weight and see if this will correct the problem. Not only will your aesthetic concern correct itself, but you’ll also enjoy the benefits of being healthier overall! Excess fatty tissue in the breasts is a condition known as pseudogynaecomastia, because excessive breat growth is caused by fat and not breast tissue.
Male breast reduction surgery is a treatment for gynecomastia, but it isn't always the most effective one. Sometimes, all you really need to do is lose weight or change lifestyle habits. – Dr. Leila Kasrai
What will happen during your surgery
Your surgery is performed under local anesthesia and sedation or general anesthesia. It is on an outpatient basis that usually requires no overnight stay.
A small incision is made under the nipple or in the underarm area. I aim to make the incision as small as possible, in an area that keeps the resulting scar hidden. Through this incision, excess glandular tissue and fat are removed. The incisions are then covered with a dressing and wrapped to keep the skin in place.
Recovering from your surgery
- the initial bruising, swelling and discomfort lasts for a few weeks
- elastic binding garment helps recovery
- restrictions on physically strenuous activities
- results appear after swelling subsides
In the first few days after your surgery, you may feel some discomfort. I’ll prescribe medication to help alleviate any pain. Initially, you'll be bruised and swollen – you may not even notice much of a difference at first. It may take up to three months before the swelling goes down completely. After the swelling goes away, you’ll see the final results.
I’ll give you an elastic binding garment to wear continuously for two to three weeks after your surgery. You should wear this compression garment even while you sleep to help minimize swelling and speed healing. Wear this as advised for a smoother and faster recovery.
You can get back to your regular activities after a week or so. Your stitches will come out in one to two weeks.
Wait at least a month before doing any strenuous activities or heavy lifting. Avoid sun exposure for at least six months (sunlight can make your scars turn dark).
No more hiding
Once you've recovered from your surgery, you'll find that your chest is flatter and firmer. Imagine how fantastic you'll feel!
Frequently asked questions about male breast reduction and gynecomastia surgery
What is male breast reduction?
Male breast reduction is a surgery for men who have excess tissue in their chest, which gives them the appearance of female breasts. This can be an emasculating appearance trait that causes embarrassment and shame. The surgery involves removing excess tissue in their chest, which can be comprised of one or more of the following: fat, skin or glandular tissue.
How old do I have to be?
This surgery can be performed safely on anyone who is relatively healthy, however it is best to wait once you've reached adulthood. This is because gynecomastia is common during your teen years, but it can actually correct itself once you've reached adulthood. This makes surgery unnecessary.
What causes gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia, "male breasts", is a condition that can be caused by several things. It can be genetic or caused by weight gain, aging and certain drugs and medical conditions. That's why it's important to first pinpoint the cause of you gynecomastia before proceeding with treatment. Surgery isn't always the answer.
Can I get this even if I'm not fat?
Gynecomastia surgery is frequently performed on bodybuilders. This is because some medications, such as steroids, can actually cause abnormal growth of breast tissue.
How should I prepare for surgery?
You should avoid taking medications that promote bleeding and bruising, such as Aspirin, Advil and herbal remedies such as St. John's Wort. Please refrain from smoking for at least two weeks.
What does the surgery involve?
This depends on what type of tissue is giving you the appearance of female breasts and how severe the condition is. Generally speaking, if you have some excess fat (pseudogynecomastia) then it can be safely removed with liposuction alone. It loose skin and breast tissue exist, then excision is necessary. It is not unusual to have both excision and liposuction performed.
When can I see my results?
If your surgery was minor, then you'll see your results sooner than later. Generally, the majority of swelling resolves in a few weeks so you can get a good idea of your results in about two to three months. You may need to wait longer if the correction was more extensive.
What scars should I expect?
Liposuction will only result in tiny scars measuring well under a centimetre. Excision of tissue will leave scars that are about one inch in length, positioned around the areola or in the inframammary fold. I'll let you know where your scars will be before your surgery.
Do I need to have drains?
Usually, drains aren't required. However, they may be needed depending on the extent of your surgery.
Do I need to have sutures removed?
Sutures may need to be removed after surgery if they aren't dissolvable. Usually, this is done about 2 weeks after surgery.
As an experienced gynecomastia surgeon, I find that complications are extremely rare. However, all surgery carries some uncertainty and risk. You should be aware of these risks.
- Excessive bleeding/swelling hematoma
- Noticeable scars
- Loss of breast sensation
There is a higher risk of these complications in patients who are smokers, are diabetic or have poor circulation. You can reduce your risks by following the instructions I’ll give you before your surgery. These instructions will help prepare your body for your surgery and expedite healing afterward. You should also avoid smoking.