Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia Treatment) – Dr. Farris, Double Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon in Dallas, TX
Male breast reduction is a procedure that corrects male breast enlargement (gynecomastia). Gynecomastia usually begins after puberty and may persist despite out-growing your teenage years or attempts at diet and exercise. Increasingly, men with this problem are undergoing male breast reduction as the appearance of enlarged breasts can be embarrassing and may diminish one’s confidence.
What causes gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is caused by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. Factors potentially contributing to the imbalance include:
- Underlying health conditions (kidney disease, liver disease, hyperthyroidism, hypoandrogenism)
- Use of anabolic steroids
- Certain medications
- Marijuana use and other drug use
- Alcohol consumption
Depending on the cause, male breast reduction may be a good way to restore a more traditionally masculine chest. For young boys, the hormonal imbalance often stabilizes and the excess tissue goes away. But for grown men, the condition may persist despite your attempts to diet and exercise. In such cases, gynecomastia surgery may be a great option if you are unhappy with the excess tissue.
Is gynecomastia treatable without surgery?
The right treatment depends on a variety of factors, including your age and the underlying cause of gynecomastia. Talk to your doctor about medications you take and medical conditions you have been diagnosed with. Managing these things may reduce gynecomastia. But if it persists, then surgery may be the most effective way to reduce the excess fat and tissue.
Who is a candidate for male breast reduction?
Healthy normal-weight men who have enlarged breasts despite attempts at diet and exercise may be candidates for male breast reduction. If you are obese, it is advised that you go down to your normal weight before proceeding with surgery. This is especially true as fat cells contain an enzyme called aromatase that converts testosterone to estrogen, increasing your estrogen to testosterone ratio and possibly contributing to your gynecomastia. Also, it is important to rule out some identifiable causes of gynecomastia like marijuana, steroids, excessive alcohol consumption and certain medications. Please consult with your medical doctor if this is the case.
Gynecomastia Surgery Before and After
How long does the male breast reduction procedure take?
Typical gynecomastia procedures take 1-2 hours to complete, but they may take longer. It depends on the techniques being used in the surgery, as well as the amount of tissue that needs to be removed. You will need to go home and rest after male breast reduction, so plan to take the whole day off from normal activities and commitments (as well as several days following). You will have arranged for a family member, spouse, or friend to drive you home after being observed for a little while by our team.
How is male breast reduction performed?
This procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia and can be done in several different ways depending on your anatomy. If you have just excessive fatty tissue at your breasts, liposuction alone through tiny hidden incisions would do the trick. If you have fatty tissue and some thicker glandular tissue, liposuction with excision of your glandular tissue through a small well-positioned incision at the areola border would be recommended. Finally, if your breasts are very large and include excess skin in addition to the excessive underlying tissue, your incision would be completely around your areola +/- an additional transverse incision at the base of the chest.
This last method is seldom used as most cases fall within the first two scenarios. Plus much of your skin (if you have residual excess skin after surgery) will contract down to your chest as you heal and wear a compression garment.
What to expect after gynecomastia surgery?
Dr. Farris and his staff at Farris Plastic Surgery will provide specific instructions regarding your surgery.
You will be able to go home on the same day of surgery. Postoperative pain is limited. You will be advised to wear a compression garment for 3 weeks. Avoid strenuous activity for 3 weeks. Most swelling and bruising go away by the second week. Avoid exposure to sunlight and consider sunscreen for the first 6 months if exposed. Apply Vitamin E cream to your scars after the third week to optimize your scar healing.
Will I have noticeable surgical scars after male breast reduction surgery?
Because gynecomastia surgery is completed with incisions, there will be scars where the incisions are made. That being said, the length and visibility of the scars will depend on which techniques are used and your skin’s healing response. Dr. Farris makes incisions that will be as inconspicuous as possible, hidden in natural contours of the skin whenever possible. We will also provide you with aftercare instructions that will help the scars heal well. Most gynecomastia patients are left with scars that become very light and flat after about 1 year.
Can gynecomastia return after surgery?
The majority of gynecomastia patients experience long-lasting results from male breast reduction. A small percentage of patients may experience recurrence of enlarged male breast tissue after surgery. Some of the reasons this could arise include:
- Continued use of marijuana, steroids, or other drugs
- Continued excessive alcohol consumption
- Continued weight gain
- Unaddressed health condition
Depending on what caused your gynecomastia in the first place, you may be able to preserve the results by maintaining a stable body weight, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and working with your doctor to manage your health.
FAQs About Gynecomastia Treatment
We recommend that you are at least 18 years of age before proceeding with this procedure. Sometimes, gynecomastia after puberty resolves at the end of your teenage years. If it persists and there is no other identifiable medical cause, you may be a candidate for surgery.
Many patients experience a boost in self-confidence and self-esteem after male breast reduction surgery. As long as you are healthy, have a defined problem and have realistic expectations, there is potential for great benefit.
Research has shown that the THC in marijuana decreases testosterone levels, increasing the estrogen to testosterone ratio, which can contribute to gynecomastia. In addition to an imbalance of estrogen to testosterone and marijuana, other causes include steroids, excessive alcohol consumption, and certain medications. Most commonly however, the cause is unknown and considered idiopathic.
After surgery, you will be able to go home the same day. Most of the pain occurs during the first couple of days and is controlled with prescription pain medication. Avoid strenuous activity like exercise or heavy lifting for about 3 weeks. During that time, it is advised that you wear a compression garment to reduce swelling.
Schedule a Gynecomastia Consult with Dr. Farris!
To learn more about male breast reduction surgery, or to determine whether you are a candidate for the procedure, please be sure to book a personalized consultation with Dr. Zachary Farris. Call (214) 363-1073 today or fill out the appointment request form on this page. Our practice looks forward to serving you!