In recent years, rates of men undergoing male breast reduction have soared. Feeling self-conscious about enlarged male breasts can be a painful thing to live with. You may be too embarrassed to wear certain clothes or to remove your shirt while at the beach. For many men, working out and defining their chest only seems to make the breast tissue appear more obvious.
As men are more open to having plastic surgery, the tally of male breast reduction surgeries has been steadily increasing, with over 27,000 procedures performed in 2016, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. David Bogue understands your concerns and has the experience to help you address this embarrassing condition.
If you’d like to learn more about male breast reduction surgery, please reach out to us via our online submission form or give us a call at 561-886-1000 to schedule a consultation. We proudly serve those who live in and near Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, Florida.
"Dr. Bogue: Chuck and I want to thank you. Chuck is so happy. Thank you so very much from the bottom of both of our hearts. You have made him truly happy. – Chuck and Kathy"
How Does Gynecomastia Develop?
Gynecomastia is the presence of excessive male breast tissue which causes men to develop enlarged breasts. This condition is quite common, affecting 40 to 60 percent of men at some point in their lifetimes. It often results from an imbalance of the male and female hormones testosterone and estrogen.
When a male produces too much estrogen their glandular tissue swells, forming breasts on one or both sides of the chest. It’s common for male children and young teens to develop enlarged breast tissue but the condition generally goes away as the child grows into adulthood. This hormonal imbalance can be caused by many factors, including:
- Heredity: A genetic predisposition to this hormonal imbalance
- Certain cancers: Cancers of the adrenal gland, testicles, or pituitary gland
- Medicines: Taking certain medications such as steroids, heart medicines, and some anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs
- Age: Shifting hormones in middle-age and beyond can cause an imbalance
- Drug or alcohol abuse: Drugs and alcohol can increase risk
- Gaining weight: Some men may develop enlarged breasts due to excessive weight gain
While there can be many reasons why gynecomastia may develop, for most men there is no identifiable cause. Oftentimes, men with gynecomastia cannot get the contour of their chest they desire even after changing multiple health and lifestyle factors. If you've tried to slim your chest with diet and exercise, but have not seen the results you want, then gynecomastia surgery may be right for you.
Male Breast Reduction Candidates
Before any surgical procedure, it’s important to have a thorough examination of your health and medical history to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the surgery. During your consultation, Dr. Bogue will perform a brief physical exam and a discussion of your goals, which he will then use to determine whether this type of surgery is a good fit for your health and expectations.
In general, most adult men who have enlarged breasts are good candidates for this procedure. As with any other surgery though, there are certain factors that may disqualify you from candidacy. Male breast reduction surgery is best for those who:
- Have good general health
- Are at or near a healthy weight
- Do not suffer from serious diseases or illnesses
- Are not on any prescription drugs which may slow down healing
- Have stabilized breast development
- Do not smoke or use drugs
Aside from the lifestyle and health factors mentioned above, good candidates for this procedure should have realistic expectations for the outcomes, be able to abstain or limit physical activity for a period of time, and be willing to follow all postoperative instructions from your doctor.
Can Gynecomastia Be Reduced Without Surgery?
Since gynecomastia can be caused by a variety of factors, the effectiveness of non-surgical treatments varies. For example, if the gynecomastia is caused by alcohol intake or drug use, abstaining from these substances can reduce the size of your chest.
However, for many men, the results offered by non-surgical options are inadequate, especially if they have had the condition for a long time. In cases of massive weight loss, it is often better to have male breast reduction surgery since the procedure can remove loose skin.
Is Male Breast Reduction Surgery Painful?
During the surgery, you will not feel any pain because of the anesthesia. During the first few days after the procedure, it is normal to feel some tightness and discomfort around the chest. However, this pain usually fades over the course of a few weeks. If you need extra support to control swelling, an ice-pack can help provide some relief.
How Male Breast Reduction Is Performed
There are three basic male breast reduction techniques. The degree of gynecomastia and the density of the breast gland determine which technique is used. At our office, Dr. David Bogue will evaluate your condition and go over these options with you to determine the most effective procedure to achieve the results you want.
- Liposuction: If your gynecomastia condition is mostly fat with good skin tone, then liposuction alone may be adequate to provide the results you want. Liposuction uses a special device called a cannula to break apart and suction away excess fat cells.
- Excision: If thick glandular tissue or excess skin is present, excision (precise cutting away of tissue) through the nipple or under the breast may be the best approach.
- Combined approach: For some men, a combination of liposuction and tissue excision is the best approach. Oftentimes this technique is used if both significant excess fat and excess glandular tissue are present.
The goal in all of these surgical approaches is to provide a flatter chest with an improved contour from the front and in profile. Most cases require sedation with general anesthesia in an operating room. To be thorough, Dr. Bogue sends out all breast tissue that is removed for pathologic examination to rule out cancer.
You'll need to take some time off from work, exercise, and other activities after male breast reduction. The complete recovery typically lasts about 2-3 weeks. During this time, you'll wear a compression vest to improve the final appearance of your chest. Most men do not experience a recurrence of gynecomastia after this surgery.
Is Male Breast Reduction Permanent?
Your results after male breast reduction surgery are permanent as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle. While excess skin and fat removed from the area can’t grow back, it is still possible for the skin to stretch as a result of new fat deposits. For this reason, it is important to avoid the original cause of your gynecomastia, whether it was weight gain, hormonal imbalances, or drug use. This will help ensure that your results last as long as possible.
What is recovery like from Male Breast Surgery?
Gynecomastia surgery involves a relatively simple recovery period. Immediately following the procedure, you will be placed in a compression garment to help control swelling and maintain your chest contour. The first three days of recovery will involve some soreness, but the pain is usually minimal and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
After about one week of recovery, most patients find that they can return to work if their job isn’t physically demanding. For those who have active jobs, it may take an extra week or two before you are cleared for work.
About 3-4 weeks following surgery, you will be able to resume light exercise and remove your compression garment. Most of the swelling and bruising will be gone, and the results will be much more noticeable. Finally, after about 6 weeks, you can resume strenuous exercise, including chest exercises. By this point, you should be able to see the final results of your surgery.
Are There Other Procedures That Can Be Combined With Gynecomastia?
It is very common for men to combine their male breast reduction surgery with other procedures. The most common procedure to incorporate with the surgery is a tummy tuck, which can help fine tune the contour of the lower abdomen, leading to a more balanced look. This is a popular option for men who have undergone massive weight loss and have sagging skin around the abdomen. In any case, Dr. Bogue can help create a custom treatment that addresses your concerns and provides amazing results
Cost of Male Breast Reduction
Male breast reduction is rarely covered by insurance. Some insurance carriers offer gynecomastia correction, however, authorizations for the procedure is uncommon. A phone call to your insurance provider will give you information on whether it is covered and what you need to do to ensure coverage. Call your insurance plan to see if you have coverage prior to your consultation. In most cases, it is considered a cosmetic procedure.
Pricing starts at $5,500 depending upon the degree of gynecomastia. A comprehensive quote is provided when you meet with Dr. Bogue outlining surgical fees, anesthesia fees, hospital fees, and garments. Financing is available to those who qualify.
Contact Our Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Today
To find out if you are a good candidate for male breast reduction surgery, please call the practice of board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. David Bogue at 561-886-1000 to schedule a consultation. Dr. Bogue is proud to serve Boca Raton and the surrounding areas, including Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.