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Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia Repair)

What Causes Enlarged Breasts (Gynecomastia) in Men?

Gynecomastia can happen to men at any age.

Doctors don't know the exact causes of enlarged male breasts, but some may include:

  • An imbalance of male and female hormones.
  • Genetics.
  • Being overweight.
  • Using certain drugs.

Overly large male chests can cause emotional issues and poor self-esteem.

What Is Male Breast Reduction Surgery?

A male breast reduction, or gynecomastia repair:

  • Is plastic surgery that removes excess breast tissue through incisions made on the chest.
  • Uplifts the nipples and can reduce their size to better fit your body type.
  • Relieves the discomfort of overly large breasts.

After massive weight loss, gynecomastia repair can remove much of the extra skin on the chest.

Make an Appointment at UPMC Plastic Surgery

To schedule a consult for a male breast reduction:

Is a Male Breast Reduction Right for Me?

Gynecomastia repair is a highly customized procedure.

It can be a good option for you if you're physically healthy and your larger breast size bothers you.

Chest reduction can help you resume your normal daily routine. But you must be willing to accept permanent scars on the chest.

What Are the Risks of Male Breast Reduction Surgery?

The decision to have a breast reduction is extremely personal. You'll have to weigh your goals against the potential risks and complications.

Risks of male reduction surgery include:

  • Side effects of anesthesia.
  • Scarring.
  • Infection.
  • Changes in nipple or breast sensation, which may be short-term or lasting.

From a cosmetic standpoint, you may:

  • Have breast contour and shape unevenness.
  • Need future surgical revisions.

Male breast reduction surgery isn't right for every person. Your risks may be greater or different than those of others.

Your plastic surgeon will review your potential risks and complications before the surgery.

Before Your Male Breast Reduction

The success and safety of your procedure depend on your complete honesty during your first consult with the plastic surgeon.

They'll ask you a number of questions about your:

  • Health.
  • Lifestyle, including your reasons and expectations for the surgery.
  • Desired outcome of your breast reduction.
  • Use of certain drugs, such as testosterone, marijuana, and others that may cause gynecomastia.

Your medical history

You'll need to give your plastic surgeon details about:

  • Any health conditions you have.
  • Drug allergies, and
  • Your current medications.
  • Past surgeries. or
  • Any family history of breast cancer.

You'll also need to provide the results of any mammograms or biopsies.

A thorough exam

Your surgeon will check for masses in the chest, and possibly in the testicles.

They may take detailed measurements and photographs of your breast:

  • Size.
  • Shape.
  • Skin quality.

They'll also note the placement of your nipples and areolas.

How Do I Prepare for My Male Breast Reduction?

Your plastic surgeon will give you detailed instructions on how to get ready for surgery.

These may include:

  • Smoking cessation.`
  • Medications to avoid.
  • When to take your prescribed medicines.
  • Proper washing techniques.
  • Eating and drinking restrictions the night before.

Where Will I Have My Male Breast Reduction Surgery?

Plastic surgeons usually do male breast reductions in a hospital as outpatient surgery. Some people may need to spend the night in the hospital.

You'll need a friend or family member to drive you to and from the hospital.

What Happens During Gynecomastia Surgery?

Doctors can use local anesthesia with IV sedation or general anesthesia. Your plastic surgeon will use the best type of anesthesia for your male breast reduction surgery.

In most cases of male breast reductions, your plastic surgeon will:

  • Make incisions on the chest under the nipple.
  • Remove the breast's excess gland tissue, fat, and skin.
  • Use liposuction — in some cases — to remove excess fat.

In rare cases, surgeons may use liposuction alone. This is an option when the large breast size is mostly from fatty tissue, and excess skin isn't a factor.

For men with large breasts, surgeons may need to preserve some chest tissue to relocate the nipples. For men with excess loose skin, surgeons may remove the nipples and sew them back on as a skin graft.

Your surgeon may insert drains into your chest before stitching you up.

Larger male breast reductions may leave a scar across the entire chest.

Your plastic surgeon will decide what technique to use based on your:

  • Breast anatomy.
  • Composition.
  • Desired reduction.

There are a few incision options, and your surgeon will discuss each in detail with you.

Incision lines are permanent but will fade and improve over time.

After your male breast reduction surgery

They'll give you details on how to care for yourself.

When the procedure is complete, your care team will:

  • Apply dressings to the incisions.
  • Place an elastic bandage on the chest to reduce swelling and provide support as it heals.
  • Give you detailed instructions about caring for the surgical site.
  • Tell you which medications to take or apply to the breasts to help heal and reduce the risk of infection.

How Long Does it Take to Recover After Male Breast Reduction Surgery?

A male breast reduction is a major surgery. How long it takes to recover depends on the type of surgery and incision you had.

You'll be sore for a couple of days post-op.

As you're healing, it's vital to protect your chest incisions from excessive force, abrasion, or motion.

Most men start feeling better in about a week and can go back to work in about two weeks.

Your plastic surgeon will give you details on what you can and can't do. They can also give you a timeline for when you can get back to your normal routine.

Following their instructions are vital to the procedure's success and your healing.

What Results Can I Expect After My Male Breast Reduction Surgery?

The results of gynecomastia surgery will be long-lasting.

Your new chest size should help relieve the physical and emotional issues you may have had before the reduction.

Your chest generally will have a better shape and be more proportional to your physique.

Over time, your chest may slightly change due to:

  • Aging.
  • Weight changes.
  • Gravity.

Contact UPMC Plastic Surgery

UPMC Plastic Surgery Center 
3380 Blvd. of the Allies
Suite 158
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Free parking adjacent to our building

UPMC Stofman Plastic Surgery
1350 Locust Street
Suite G103
Pittsburgh, PA 15219