Male Breast Reduction
What is Male Breast Reduction?
Gynecomastia, or enlarged male breasts, can be treated by surgically removing fat and/or glandular tissue. In extreme cases, skin is removed as well. The more masculine-looking chest that results can enhance your self-image and self-confidence.
Who is a Good Candidate for Male Breast Reduction?
Candidates must be in good health, have no active diseases or serious, pre-existing medical conditions, and must have realistic expectations of the outcome of the surgery. Good candidates for surgery have firm, elastic skin that will adapt to the new contours of the body. Gynecomastia may occur in 40 - 60% of men, affecting one or both breasts. The cause is not always known, but obesity, and use of some drugs, including anabolic steroids, marijuana or alcohol, may increase risk of gynecomastia. Men who are in these risk groups would not be considered good candidates for breast reduction. Impaired liver function and use of estrogen-containing medications may also cause gynecomastia. If a medical problem is identified as the cause during your initial consultation, you will be referred to an appropriate specialist.
NOTE: You may not be a candidate for surgery if you smoke, have recently quit smoking, or if you are exposed to second-hand smoke. Primary and secondary smoking decreases blood flow to the body's tissues. This can result in prolonged wound healing, skin loss, infection, increased scarring, and a number of other complications depending on the kind of procedure performed. Click here for more information related to smoking.
How is the Procedure Performed?
The technique chosen for your breast reduction will be determined by your anatomy, your surgeon's preferences and your desired result. Options include removal of the tissue under the breast, or suction lipectomy (liposuction) of the chest wall. In both procedures, a small elliptical incision is made on the lower half of the nipple area (areola). For those men with enlarged glandular tissue, all breast tissue directly under the nipple will be removed. If the tissue is more fatty in nature, liposuction can provide excellent results. In some cases, ultrasound will be used to assist liposuction. During liposuction, a small tube, or cannula, is inserted into the incision to remove excess fat.
List of Physicians Who Perform Male Breast Reduction
For details about education, experience, and specialty in this clinical area, please visit these physician profile pages:
- David L. Brown, M.D.
- Paul Cederna, M.D.
- Robert H. Gilman, M.D., D.M.D.
- Jeffrey H. Kozlow, M.D.
- William M. Kuzon, Jr., M.D., Ph.D.
- Adeyiza O. Momoh, M.D.
- Edwin G. Wilkins, M.D.
Planning for Your Surgery
First, schedule a personal consultation with your plastic surgeon. Communication is vital in reaching your goals. You will have the opportunity to discuss your goals and the results you'd like to achieve. Your surgeon will work with you to reach an understanding about what you can expect from this procedure and what long-term benefits you will experience. Every patient is different, and your surgeon will choose the surgical technique and treatment plan that is right for you. During your initial consultation:
- Provide a complete medical history. Include information about any previous surgical procedures; past and present medical conditions; and all medications or herbal supplements you are taking.
- Your surgeon will conduct a physical examination of your breasts and will check for causes of the gynecomastia.
- Measurements and photographs will be taken for your medical record.
- Be prepared to discuss possible risks and complications of the procedure.
Preparing for Your Surgery
You will be given specific instructions on how to prepare for your surgery. A pre-operative information packet will be provided that explains everything you should do and know before your surgery date. Your surgeon will instruct you on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and which vitamins and medications should be taken or avoided. You should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, whether your surgery is done on an outpatient or inpatient basis. You may also want to make arrangements for someone to help you out for a day or two after you leave the hospital.
Where Your Surgery Will be Performed
Your procedure will take place in the University of Michigan Hospitals state-of-the-art surgical suites and recovery areas. The majority of these procedures are completed on an out-patient basis.
Types of Anesthesia
You'll remain comfortable throughout the entire procedure. In most cases, general anesthetic is used so that you will sleep throughout the procedure; although local anesthesia with intravenous sedation is also an option for some patients.
After Your Surgery
Click here for information about how to care for yourself after the surgery and what to expect during your recovery. It is very important that you follow your surgeon's instructions. This will promote healing and improve progress towards your new physical appearance. Also, it is important that you attend all scheduled follow-up appointments so that your surgeon can assess your long-term results and answer any questions or concerns you may have.