Male Breast Reduction Procedure
If excess glandular tissue is the primary cause of the male breast enlargement, it will be excised (cut out) with a scalpel. The excision may be performed alone or in conjunction with liposuction. In a typical male breast reduction procedure, an incision is made in an inconspicuous location, either on the edge of the areola or in the under arm area. Working through the incision, Dr. Patterson cuts away the excess glandular tissue, fat and skin from around the areola and from the sides and bottom of the breast. Major reductions that involve the removal of a significant amount of tissue and skin around the breast may require larger incisions resulting in more conspicuous scars. If liposuction is used to remove excess fat, the cannula is usually inserted through the existing incisions.
In extreme cases where large amounts of fat or glandular tissue have been removed, skin may not adjust well to the new smaller breast contour. In these cases, excess skin may have to be removed to allow the remaining skin to firmly readjust to the new contour.
Length: Gynecomastia surgery usually takes about one hour or more.
Anesthesia: Correction of enlarged male breasts may be performed under general anesthesia, or local anesthesia plus sedation in which you'll be awake but very relaxed and insensitive to pain. More extensive correction may be performed under general anesthesia which allows you to sleep through the operation.
In/Outpatient: Surgery for gynecomastia is most often performed as an outpatient procedure, but in extreme cases, or those where other medical conditions present cause for concern, an overnight hospital stay may be recommended.
Side Effects & Risks
When male breast-reduction surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Nevertheless, as with any surgery, there are risks. These include infection, skin injury, excessive bleeding, adverse reaction to anesthesia, and excessive fluid loss or accumulation. The procedure may also result in noticeable scars, permanent pigment changes in the breast area, or slightly mismatched breasts or nipples. If asymmetry is significant, a second procedure may be performed to remove additional tissue.
The temporary effects of breast reduction include loss of breast sensation or numbness, which may last up to a year.
CONTOUR ABNORMALITIES: Although Dr. Patterson will make every effort to give you a “perfect” result, the area of excess tissue removal may end up with a contour that is slightly too high or too low. You may feel the “edge” around the areolar dissection. Massage and time (4-6 months*)* usually eliminate or reduce this problem, if it occurs.
REDUCED SENSATION OF NIPPLE: Any surgery of the breasts can lead to reduced nipple sensation. Reduced sensation is usually temporary, but may take months* to resolve. In unusual cases, some permanent loss of sensation may occur.
RECURRENCE OF BREAST ENLARGEMENT: This is uncommon, but can occur. If this happens, you may require further surgery.
SEROMA FORMATION: A collection of fluid under the skin occurs occasionally during the postoperative period. Aspiration of the fluid with a needle is frequently helpful. Secondary surgery is rarely necessary.
HARDNESS WITHIN BREASTS: Postoperative scarring within the breast tissue may cause areas of hardness. Occasionally, areas of hardness, when discovered later may cause worries about cancer. Mammography or even biopsy are occasionally indicated.
You'll be swollen and bruised for awhile*. In fact, you may wonder if there's been any improvement at all. To help reduce swelling, you'll probably be instructed to wear an elastic pressure garment continuously for a week or two*, and for a few weeks* longer at night. Although the worst of your swelling will dissipate in the first few weeks*, it may be three months* or more before the final results of your surgery are apparent.
In the meantime, it is important to begin getting back to normal. You'll be encouraged to begin walking around on the day of surgery and you can return to work when you feel well enough. Any stitches will generally be removed about 1 to 2 weeks following the procedure.
Q. Who are not the best candidates for the surgery to correct Gynecomastia?
A. Surgery may be discouraged for obese men, or for overweight men who have not first attempted to correct the problem with exercise or weight loss. Also, individuals who drink alcoholic beverages in excess or smoke marijuana are usually not considered good candidates for surgery. These drugs, along with anabolic steroids, may cause gynecomastia. Therefore, patients are first directed to stop the use of these drugs to see if the breast fullness will diminish before surgery is considered an option.
Q. How soon after the surgery can I resume my regular activities?
Q. What is Gynecomastia?
A. The term Gynecomastia comes from the Greek words meaning "women-like breasts." Though this oddly named condition is rarely talked about, male breast reduction is actually quite common.