Male Breast Reduction
What is male breast reduction?
Male breast reduction surgery is a common and popular procedure that removes excess fat and tissue from male breasts, and flattens skin to improve shape and contours, leading to a more pleasing and masculine appearance for men with enlarged breasts.
Why choose male breast reduction?
For a number of men, having enlarged breasts (gynaecomastia) can cause embarrassment, distress, and a loss of confidence. When men have large breasts it is often linked with obesity, but this is not always the cause. In certain cases, men can have abnormal glandular breast tissue growth, often associated with a hormone imbalance, possibly heightened levels of the female hormone oestrogen. Other potential causes of enlarged breasts may be: excess alcohol consumption, drugs such as anabolic steroids, or a big loss of weight resulting in sagging skin. Male breast surgery for gynaecomastia presents a good option for men who wish to change the appearance of their breasts, but must be weighed up against other options.
Is male breast reduction right for me?
If you are considering male chest reduction surgery, then you need to book a consultation with an experienced and accredited surgeon. This procedure is not recommended for everyone, and has best results for fit, mentally stable men with good skin elasticity and firm skin. Obese men are advised to pursue a regime of healthy eating and exercise, and there are other non-surgical options available such as male breast reduction creams.
At your consultation, the surgeon will assess your individual needs and decide what course of treatment presents the best way forward. He or she will help you formulate a realistic and achievable goal, and give you a breakdown of the costs involved.
What is involved in male breast reduction surgery?
Surgery is performed either with sedatives and local anaesthetic, or under general anaesthetic, and takes between one and three hours depending on the individual.
If the condition is caused mainly by excess fatty tissue (pseudo-gynaecomastia) then liposuction will be probably be used. This is a technique where fat cells are broken down and then sucked out via a hollow tube (cannula). Small incisions are made at the areola to allow the cannula to enter, and after the process is finished the incision is stitched. The scars usually heal very well and are not too noticeable.
If the condition is caused by excess glandular tissue (gynaecomastia), liposuction is sometimes not adequate. Small incisions are made at the edge of the areola or at the armpit, and glandular tissue is then cut away using a scalpel. In certain cases liposuction may be used in conjunction with this technique. If a large amount of tissue is removed, this may necessitate larger incisions and the removal of excess skin.
What happens after male breast reduction surgery?
After male breast reduction surgery, a drain is put in place to ensure that excess fluids or blood does not build up in the body. A pressure garment should be worn for around one to four weeks, and for this time the chest will remain tender. Painkillers can be used to alleviate any discomfort, but aspirin needs to be avoided as this can promote bleeding.
Male chest reduction surgery is usually performed as either a day case, but sometimes the patient is required to stay in hospital overnight. It’s recommended that you take two to three weeks off work, and that you don’t do anything strenuous or play sport for up to six weeks.
Are there any risks involved in male breast reduction surgery?
No surgery is one hundred percent safe, and this procedure is no exception. There are inherent risks associated with procedures carried out under general anaesthetic such as lung or heart problems, but with modern medical techniques, these are very rare. Sometimes there can be bleeding or infection after surgery, but these can usually be dealt with by using antibiotics and drains. You may find that there is hypersensitivity or loss of sensitivity in the nipple area, but this is usually temporary, although it has been known to be permanent in some cases. Scars may be bumpy or red for a while, but over time these should fade and begin to match you natural skin colour.