The overdevelopment of male breasts, also known as gynecomastia, affects an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men. This condition may be caused by a hormonal imbalance, side effects from drugs, or may occur for no particular reason at all. But despite the cause, the condition is significant and may pose a serious problem in a man's life.
Men with large or sagging breasts can be both physically and emotionally uncomfortable, often restricting themselves from certain activities because they feel self-conscious about their breast size. Male breast reduction is an excellent way to decrease the size of a man's breast, helping him feel more comfortable and confident.
Candidate for Male Breast Reduction
A good candidate for male breast reduction surgery is any man who feels uncomfortable with his large breast size. The procedure can be performed on men of all ages who are in good health, both physically and emotionally. The best candidates for male breast reduction surgery have firm, elastic skin that will reshape well to their body's new contours.
Male Breast Reduction Procedure
Male breast reduction surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. The surgery typically takes one to three hours. Several techniques can be utilized in male breast reduction, depending on the extent of the procedure.
If the enlarged breasts are primarily caused by excessive fatty tissue, liposuction can be performed through tiny incisions to remove the excess fat. The incision may be made around the edge of the areola (the area around the nipple) or in the underarm. If excess glandular tissue is the primary cause of the enlarged breast, the tissue will be excised, or cut out, in addition to liposuction.
In more extreme instances when large amounts of fat or glandular tissue have been removed, excess skin may have remained that has not reshaped well to the new contour of the breast. In these cases, the excess skin may have to be removed as well. The incisions are then closed using sutures and are usually covered with a dressing. The chest may be wrapped to keep the skin firmly in place.
Male Breast Reduction Recovery
Following male breast reduction surgery, patients will experience some bruising, swelling, and discomfort. This discomfort usually dissipates after a few days and can be reduced with prescribed medication. To help reduce swelling, an elastic pressure garment should be worn for about two weeks, and at night for several weeks later. Swelling and any skin discoloration will partially subside after a week or two, at which time stitches will be removed.
You will be encouraged to walk around on the day of your breast reduction surgery and can expect to return to work in approximately one week. You may also begin light aerobic exercise after a week, but you should avoid strenuous activities for about three to four weeks following surgery.
Risks and Complications of Male Breast Reduction
As with all surgical procedures, male breast reduction surgery contains a possibility of complication. Although rare, these complications include:
- Skin injury
- Excessive bleeding
- Excessive fluid accumulation or loss
- Loss of nipple sensation
- Asymmetrical breasts or nipples