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Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)

Article-Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)

Procedure Description: Gynecomastia, or excess development of breast tissue, occurs in as many as 40 - 60% of men. This procedure is used to remove fat and/or glandular tissue from the breasts. In extreme cases, skin is removed as well.

The type of procedure used by your surgeon will depend on the degree of breast enlargement. The options include removal of the tissue under the breast, or liposuction of the chest wall. In both instances, a small elliptical incision is made on the lower half of the nipple area (areola). For those men with tissue that is more glandular in nature, all breast tissue directly under the nipple is removed. If the tissue is more fatty in nature, liposuction can provide excellent results. In some people, ultrasonic assisted liposuction is an excellent approach. During liposuction, a small suction rod (cannula) is inserted into the incision to remove fat and other tissue.

Length of Procedure: The procedure for male breast reduction takes an average of two hours, usually on an outpatient basis, using general or local anesthesia.

Recovery: There will be scarring around the nipple of the breast (areola) from this procedure but it will fade over a period of time and become less visible. There will be some post-operative bruising, swelling and burning sensation. Routine physical activity and exercising (especially lifting, pulling and pushing motions) should be avoided for at least six weeks. To assist with the healing process, the patient will wear an elastic pressure garment for three to six weeks and must avoid exposing scarred areas to the sun for at least six months.

Risks: Risks include temporary numbness or lack of sensation that could last up to a year. Infrequent complications may include infection, skin damage, fluid accumulation, bleeding, scarring or pigment changes. Post-operative asymmetry, while rare, is possible.

Results: Results are permanent, although subsequent obesity can create a gynecomastia-like effect. Some of the benefits of surgery include a firmer, flatter, more contoured chest which may give the male patient a boost in self-confidence. A second procedure may be needed to remove additional tissue. In a few cases, if there is a large amount of extra skin, it may be necessary to remove this tissue, which may result in a large scar.

Estimated Cost: Costs for this procedure vary, depending on the doctor, the location, technique used and the difficulty of the specific case. The national average of surgeon fees for breast reduction was approximately $2,700. Total fees could range from $3,600 to $6,000.

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