Male breast reduction can help self-conscious men rebuild their confidence and self-esteem. Men living with gynecomastica, or enlarged male breasts, may feel too embarrassed to use public changing rooms, go swimming, or engage in other activities which expose their chests.
Surgical correction of gynecomastica removes excess fat or tissue from the breasts to create a more aesthetically masculine chest shape.
Causes of Gynecomastica
Enlarged breasts are actually quite common in the male population: 40 to 60 percent of the male population exhibits symptoms of gynecomastica. It is common in adolescence, persisting for up to two years before declining with maturity. In some cases, adolescent gynecomastica continues into adulthood.
Adult causes of gynecomastica include medication, weight gain, hormonal changes and some illicit drugs. Other causes include:
- alcohol consumption
- marijuana abuse
- prescription medication including medication for prostate hypertrophy
- steroid use.
Surgical Correction of Gynecomastica
Male breast reduction surgery is more correctly called reduction mammaplasty. Depending on the individual patient breast reduction surgery may use liposuction, tissue excision, or a combination of the two techniques. Gynecomastica surgery takes between 90 minutes to 2 hours, and may use either general anesthetic or local anesthetic with sedation.
Excision gynecomastica removes both breast tissue and excess skin from the breast. An incision is made under the areola (the colored skin surrounding the nipple) to remove glandular breast tissue. Excision surgery also reduces the size of the areola and reposition the nipple if severe breast enlargement causes the areola to stretch.
Liposuction is most often used to treat gynecomastica caused by weight gain and excess breast fat. The surgeon inserts a small tube called a cannula into the breast through a small incision, and uses it to loosen breast fat which is then removed by vacuum suction. Several small incisions may be made over the course of gynecomastica liposuction.
Risks and Rewards of Gynecomastica Surgery
Gynecomastica surgery, like any surgical procedure, comes with some risks. These complications are uncommon, but patients should discuss any surgical risks with their doctor prior to the procedure. Risks associated with gynecomastica surgery include:
- blood clots
- postoperative bleeding
- revisional surgery
- skin discoloration or irregular breast shape.
Scarring is generally minimal with gynecomastica surgery, but incisions will leave some scars as they heal. In some cases revisional surgery is required to complete the procedure.
Gynecomastica surgery is usually permanent, providing underlying causes of breast enlargement such as weight gain or steroid use do not return. Men who undergo gynecomastica surgery often see improvements in their confidence and self-esteem.