As many as half the men in the United States experience some degree of gynecomastia, or enlarged male breasts, during their lifetime, according to one estimate.
The issue can stem from a few different causes, including, most commonly, genetics and the use of certain medications. It can also arise at any age. But it’s easily remedied with a cosmetic procedure known as a male breast reduction.
The surgery removes excess fat and glandular tissue to restore a firmer and more masculine contour to the chest.
Exercising and losing weight can help reduce the appearance of enlarged breasts for some men, but, often, they can’t completely resolve the problem. Excess glandular tissue can cause even very lean men to have enlarged breasts.
Male breast reduction is the only consistently effective treatment for gynecomastia. In the hands of the right plastic surgeon, the procedure offers near-immediate and long-lasting, if not permanent, improvements with minimal scarring.
What’s the surgery like?
Once you decide to have the procedure, take your time vetting potential surgeons. While most may include male breast reduction on their websites, some perform it far more often than the rest. They’re the ones you want to hone in on. It’s also crucial to find a board-certified plastic surgeon.
As for the procedure itself, either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation will be used. From there, the surgery will vary depending on the need. In instances where the gynecomastia’s largely the result of excess fatty tissue, liposuction techniques alone may be used. Here, a cannula is moved back and forth in a controlled motion to loosen the excess fat, which is then suctioned out by a vacuum.
When glandular breast tissue or excess skin needs to be removed, excision techniques are generally recommended. They allow the surgeon to remove a greater amount of tissue and/or skin than liposuction would. Sometimes, a combination of liposuction and excision is used.
Excision is also used when the areola is reduced or the nipple is repositioned to a more natural male contour. Where the incisions are made will depend on the extent of the surgery, but they’re typically located around the edge of the areola or within the natural creases of the chest.
How long is the recovery?
The length of your recovery will depend on the nature of your procedure. Not to mention, everyone’s healing process is unique. That said, most return to work within just a few days. You’ll feel sore at first, but the pain is relatively minimal.
Some experience a loss of sensation in the treated areas, but it’s almost always temporary.
Above all, you’ll notice an immediate and dramatic improvement in the shape and appearance of your chest. And those results will be permanent—once the excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin are removed, they’re gone for good and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will only enhance it!