Breast Reduction for Men
The word is “gynecomastia.” It actually means “feminization of the male breast.” Not fair, not fair at all. Guys with extra breast tissue usually avoid removing their shirts. A day at the beach can be torture as much of the day is spent trying to camouflage the appearance of the chest. It is no fun in the locker room. Tight shirts? No way.
Thankfully, there is hope in the form of what is usually a fairly simple procedure.
Gynecomastia is a very common occurrence in puberty; it is normal around ages 12 to 13. It is usually minor and not really noticed along with all the other changes that are occurring during that time. If it is not gone by the time a young man is 15 or 16, it is probably going to stay.
Gynecomastia occurs with or without obesity and does not usually respond to weight loss. Gynecomastia may be minor with just a small mass beneath the nipple or represented by a completely developed breast. It may be tender or have no symptoms. It may occur on one side or both.
There are a few disease states that can cause gynecomastia in puberty but generally, if you have other normal development such as the development of a beard, lowering of the voice, changes in the genitals and growth of other body hair, it is likely genetic or of other unknown causes.
In older guys, gynecomastia can be the result of certain medications as well as marijuana, anabolic steroids and excess alcohol. An unfortunate side effect of trying to build muscle with steroids may be the growth of breast.
The only effective treatment for gynecomastia of any cause is surgery. Most guys do great and find an increase in self-confidence. So the next time you go to the beach, go ahead, take off your shirt.
Some insurance will cover the cost of gynecomastia reduction. We find that they are most likely to cover for the teenage group and less likely to cover in the over 18-age group. It is rare for them to cover for an adult. The only way to know is to ask; we would be glad to write them for you but you may prefer to call or check your benefit package.
Breast reduction for men is a surgical procedure that reduces breast size and enhances chest contours. In cases where gynecomastia is primarily the result of excess fatty tissue, liposuction techniques alone may be used. Excision techniques are recommended when glandular tissue or excess skin must be removed. The incisions usually heal well with little evidence or any procedure having been performed.
The procedure is most often performed on an out-patient basis under general anesthesia. It takes one to two to perform. The procedure produces a permanent scar that is usually in the natural contours of the chest and designed for maximum camouflage. Some patients will have drains and all will have bandages and a tight vest placed after the surgery.
Expected Side Effects:
- Poor healing resulting in conspicuous scarring or skin loss – rare
- Contour irregularities
- Bleeding or fluid collection under the skin, which could require more surgery
- Blood clots in the legs leading to clots in the lungs
- Death related to anesthesia
Learn More About the Procedure
Click below to learn what to do before and after the procedure.
At this visit, we will: Take your payment and answer any questions you may have regarding the procedure. At this time, Dr. Frost may not be available, but if you would like to speak with him again, please let us know and we will schedule this visit when he is available. Provide you with any prescriptions that you may need for after surgery. We encourage you to have these prescriptions filled prior to your surgery to avoid having to stop at the pharmacy after your procedure. Please let us know if you have any specific pain medication requests, and we will try to prescribe the medication that works best for you. Make arrangements for any necessary pre-operative evaluations that need to be performed, such as blood tests, pregnancy testing, EKG, etc.
Diet and Medications:
Please, DO NOT eat or drink ANYTHING after midnight prior to your surgery. This is VERY important. Your surgery will be CANCELLED if you eat or drink anything after midnight. The only exception is a sip of water with any medications that you must take. Generally, you should take high blood pressure and heart medications. Do NOT take arthritis medications and do NOT take diabetic medications (including insulin), unless specifically instructed to do so.
Bathing and Clothing Prior to Surgery:
Please take a shower and use antibacterial soap the night before and the morning of your surgery. Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing such as a front button shirt and loose pants since these items are easier to put on and take off after surgery.
Take it slow and easy with your diet. Start with clear liquids and simply advance as tolerated. It is normal to have some nausea from the anesthetic and pain medication, but by taking it easy, this should quickly resolve.
Take it easy. It is important that your incisions are not subjected to excess force, swelling, abrasion or motion during the healing period following surgery. Dr. Frost will give you specific instructions on post-surgical care.
We want to help limit your pain as much as possible, but we will not be able to take it all away. The goal of pain medication is to prevent pain, so do not wait until you are really hurting to take your medication. Follow the directions on your prescription to stay ahead of the pain and experience the highest level of pain relief possible. Narcotics can cause constipation, so drink plenty of water, eat fruit and use an over-the-counter laxative, if needed.
Post-Operative Dressings and Bathing:
Leave your compression bandages and vest on day and night. There will be plenty of time to examine your results later, but no peeking right now. Sponge-bathe until the drains (if present) are removed. There will be tape across the incision that will stay on while showering, so simply shower over the tapes that cover the incision and pat them dry when we allow you to shower. The sutures will dissolve over time, so you will not need to have them removed.
Follow the instructions for emptying and recording the output of the drains, and remember to bring your drain output record with you to the office.
There will be changes over the months following your surgery, so do not judge the results too early. Nevertheless, you should see pretty major changes immediately and it should only get better from there.
Our goal is for you to be informed. If you have a question, please call our office at 850.474.8333.