Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Breast reduction surgery for men is the surgical correction of over-developed or enlarged breasts in males, also known as gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia is characterized by excess localized fat in the breast region and/or excess glandular tissue development. Gynecomastia may be present unilaterally (one breast) or bilaterally (both breasts) and is common in men across age spectrums.
Gynecomastia surgery is a highly individualized procedure that may be a good option if you are a man who is bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too large. Success in breast reduction surgery for men is greater if they are physically healthy and of relatively normal weight, if they have realistic expectations for surgery and potential outcomes and if their breast development has stabilized.
Note: Surgical correction of gynecomastia is best performed on healthy men whose condition cannot be corrected through alternative medical treatments. Gynecomastia surgery should not be performed without ruling out a medical cause for the excessive breast tissue. Dr. Cohn will assist with this evaluation and may make recommendations regarding additional medical testing should this be necessary.
The Initial Consultation
The success and safety of your gynecomastia procedure depends on the degree of your participation in the initial consultation. You will need to be prepared to discuss why you want breast reduction surgery, your personal medical history, drug allergies, use of medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs, and any family history of disease.
Dr. Cohn will perform a physical examination and take detailed measurements of your individual physical attributes, as well as note breast asymmetry that may need to be addressed at the time of your procedure. Photographs will be taken for your medical record. At that point, Dr. Cohn will be prepared to discuss your surgical options, recommend a course of treatment, and discuss the use of anesthesia during your gynecomastia procedure. The consultation consists of a thorough discussion to get a sense of what an anticipated final appearance might look like. Dr. Cohn is happy to assist with recommendations while using your personal goals to guide final decision making. You may be asked to participate in diagnostic testing to determine the underlying cause of your gynecomastia (and this may include testing of your endocrine function).
Preparing for Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Prior to your surgery, you may be asked to get lab testing or a medical evaluation, receive a prescription for certain medications or adjust your current medications, stop smoking, and avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding. Some special instructions you receive will cover what to do on the day of surgery and post-operative care and follow-up. Male breast reduction surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical center, outpatient/ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital.
Male Breast Reduction Procedure
Plastic surgery to correct gynecomastia is called reduction mammaplasty. The procedure reduces breast size, as well as flattens and enhances the male chest contours. In severe cases of gynecomastia, the weight of excess breast tissue may cause the breast regions to sag and the areola to stretch. In these special cases, the position and size of the areola may be surgically corrected and excess skin may be reduced.
- I. The male breast reduction surgery begins with anesthesia, where intravenous sedation or general anesthesia will be provided. Dr. Cohn will recommend the best choice for your surgery.
- II. After the anesthesia has taken effect, liposuction techniques are used to remove the excess fatty tissue. Liposuction requires insertion of a cannula, a thin hollow tube that uses vacuum suction to loosen and remove excess fat from the body.
- III. In some cases, excision techniques are recommended to remove glandular breast tissue and excess skin. Excision also is necessary if the areola will be reduced or if the nipple is being repositioned.
- IV. After the reduction surgery is complete, the incisions are closed with layered sutures, as well as skin adhesive or surgical tape over the skin. While most incision lines are concealed within natural contours, some may be visible and are a necessary result of male breast reduction surgery.
- V. Dressings or bandages will be applied to your incisions and an elastic bandage or support garment may be used to minimize swelling. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
Potential Risks and Complications
The decision to have male breast reduction surgery is extremely personal and not without risk. Dr. Cohn will fully review and explain the risks associated with your surgery. After you fully understand the procedure, you will be asked to sign consent forms.
Recovery for Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Although many factors are involved in your recovery time, you will likely experience an initial post-surgical recovery period of a few days. You may also require a reduced-activity period of a few days. During recovery, you will likely experience soreness and swelling for a few weeks. Exercise and normal activity can resume at Dr. Cohn’s direction.
Following all of Dr. Cohn’s post-surgery instructions is crucial to the success of your surgery. Surgical incisions should not be subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during healing. Dr. Cohn will give you specific instructions on how to care for your incisions following your surgery, which medications to take, how to reduce the risk of infection, and when to make a follow-up appointment.
Birmingham Male Breast Reduction Costs
As with any elective surgery, correction of gynecomastia is not consistently eligible for insurance coverage. Each insurance policy varies greatly. Carefully review your policy to determine coverage. Cost may include a surgeon’s fee, hospital or surgical facility costs, anesthesia fees, prescriptions for medications, post-surgery garments, and any associated medical tests. Cohn Plastic Surgery proudly offers patient financing plans, so be sure to ask if such a plan is of interest to you.
For more information about male breast reduction surgery in Birmingham, we invite you to call us at (205) 930-1600 – Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm – to schedule an appointment. You may also use the Contact Form page to send us a message.