A muscular chest is a characteristic that’s strongly associated with masculinity, but when the chest overdevelops into enlarged, female-like breasts, it can negatively impact a man’s self-esteem and body image. Breasts are a societal marker of femininity, so when a man suffers from enlarged breasts, he may feel self-conscious about his appearance and avoid activities where he may have to remove his shirt in front of women or even other men. Some men may blame their enlarged breasts on extra weight, but even men of normal body size can suffer from this condition and diet and exercise could have very little effect.
Male breast reduction surgery, also known as gynecomastia treatment, is a plastic surgery technique that removes excess fat and breast tissue to reveal a flatter, firmer, and more masculine contour to the chest area.
On this page, you’ll find general information about the procedure, but scheduling a gynecomastia consultation with Dr. Karaca is the quickest way to confirm if the surgery is the solution you need.
What causes Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia can be attributed to a variety of factors, including hormonal changes and weight gain, and the condition affects millions of boys and men in the U.S. Many sufferers report feelings of embarrassment and insecurity because the male breasts resemble the shape and projection of female breasts. Medically treating the hormonal imbalance can alleviate the condition in some instances, but in most cases, sufferers choose to reduce the size of their breasts via liposuction or other cosmetic procedures.
Gynecomastia, the medical term for enlarged male breasts, affects boys and men of all ages. The exact cause of the condition is unknown, but it has been linked to genetics, hormonal issues and use of certain medications. Gynecomastia isn’t known to cause serious medical problems, but it can be emotionally difficult for boys and men to live with the condition. If medication isn’t an effective treatment option for a particular case of gynecomastia, male breast reduction surgery is the next best option.
The composition of the individual breast tissue is the most defining factor of the male breast reduction procedure. Dr. Karaca will examine the area to determine the best approach and technique to deliver your desired outcome.
If the doctor determines that your breast tissue is primarily composed of fat, tumescent liposuction will be the most effective treatment plan. Tumescent liposuction involves a cannula or tube that removes fatty deposits from the body using medical suction.
If on the other hand, your breast tissue consists of mostly glandular tissue, the excess tissue can’t be removed with liposuction alone and will require tissue excision surgery. During this procedure, the doctor makes an incision below the areola and carefully removes the excess glandular tissue. If the male breast contains stretched or sagging skin, it is removed, and the remaining skin tightened using this approach.
A novel approach to remove this breast tissue that Dr. Karaca initiated involves using the cartilage removing rotating blade used commonly by orthopedic surgeons. This eliminates the need for a large incision and has been very successful in reducing the firm breast tissue.
Male breast reduction is performed under general anesthesia, and the procedure takes two hours. Liposuction, tissue excision or a combination of the two procedures is performed during surgery. In addition to reducing the overall size of the breast, the size of the areola can be changed to match the newly formed shape of the chest. Any incisions are closed using dissolvable stitches and covered with surgical bandages for protection.
Am I a Good Candidate for Male Breast Reduction?
Nearly 50 percent of men in the U.S. suffer from some extent of gynecomastia. You may be an ideal candidate for male breast reduction if you suffer from enlarged breasts due to:
- Weight gain
- A hormonal imbalance, which has triggered an increased production of estrogen
- Use of medication that acts as a hormone suppressant or stimulant
- A hormonal imbalance due to steroid treatment
While weight loss is a good place to start if you have excess breast tissue, for some men, especially men of normal size, their extra breast tissue could be glandular, and diet and exercise aren’t enough to correct the problem. If you haven’t achieved the chest shape you desire through a healthy diet and exercise, male breast reduction and re-contouring is an alternate option. An ideal candidate for gynecomastia treatment or any plastic surgery should:
- Be in relatively good health
- Desire to reduce excess breast tissue and reshape the pectoral area
- Exhibit a thorough understanding of the procedure and have realistic expectations of the results
Male Breast Reduction Recovery
Recovery time for male breast reduction surgery is relatively short compared to other plastic surgery procedures. Swelling, bruising and general discomfort are normal and to be expected following male breast reduction surgery, and they should subside within a few weeks. If excess skin is removed during your procedure, the doctor may insert a drainage tube under the skin on the chest to remove excess blood. The doctor will remove the drain once drainage decreases or stops completely. Patients need to wear an elastic garment or compression top for two to four weeks to help the chest maintain its new shape as the surgical site heals. Most patients can resume normal activities within four weeks of the procedure. Scarring is typically small and unnoticeable with this procedure and should gradually fade over time.