Breast Reduction for Men (Gynecomastia)

Treatment information

Many men develop woman-like breasts. With a breast reduction for men, the fat and/or gland tissue from the breasts, and in some cases also skin, is removed, resulting in a flatter and firmer chest.

Generally about the treatment

Gynecomastia is the medical term for male breast development. It origins from Greek and means womanly breasts.

An American study shows that 40-60 % of American men are struck with gynecomastia. It can affect a single breast or both breasts. Although some medicine is thought to be connected to the development of breast tissue in males, there is no knowledge of what causes the main part of the cases.

For men, who wish to act upon this, a surgical breast reduction can help with the problem. The purpose of a male breast reduction is to remove fat and/or gland tissue from the breasts, and in some rare cases - excess skin. This procedure results in a flatter and firmer chest, along with a more appealing male breast contour. If the nipple is large, it too can be reduced during the same operation.

Suitability

The best-suited candidate for male breast reduction surgery is a healthy man of normal or slightly above normal weight, of any age, with elastic skin, and who's mentally stable.

The procedure

If the excess gland tissue is the primary cause for the male breast development, this will be cut with a scalpel. The removal will either be carried out solely or in connection with liposuction.

During normal procedures, the cut will be placed in a less noticeable area, under the arm or at the areola edge. Areola is the dark area surrounding the nipple. Via this cut, the surgeon will then remove excess gland tissue, fat, and skin.

As a general rule, the size of the cut will be determined by the amount of removed fat and gland tissue. In cases of liposuction being used to remove excess fat, the liposuction canula will most often be inserted through the existing cut.

In cases when the patient's breast tissue mostly consists of fat, the surgeon will prefer the use of liposuction. Here, the doctor will insert the canula, which is fastened to a vacuum pump, through a cut along the edge of areola or under the arm. The canula is then pushed back and forth through the layer of fat in order to release the fat cells and to then suck them out.

Read more about liposuction techniques here.

In rare cases where large amounts of fat or gland tissue need to be removed, the skin may not adjust to the new, smaller breast contour after the surgery, in which it will become necessary to cut away excess skin.

Anaesthesia

The operation is normally carried out under local sedation, using soothing medicine. In some cases, general anaesthesia will be used. The procedure is most often done ambulant, but hospitalisation may be necessary in rare cases.

Side-effects

Temporary discomfort, contusion (bruising), numbness in the breasts, soreness, and burning sensations.

Risk of complications

Loss of fluid or excess fluid collecting. Friction burns or other damages to the skin or nerves. Poor cosmetic result - uneven surface or asymmetry in the breasts or nipples. Change of pigmentation in the chest area.

If excess skin removal is part of the surgery, there will be a risk of large, unsightly scars.

There is a risk of side effects from the anaesthetic used, along with bleeding, poor wound healing, a poor cosmetic result, and blood accumulation.

No form of surgery is risk free, although severe complications are very rare.

Healing and recovery

Work can be resumed after 3-7 days. Intensive exercise and sports can usually be continued after 2-3 weeks. Blood effusion and swelling will normally disappear completely after 3-6 months.

Duration of the result

1-2 hours or more, depending of character and extent.