Gynecomastia is a condition where men develop excess glandular breast and fat tissue on the chest. In some cases, men also experience puffy nipples and loose skin. Gynecomastia can be psychologically and physically harmful to the individual. Men are often so embarrassed by their condition that it gets in the way of daily living.
Gynecomastia surgery removes excess fat, skin, and/or glandular tissue from the male chest. With this treatment, patients can achieve a more firm and masculine chest contour and enhance their quality of life.
What Can Gynecomastia Surgery Do?
Remove Excess Breast Tissue
Gynecomastia removes excess breast tissue from the male chest to eliminate the appearance of what some call “man boobs.” Male breasts are not only frustrating aesthetically, but they can also be uncomfortable and cause breast pain.
Create a Masculine Appearance
Breasts are most commonly associated with a feminine appearance. By removing excess male breast tissue, gynecomastia surgery helps provide patients with a more masculine chest contour.
When men suffer from gynecomastia, their self-esteem often significantly decreases, as they are embarrassed by their chest appearance. Once the chest is more firm and flat, men are left with an appearance they can feel confident in.
What Does Gynecomastia Surgery Entail?
During your consultation with one of our board-certified Birmingham plastic surgeons, you will receive a physical evaluation to determine if you are a candidate for gynecomastia surgery. You will also discuss your goals for the procedure so that your surgeon can develop a personalized surgical plan based on your needs.
How Is Gynecomastia Surgery Performed?
Since the appearance of male breasts is commonly caused by excess fat tissue on the chest, gynecomastia is often treated with liposuction techniques. Small incisions are made along the natural crease below the breast. A thin tube, also known as a cannula, is inserted under the skin to suction away unwanted fat.
When gynecomastia is more extensive, excess skin and/or glandular tissue can be removed using excision techniques.
Addressing Your Concerns About Gynecomastia Surgery
What Is Recovery After Male Breast Reduction Like?
For the first week or so after the procedure, you may experience pain and discomfort. However, pain medication can be taken as needed.
Most men can return to work within a week of their gynecomastia surgery. Exercise and other strenuous activities should be avoided for at least four weeks.
Will I Have Scarring After Gynecomastia Surgery?
Since only small incisions are made during the surgery, scarring is minimal and will be camouflaged by the natural contours of the chest. Gynecomastia scars will also fade over time.
How Much Does Gynecomastia Surgery Cost in Birmingham?
The cost of male breast reduction surgery in Birmingham, Alabama, depends on the surgical techniques used for the procedure, anesthesia fees, surgeon fees, and facility fees. A consultation with Dr. Oliver or Dr. Jack will help you determine a more specific financial estimate for your procedure.
Does Insurance Cover Male Breast Reduction Surgery?
Since gynecomastia is a medication condition that often needs treatment, some insurance policies cover some or all of the procedure. Contact your insurance company for specific information regarding your coverage.
Is Gynecomastia Surgery Painful?
Gynecomastia surgery is typically performed using local anesthesia to ensure you are not in any pain throughout the procedure. However, in more extensive cases, male breast reduction may need to be performed under general anesthesia, where you will be asleep and feel no pain during the surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is caused by a decrease in testosterone and an increase in estrogen in men. These hormone levels can be affected by certain medications, marijuana, CBD, steroids, alcohol, weight gain, and health conditions.
Can you reduce gynecomastia naturally?
Losing weight can reduce the breasts to some degree if most of the excess tissue is fat (known as pseudogynecomastia). Refraining from the use of drugs and alcohol may also help if these habits caused your gynecomastia. However, the best gynecomastia treatment for those with significant excess glandular tissue and skin is often surgery.
For more information about gynecomastia causes and treatments, read our blog on how to get rid of male breast enlargement.
Am I a candidate for gynecomastia surgery?
Candidates for gynecomastia surgery are men experiencing the negative effects of enlarged male breasts. Good candidates are in generally good health, are at or near their ideal body weight, do not smoke, and have realistic expectations of their results.
Are there any medications I should avoid before surgery?
Before undergoing male breast reduction, you should avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications (such as aspirin or ibuprofen) and blood-thinning medications or supplements. During your consultation, please let your surgeon know what medications you are currently taking to determine if they are safe to take leading up to your surgery.
How long does gynecomastia surgery take to perform?
The length of your gynecomastia surgery depends on which surgical techniques are used and the amount of correction needed. Generally, gynecomastia surgery takes one to two hours to complete.
When will I notice results from gynecomastia surgery?
Results from male breast reduction are visible immediately. However, you will need to wait for bruising and swelling to subside to fully enjoy your results.
What are the risks associated with gynecomastia surgery?
Male breast reduction is a generally safe plastic surgery procedure. However, with any surgery, potential complications are present. These risks include:
- Blood clots
- Anesthesia risks
Please speak with Dr. Oliver or Dr. Jack during your consultation if you are concerned about the risks associated with gynecomastia surgery.
Is gynecomastia surgery different from breast reduction for females?
While both procedures remove excess breast tissue, the techniques for male breast reduction and female breast reduction differ. Liposuction alone can reduce male breasts in many cases (especially for pseudogynecomastia treatment), but it is rarely enough to reduce women’s breasts. The incisions for breast reduction in women are also generally longer, and specialized techniques are used to achieve a natural, youthful breast shape.