Enlarged male breasts, a condition that is also called gynecomastia, affects up to 65% of men at some point in life. While the issue is often temporary and goes away after puberty, some men cannot get rid of it due to genetics or a hormonal issue. Here at The MedSpa at Burlington Plastic Surgery, we can help patients achieve a flat, chiseled chest with a process called male breast reduction or gynecomastia surgery.
Gynecomastia at a Glance
4 – 6 weeks to resume exercise/strenuous activities
Local Anesthesia if a Candidate
What Is Gynecomastia Surgery?
Gynecomastia surgery, also known as male breast reduction, is a surgical procedure that involves making an incision around part of the areola, removing excess fat with liposuction and excising excess breast glandular tissue. The aim is to permanently get rid of the cells that are causing the enlarged breasts, so the patient does not have to come back for treatment later on.
Because this procedure is somewhat invasive, not everybody is eligible. You will be assessed at your initial consultation to determine whether you are a good candidate for this procedure.
Many teenage boys experience enlarged breasts due to the fluctuation of hormones. But while the condition usually disappears within a few months or years, some men experience it at a later age. The main reason why patients suffer from excess tissue is that they are overweight, but there are other factors that influence the amount of fat in the breasts.
For instance, some people have a genetic predisposition, while others have problems with their hormonal balance. When you come to the clinic, your surgeon will determine if you are a good candidate for gynecomastia surgery.
How Treatment Works
Breast reduction surgery isn’t for everyone, and at your initial consultation, your provider will tell you what the treatment entails. This procedure is generally performed under general anesthesia. However, local anesthesia can sometimes be enough, especially if the surgeon is only removing a small or moderate amount of fat from the patient’s body. Liposuction is used to remove any excess fat in the breast area. An incision is made as small as a quarter of the circumference of the areola in order to remove any remaining excess breast glandular tissue. The incisions are then closed, and you will be required to wear a compression vest post-operatively for optimal results.
Before you come to the clinic for your operation, you will need to adhere to some guidelines. If you are a smoker, your surgeon will tell you to stop consuming nicotine products several weeks prior to the treatment, since this substance can slow down the recovery process. In addition, people who take blood-thinning medication will need to pause this temporarily to prevent further risk of complications.
Most breast reduction operations take around 1.5 hours. As mentioned, you might be awake during the surgery, or you might be anesthetized. We will speak to you about your desired results before getting started, so we can tailor the surgery to your individual needs. Once you wake up, we will observe you for several hours.
Despite this, the recovery process is usually fast and easy. Most patients only need to take one week off work, although those who have a job that requires strenuous physical activity might need to take a longer break. In the beginning, you will need to wear a compression garment day and night for the best results.
The Expected Results
The results of breast reduction are immediate, and you will see the difference as soon as your surgeon is done. However, your bandages will remain on your chest for a few days, so you will not see the full effects until around two weeks after the operation. It also takes some time for swelling to go down to see your final results. Most people do not have large scars from this procedure because the surgeon makes cuts within the areola, which is dark and hides the incisions well.
Since fat cells do not re-grow in adults, you can expect the results of the treatment to be permanent. However, it is important to remember that your doctor will not remove all the tissue in your breasts. To preserve your results, you should aim to keep your weight steady and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Who Is This Right for?
During your initial consultation, your surgeon will speak to you about your medical history to see if you are a good candidate for gynecomastia surgery. Patients who are struggling with their weight and have not achieved their target BMI should wait to consider surgery until after their weight is stable.
Contrary to popular belief, breast reduction surgery for men is not meant to be a weight-loss treatment. Instead, it is designed for people who cannot lose the excess tissue with simple dietary changes and an increase in physical activity. Your surgeon will speak to you about how long you have been suffering from this condition and what other methods you have tried to make sure that surgery is the right method for you.
Get Rid of Excess Tissue in the Chest Now
Men who suffer from gynecomastia often feel self-conscious and unhappy about their appearance. Male breast reduction is a great method of permanently getting rid of enlarged breasts. If you are worried about the look of your chest, contact us at The MedSpa at Burlington Plastic Surgery today to schedule your initial consultation (link underlined words to “book consultation”) with Dr. Jessica Shih.