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Male Breast Reduction

Model - Male Breast Reduction

Breast reduction surgery is widely known as a solution for women burdened by large breasts. However, it may surprise you to learn that an increasing number of men are electing to undergo breast reduction, as well. In recent years, male breast reduction has become a procedure more frequently requested of our plastic surgeons, as many men suffer from oversized male breasts. While others might jokingly call them "man boobs," this condition is often caused by gynecomastia. At Houston Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, we understand your concerns. If you're enduring the embarrassment and frustration that often comes with this condition, male breast reduction at our Houston and Webster, TX, practice may provide a dramatic improvement to your body as well as your self-esteem.

The first step in your journey to getting a more masculine chest is requesting a consultation with our HPRS surgeons. Patients concerned about gynecomastia come to our Webster, or Houston locations for consultations. Use the online form, or give us a call at (281) 282-9555 to schedule an appointment. You can also learn more about each of our locations.

Gynecomastia Before-and-After Photos

Gynecomastia before photo Before
Gynecomastia after photo After

This 21-year-old patient is in good overall shape, but had overly developed breasts (gynecomastia). Our surgeons performed excision surgery using a periareolar incision to remove excess glandular tissue. See additional before-and-after photos of our male breast reduction patients.

What Is Gynecomastia?

As many as 70% of adolescent boys develop gynecomastia because of normal hormonal changes that occur during early and mid-puberty. Gynecomastia, or male breast enlargement, can be the source of embarrassment and low self-esteem for teenaged boys and young men. The condition is also common among middle-aged and elderly men, with up to 65% of men in this population developing gynecomastia at some point in life.

For adolescents who develop gynecomastia due to hormonal imbalances that occur during puberty, it's unlikely for the condition to persist beyond 2 years. In some cases, it resolves within 6 months or so. But for boys whose breasts remain enlarged beyond age 17, the chances of gynecomastia going away on its own are low. Gynecomastia is linked to taking certain medications, including anabolic steroids. Some research also indicates that smoking marijuana can lead to enlarged male breast tissue.

Good Candidates for Male Breast Reduction

For teenagers and men whose breast enlargement persists, male breast reduction may be the best approach for treating gynecomastia. The best candidates for a male breast reduction procedure are in good overall health and at a stable weight they can comfortably maintain. Other characteristics of good candidates for gynecomastia treatment:

  • Unhappy with the appearance of the chest
  • Have already spoken with primary care doctor about nonsurgical treatments
  • A nonsmoker who does not use drugs
  • Stable chest size

Not all males with overly developed breasts have gynecomastia. A condition called pseudogynecomastia can resemble male breast enlargement when an individual gains excessive weight.

Male breast reduction graphic
Male breast reduction graphic Male breast reduction graphic Male breast reduction graphic

Your Male Breast Reduction Procedure

Our surgeons, who specialize in treating gynecomastia, create a surgical plan to address your specific condition following an extensive consultation. The consultation will include both a physical exam and a discussion of your concerns and aesthetic goals for the procedure. All patients are screened with laboratory blood tests to rule out medical causes of gynecomastia. The specific nature of your surgery depends on the cause of gynecomastia. A local anesthetic with sedation is often used during the procedure, but general anesthesia may be more appropriate in certain cases.

Male breast reduction surgery typically involves liposuction techniques, as well, if the primary reason for the breast enlargement is excessive fatty tissue. During liposuction, the surgeon makes several very small incisions and then insert a thin, hollow tube — called a cannula — through the incisions. The cannula then breaks up the fat and suctions it from the body.

For patients whose enlarged breasts developed because of excess glandular tissue (as opposed to fat), our surgeons may perform excision surgery to remove the tissue. This procedure involves making an incision at the edge of the areola (the darker skin surrounding the nipple). It can be performed alone or combined with liposuction for the best possible results. Our surgeons may also reduce the size of the nipple and reposition it to create a more masculine look for your chest.

Learn About Gynecomastia Surgery

(Warning: Video contains some graphic images)

This video shows male breast reduction surgery being performed on a patient who developed gynecomastia after taking anabolic steroids when he was younger. The patient is then shown 5 weeks after the procedure.

Male Breast Reduction Recovery

Recovery following any surgical procedure varies from patient to patient, but it's important to follow the postoperative instructions provided. This will help minimize your discomfort and enhance the healing process. Expect some swelling and bruising immediately after the procedure. It can take as little as a few weeks to fully resolve, but some residual swelling may persist beyond that timeframe. The final results of your procedure may not be completely apparent for 2 or 3 months.

Care is taken to make incisions as small and as inconspicuous as possible to minimize scarring. The size and location of your incisions will depend on whether your procedure involved liposuction or surgical excision (or both). It's important to protect your incision from the sun as much as possible; this helps to prevent scars from darkening.

Returning to Work

Depending on the extent of the surgery and your general physical condition before the operation, you may be able to return to non-strenuous work within a week of surgery. If your job requires any type of heavy lifting, you may need to take 2 to 3 weeks off.

Resuming Exercise

Patients should wait about 2 to 3 weeks before resuming light exercise, beginning with a focus on the lower body. After a month or so, you can gradually start performing chest exercises to build up muscle strength. It's important to listen to your body and not try to do too much, too soon.

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