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Breast Surgery for Men

Gynecomastia is a growth of breast tissue or fat in the male breast. This can occur in the teen years or as an adult. It may be associated with hormone changes or weight gain. If it occurs in a young man, the patient should see their primary physician to look for a potential cause of the breast growth. Often in teens this will occur during development and slowly resolve over 1-2 years’ time. If it does not resolve, it can be treated with male breast reduction surgery. Depending on the amount of breast tissue, breast skin and the characteristics of the tissue, either liposuction or surgical excision, or a combination of these procedures, is performed.

A fatty male breast can often be treated with liposuction alone through several one centimeter incisions. If there is fibrous breast tissue present, an incision through the areola may be required to remove this tissue which liposuction alone cannot remove. Some men have an excess of skin as well which may require larger incisions to give them the best result. Insurance may cover this procedure, often dependent on the extent of the breast enlargement. A letter may be sent to the insurance company for pre-approval of the procedure.

The surgery is approximately 1-3 hours depending on the severity of the breast enlargement. It is performed under general or local anesthesia in an outpatient hospital setting. An ace wrap with special padding will be worn after the surgery to decrease swelling and bruising. This will be continued for about one month. Return to work is usually within 4-14 days, depending on the extent of surgery required. Drains will not be needed if only liposuction and a small excision are performed.