What it is

Often called gynecomastia surgery, male breast reduction surgery corrects the condition known as gynecomastia in men by reducing breast size, flattening the chest, and enhancing chest contours.


Ideal candidates for gynecomastia surgery are men who suffer from gynecomastia, the abnormal development of mammary glands, which may produce sagging breasts and stretched areolas due to excess breast tissue.  Gynecomastia most commonly occurs during puberty but can also occur from hormone secreting tumors, prescribed medications, anabolic steroid use, habitual marijuana use, and alcoholism to name a few.


Men receiving gynecomastia surgery will be administered general anesthesia. If the gynecomastia is mainly caused by a surplus of fatty tissue, liposuction techniques may be used in the gynecomastia surgery; commonly in liposuction, several small incisions are made and a thin, hollow tube, a cannula, is inserted to loosen fat, which is vacuumed out of the body. If the patient’s gynecomastia is related to hard,dense nipple bud tissue, then direct excision through an incision around the areola must be performed. Rarely must a patient require skin excision in gynecomastia surgery. The results of gynecomastia surgery are usually permanent.


In the unusual instance that complications from gynecomastia surgery occur, they are usually minor. Possible risks include infection, skin injury, excessive bleeding or fluid loss, and fluid accumulation. Scarring from gynecomastia surgery is common, though most of it will be hidden in the natural contours of the patient’s body. There may be permanent or temporary loss of nipple sensation as a result of gynecomastia surgery. Any asymmetries persisting in the breasts after gynecomastia surgery can be corrected with a subsequent procedure.


Gynecomastia surgery patients will need help around the house for a day or two following the procedure. A small, thin tube to drain excess blood or fluid may be placed under the skin of a gynecomastia patient temporarily. Dressings or bandages will be applied after gynecomastia surgery and a gynecomastia surgery recipient will be asked to wear an elastic support garment for 6 weeks to decrease swelling. Bruising will be evident after gynecomastia surgery, but will fade. Most gynecomastia surgery patients return to work within a week following the procedure. Sexual activity can be resumed a week or two after gynecomastia surgery, and gynecomastia surgery recipients are encouraged to avoid heavy exercise for four weeks after gynecomastia surgery. Gynecomastia surgery patients should avoid activities that cause blows to the chest for four weeks following the procedure as well as take care to shade their chests from the sun for one year, lest the pigmentation of the gynecomastia surgery scars darken with the exposure to sunlight.