Male Breast Reduction
Gynecomastia, commonly known as enlarged breasts in men, accounts for the majority of breast disorders experienced by men today. Although enlarged breasts don't generally cause serious health risks for men, they do often have a very negative impact on self esteem and self confidence. Male breast reduction is becoming a popular option for men who are unhappy with the extra tissue and fat in their breast area.
Who is a Candidate for Male Breast Reduction?
Most men who suffer from gynecomastia and want to improve the look of their chest will be good potential candidates for male breast reduction. Men need to be at or close to their ideal weight. Ideally, candidates will have maintained their current weight for a year or more prior to surgery. Patients should preferentially be near the end of puberty to have the best results. Further medical workup for the cause of a patient's gynecomastia may be warranted. Non-smokers are the best candidates, but smokers can have this surgery as long as they stop smoking well in advance of the procedure.
Benefits of Male Breast Reduction
Male breast reduction surgery can give men a flatter chest and a more sculpted looking appearance. Many men say that the biggest benefit of male breast reduction surgery is the way that they feel about themselves afterwards. After male breast reduction surgery, men aren't afraid to pull their shirt off at the swimming pool or in the locker room. Clothes fit and look better, as well. This improvement in the chest may also help keep male breast reduction surgery patients motivated to exercise regularly to keep the whole body looking its best.
Male Breast Reduction Techniques
There are a couple of techniques that may be used. Liposuction, which suctions the fat directly out of the targeted area, is used in most patients. Liposuction is a good choice when the extra breast tissue is mainly fat and when the patient has good skin elasticity. In the more developed gynecomastia cases, some tissue excision may be needed as well. For the most serious gynecomastia cases, an en bloc resection may be needed. With the en bloc resection, the excessive tissue is removed, the nipples are grafted, and the loose skin is tightened.
Preparing for Male Breast Reduction
Patients will be provided with specific guidelines to help them prepare for male breast reduction surgery. Generally, this includes discontinuing certain prescription medications as directed by Dr. Rau, discontinuing use of anti-inflammatory drugs, discontinuing use of aspirin, and discontinuing herbal supplements and vitamin E. If patients smoke, they must stop smoking at least 2 weeks before the procedure.
The Male Breast Reduction Procedure
Patients usually have male breast reduction surgery on an outpatient basis. This surgery is done while the patient is under either IV sedation or general anesthesia. In patients who need only liposuction, Dr. Rau will create tiny incisions around the areola or in the armpits, and then suction the excess fat out. When extra glandular tissue must be removed, additional small incisions are made in the natural chest contours. This allows the tissue to be excised and leaves the most inconspicuous scars. Bandages are then used to completely cover incisions. Once fully awake from anesthesia, patients can return home to recover.
Recovery From Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Patients will wear a compression garment after surgery. This helps keep swelling at a minimum and keeps the incisions undisturbed as they heal. Pain medication is prescribed, but is usually needed for only a few days before the patient can transition to over the counter pain relief options. Most men are able to return to work after 1 to 2 weeks. Light exercise is usually permitted at about 4 weeks post-surgery, but most patients are advised to avoid weight training until around 8 weeks post-surgery.
Results: What to Expect
While there will be an obvious improvement as soon as the bandages are removed, it's important for patients to understand that final results take some time. Male breast reduction patients may not see the final chest shape and contour for 6 to 12 months after the surgery. Many men find that their chest area continues to look better and better over the months post-surgery. Results can also be improved with exercise and healthy diet.
Ready to Talk to a Doctor?
Ready to talk to a plastic surgeon about male breast reduction surgery? Dr. Jeffrey Rau and the team at Rau Plastic Surgery are happy to help. Call anytime to request a consultation for male breast reduction surgery.