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Gynecomatia Surgery


The medical term for excessive breast development in men is Gynecomastia. There are varying degrees of this excessive development ranging from a slight protrusion of the nipple complex to a fully shaped breast that is the equivalent of a female C cup size. Regardless of the amount of breast development most men prefer to have none. Even the slightest appearance of a breast form can become embarrassing for many men. Once their breast outline can be seen protruding beneath a tight t-shirt some men will never wear one for fear of being the brunt of jokes about their masculinity. And for these men going bare chested in public is totally out of the question. Of course, the problem is multiplied many times for those men with an even more obvious breast form. 

There are two basic causes of Gynecomastia. Rarely it is the result of a hormonal imbalance with an excessive production of the hormone responsible for breast development in the female. If this form of Gynecomastia is suspected a thorough medical exam is needed to rule out the existence of a tumor that is producing this hormone. If a tumor is discovered then it must be treated first in order to reverse the Gynecomastia. This form of Gynecomastia is characterized by an overdevelopment of a dense glandular tissue much like the milk forming tissue of the female breast. Far more commonly the cause of male breast overdevelopment stems from an abundance of fatty accumulation in the breast in conjunction with a small normal component of this glandular tissue. This is oftentimes associated with obesity but can also be present in men of normal weight.

Some men with a minimal problem will be able to achieve their desired chest form and eliminate the appearance of a female breast through exercise and diet. Of course, this requires that the cause of their Gynecomastia is indeed a fatty accumulation. It is always best to try diet and exercise  first but unfortunately many times these fail to produce the hoped for result. Even a small amount of fat located in the breast can be difficult if not impossible to eliminate via such conservative measures. For those with a more pronounced problem, in addition to the fat accumulation they have to contend with an excess of breast skin. The build up of fat in the breast will eventually stretch the skin of the breast. This skin excess will not spontaneously shrink once the fat goes. Gynecomastia is resistant to weight loss and those that are larger size with the aforementioned excess breast skin require surgical intervention for treatment.


When diet fails to achieve the desired outcome for the smaller versions of Gynecomastia Liposuction presents an excellent alternative.  Liposuction is a minimally invasive surgical technique for removing unwanted body fat. These individuals have little to any stretching of their breast skin envelope. Therefore, once the fat has been extracted by Liposuction the skin of their breast will retract to the desired flat contour and the problem cured. In addition, the scarring inherent in Liposuction is so minimal that there will be virtually no evidence of the surgery left on the patients’ chest. This is the quintessential excellent result in the treatment of Gynecomastia. In other words, these men are the ideal candidates for surgical correction of Gynecomastia.

When the male breast enlargement approaches the size and shape of a well formed (B to C cup) female breast surgical correction must not only address the breast contents but the skin envelope as well. The breast contents can be surgically removed by scalpel excision and or liposuction. That is the easy part. The excess skin must then be removed and this inevitably will result in scarring. There are various forms of scar patterns that can result from the effort to tailor this skin. One pattern attempts to confine the scarring to the perimeter of the areola, the dark circle around the nipple. If this scar blends well it will result in an excellent cosmetic result. Be forewarned that there is no predicting the final appearance of any scar. Men with larger breasts opting for surgical correction must be willing to accept these scars as tradeoff or not undergo the surgery. In my experience, regardless of the nature of the scars men with significant Gynecomastia prefer the scars to the appearance of having female breasts.

When only Liposuction is needed to defat the breast the operation can be completed in one to two hours under a general anesthetic. The patient wears an elastic t-shirt for 48 hours that applies pressure to the chest thereby reducing postoperative swelling and bleeding. At that point this garment can be discarded and showering is permissible. Even at this early point in the recovery an improvement in the chest contour can be seen. However, because of the bruising and swelling also present at that moment the final outcome is still in doubt. It requires a full three months after surgery for these elements to resolve in order to accurately evaluate ones results. Post operative pain is easily controlled throughout with analgesics that are generally unnecessary for days 3 to 5 days post-op. Most patients can return to sedentary occupations after 48 hours. More vigorous activities the equivalent of an athletic workout can begin again 2 weeks after surgery.


Recovery is somewhat different when there is a component of skin excess that must be addressed as well as the excessive breast contents. In these cases the incision lines must be protected and there may also be a need for tubes called drains. These drains are positioned under the skin of the breast and are designed to remove a fluid that forms in this location. They can usually be removed within the first week. Showering is possible once the drains are removed as well as returning to work at relatively sedentary occupations. More vigorous occupations and athletic endeavors most be postponed for three weeks to allow adequate time for the skin incisions to heal. Postoperative pain requiring analgesics lasts for 3 to 5 days on average. Again, it requires around three months from the date of the operation to appreciate the full effects of the surgery.


As with all operations complications can happen. Problems with infections and postoperative bleeding do occur but are rare. In the more pronounced cases of Gynecomastia there can be circulatory problems with the remaining skin and nipple leading to extended healing in these areas. If this occurs additional corrective surgery may be necessary.


Though the above information is accurate, it is also incomplete. The best way to determine that you are a candidate for Gynecomastia Surgery (Male Breast Reduction surgery) and the cost of Gynecomastia Surgery (cost of Male Breast Reduction Surgery) is to schedule a personal consultation with Board Certified Chicago Plastic Surgeon, Dr. David A. Ross of the Liposuction and Cosmetic Surgery Institute located in Chicago, Oak Brook, Naperville or Arlington Heights, Illinois. Dr. David A. Ross can critically analyze your chest and evaluate your aesthetic desires, that way Chicago Plastic Surgeon, Dr. David A. Ross can form a plan to determine how to achieve your aesthetic goals.