Gynecomastia: Breast Reduction for Men
Gynecomastia is a common endocrine disorder in which there is a benign enlargement of breast tissue in males. It is very common in adolescence and again later in life and has been reported in up to 70% of males at some point during puberty. Often it will resolve, but persistence can be physically deforming and cause significant psychological stress.
Fortunately, gynecomastia is easily treatable with both liposuction and excisional techniques and seldom recurs.
About the Procedure:
- Length: 1.5 hours or more.
- Anesthesia: Light general. Usually outpatient surgery.
- Side Effects: Temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, soreness, burning sensation.
- Risk: Infection. Injury to the skin. Rippling or bagginess of skin. Asymmetry. Excessive scarring if tissue was cut away. Need for second procedure to remove additional tissue.
- Recovery: Tasks of daily living may be resumed immediately. Back to non-strenuous work (no lifting greater than 10 lbs) in 5 to 7 days. No strong pushing, pulling or repetitive upper body movements for 3 weeks.
- Exercise: Resume 1/3 intensity at 3 weeks. Low impact activities at 1/3 duration of exercise, repetitions, amount of weight and pulse rate. 2/3 intensity at 6 weeks. Full intensity including high impact (running, horse back riding, high impact aerobics) at 8 weeks.
- Fading & Scar Improvement: 6 to 12 months.
- Swelling: Moderate/Significant 4 weeks, Subtle/Mild 2 to 3 months, all of which are dependent upon extent of procedure(s).
- Duration of Results: Variable. Breast size may fluctuate with hormonal shifts, weight changes and pregnancy.
- Office Visits: 1st 3 to 5 days / 2nd Visit 10 to 14 days. Anticipated office visits: 4 to 5 the first 3 months then yearly.
- Garment Worn: Elastic support vest for 3 to 4 weeks.
- Pain Meds: Ibuprofen or Narcotics as needed.
First Consultation: Developing Expectations For a Natural Masculine Chest
Here at Boulder Plastic Surgery, our surgeons strive to find the best procedure for each patient. To help a patient decide on the proper breast reduction procedure, there are certain things the surgeon and patient need to do during the consultation, including:
- Review of medical history (including hereditary health issues and hormonal changes).
- Discuss patient’s desires regarding chest wall contouring.
- Examine the patient’s general health.
- Note the condition of the skin (the amount of breast tissues and the degree of sag present).
- Discuss surgical plan and anticipated outcome.
- Take preoperative photographs (once a patient decides upon a surgery) to assist with planning and executing the procedure.
- Discuss surgical fees and payment options.
We want to establish trust with our patients, which is why we will always be honest with our opinions regarding a certain procedure. If we believe you will benefit more from another procedure, we won’t hesitate to let you now. In terms of achieving a successful male breast reduction, a patient with a healthy body and mindset can improve his surgical results.
In a consultation, you are encouraged to express all of your concerns and questions. Our surgeons want to ensure they understand your specific needs regarding cosmetic surgery.
Preparing For Your Male Breast Reduction
To provide a problem-free and predictable recovery, Boulder Plastic Surgery takes the appropriate steps to prepare patients for cosmetic procedures. Here is how we prepare patients for surgery:
- Make arrangements to schedule surgery
- Provide specific instructions to confirm a patient’s surgery time and facility, as well as anesthesia schedule
- Ensure patient is following a proper diet and exercise plan
- Schedule timely medical evaluations to check on patient’s general health and wellness (this is necessary for faster recovery)
- Run routine blood counts, blood chemistries, electrocardiogram (if the patient is over the age of 50).
- Use preventative medicine as needed, also providing vitamin and herbal supplements a week or two ahead of time to boost the body’s immune system and detox the system of anything that could interfere with anesthesia or prescribed medications.
Boulder Plastic Surgery focuses on a holistic approach to maintaining good health and wellness for positive surgery outcomes. For a safe procedure, patients must disclose all medications and supplements they are taking.
Before surgery, do not do the following:
- Take any aspirin or drug containing aspirin at least two weeks prior to surgery – it can interfere with blood clotting mechanisms
- Eat or drink anything 8 hours prior to surgery – safety in the administration of anesthesia or sedation requires that your stomach be absolutely empty for this interval of time before surgery
Before the breast reduction procedure, we recommend patients shower or bathe the night before and wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing the day of surgery. Also, you should arrange for someone to drive you home at the appropriate time following the breast reduction procedure.
During Your Breast Reduction Surgery
We will mark your chest, depending on the approach, to use as guidelines during your surgery. Boulder Plastic Surgery customizes each surgery to accommodate a patient’s specific needs, because each breast has a variable amount of skin, glandular tissue and fat. The final outcome may require two procedures to achieve the desired shape and contour. We prefer to make shorter incisions and alter specific anatomic areas to produce a natural-looking appearance.
Surgical time usually ranges from 1-2 hours, depending on the technique chosen. In terms of the actual procedure, there is a set of operational steps, such as:
- Create incisions below the inferior border of the areola.
- Remove the excess of breast tissue directly
- Further contour the shape of the breast with liposuction techniques.
- Close all incisions.
Once the procedure is completed, you will be transferred to the designated recovery area until anesthesia wears off. Once you are in a comfortable state, the surgeon will examine the results and then let you rest in the recovery room for a few hours.
Note: Patients are prescribed pain medication and antibiotics to alleviate discomfort and reduce the risk of infection—instructions will be given for each.
Breast Reduction Recovery
In the days and early weeks after the breast reduction, areas of your skin may feel tight. Post-procedure swelling causes this tightness, as well as tension in the tissue, which is intended to help you achieve a more natural appearance. Once the swelling goes down, your chest muscles will be able to move more freely.
Besides a tight feeling, numbness will reside in other areas of the skin, lasting for a matter of weeks to months—and a tingling sensation may follow. Numerous areas of the chest might also feel lumpy or like they retained fluid, which is normal and will resolve in the first 4-6 weeks.
The sutures beneath the skin won’t require removal but will reabsorb in a matter of weeks or months, unlike the outer sutures that will be removed at different intervals.
Breast Reduction Risks, Limitations, & Possible Limitations
With any surgical procedure, a very small percentage of complications can occur. Many of these effects are very rare, but it’s important to be informed of all risks before a procedure no matter how unlikely.
- Minimal pain: Prescription pain medication can be provided to alleviate any discomfort.
- A feeling of tightness: This is usually in the area of the pectoral muscles and will resolve with stretching and time.
- Slightly red scars: The surgical scars usually heal and fade around 6 to 12 weeks. Try to avoid too much sun exposure.
- Significant bleeding: This can occur postoperatively in 2-5% of patients and is recognized by a significant increase of swelling in a single breast. Swelling is usually accompanied by an increase in bruising in the same area, as well as increased pain. Please contact our office immediately if these problems arise.
- Delayed healing or partial loss of skin: If areas of circulation to the skin are compromised, delayed healing or partial loss of skin may occur. This issue is usually apparent by the appearance of crusting or blistering on the skin’s surface. Most cases are easily treated with wound care, and if larger areas of skin are affected, we may recommend additional procedures.
- Asymmetry: To correct excessive tissue and sagging with a breast reduction, our surgeons will resculpt and remove excess tissue exactly to the same degree on both sides, but the operation does not achieve perfect symmetry.
- Infection: It is rare, but infection can occur. Infection is easily treatable with antibiotics, which are prescribed beforehand, or the surgeon can drain the localized area of infection.
- Reaction to drugs administered during surgery: Severe side effects are extremely rare, but can be life threatening. It is for this reason that our staff performs your surgery in the best medical setting where all conceivable equipment and medical backup are available in case of a severe reaction.
Estimated Male Reduction Cost
The average estimate for a breast reduction is $5,600 to $7,600, which includes the surgeon, operating room, and anesthesia. Additional costs may exist if a second surgical procedure is required (for example, removal of excess skin and changing nipple position or shape).
To get specific details and pricing for a male reduction procedure, contact us at Boulder Plastic Surgery by calling (303) 578-4193 or stop by our office at 2525 4th Street in Boulder, CO. Our staff will set you up with a consultation so you can ask our doctors all of the questions you have in person.
“Thank you for all that you have done for me. I admire you work ethic and how much your practice has grown. You are a credit to your profession, and a man with tremendous charisma! I feel very lucky to have you as a surgeon.” DM