Gynecomastia, the condition of enlarged breasts in males, is a widely occurring problem that affects over half the male population in the United States. It’s an issue we address with male breast reduction surgery at our Boston plastic surgery practice.
While gynecomastia is a common occurrence in teenage boys, the condition often disappears by adulthood and is not a cause of concern. Gynecomastia in adult men or older teenagers, however, though mostly benign and medically non-threatening, can be a lifelong source of shame, embarrassment and even ridicule.
What is gynecomastia caused by?
Caused by either fat deposits or excessive glandular tissue or both, the presence of male breasts can make life miserable for otherwise personable and attractive men; even simple, everyday actions like undressing in a gym or taking off a shirt at the beach can be extremely embarrassing and humiliating.
While for some men the problem may be hereditary, or caused by a chronic disease, endocrine imbalance or aging, gynecomastia can also occur as a consequence of extended use of anti-depressants, marijuana, blood-pressure medications and certain steroids.
Can you get rid of gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia correction, the surgical reduction of male breasts, can be a life-changing intervention for men who suffer from this condition. The surgery is especially effective in the case of adult men who are fit, active, not overweight, and for whom exercise has not been effective in reducing the excess fatty deposits.
What happens during male breast reduction surgery?
The surgery is usually done under local anesthesia with deep sedation. Since the excess breast tissue is most often a combination of fatty deposits and glandular tissue, the procedure usually involves removal of the fatty tissue by liposuction, as well as direct excision of glandular tissue with a scalpel.
In the hands of an experienced plastic surgeon, the procedure is simple and straightforward. Depending on whichever site is best for a specific case, a small incision is made either at the edge of the aureola, the colored portion around the nipple, or at the side of the breast, in the underarm region. Working through this incision, the surgeon first trims off excess glandular tissue, accessible fat and extra skin to reduce the breast to the desired contour and flatness. In cases of major reduction, depending on the amount of tissue to be removed, the incision might be relatively larger.
For the liposuction, a cannula, a slim cylindrical tube, is inserted through the same incision to reach the underside of the skin where fatty deposits have built up. A vacuum pump works to break down the fat and suction it out through the cannula. The re-contoured breast is then sutured down at the incision to leave a tiny, almost invisible scar. The procedure is repeated for the other breast. In some cases, a separate incision might have to be made to remove excess fluids through a drain.
Gynecomastia correction is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. The surgery normally takes around one and a half to two hours, and the patient is usually asked to begin walking the same day itself.
Summary: Gynecomastia, the condition of enlarged breasts in men, is a source of lifelong embarrassment and humiliation for a large percentage of the male population. Plastic surgery offers a remedy for this condition that can be life-changing: Gynecomastia correction is the surgical reduction of male breasts.
If you’re interested in male breast reduction surgery at our Boston plastic surgery practice, use our online form to request a consultation or call us at (781) 237-7700.