A male breast reduction, or gynecomastia surgery, or a reduction mammaplasty, removes the excess breast tissue and enhances the appearance of the chest. This could include a number of different techniques including the direct excision of breast tissue, direct excision of skin, and/or liposuction of the chest.
Gynecomastia is an enlargement of breasts in men. This can occur at any age and can be from hormone changes, age-related changes, obesity or use of certain drugs. It can significantly affect your self-image. Many guys with gynecomastia hesitate to take off their shirt. Gynecomastia can include the development of firm breast tissue, subcutaneous fat and/or excess breast skin.
What is Involved in a Typical Male Breast Reduction?
A typical male breast reduction is a combination of functional and aesthetic procedures. Functionally, the glandular breast tissue is removed, usually through an incision at the junction of your areola and chest wall skin. This tends to be a very well hidden scar. Aesthetically, Dr. Robin Evans—our experienced plastic surgeon near Vancouver—often performs liposuction of the chest wall to help improve the contour postoperatively. If there is a significant amount of excess skin, then he will need to directly excise this. This is not very common.
Am I a Candidate for a Male Breast Reduction?
When you come for your consultation, we will assess you and determine what type of breast reduction is right for you. A good candidate for male breast reduction is someone who is a non-smoker, is physically healthy and has a relatively stable weight, and is bothered by the appearance of their chest.
What Can I do to Get Ready for a Male Breast Reduction?
Being a non-smoker is very important to having a good outcome. You should also avoid medications that increase bleeding such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and certain herbal medications for at least 2 weeks before the operation. Being at a stable weight will also help you have the best outcome possible.
Recovery from a Male Breast Reduction
After your operation, your breasts will be numb secondary to the local anesthetic used. This lasts for 6-8 hours. You will be given pain medication appropriate to your operation. We will fit you with a compression garment that you will need to wear for 6 weeks. This is an important part of your recovery and helps you to have the best outcome possible. As well, it helps reduce the risk of hematoma or a collection of blood. Occasionally we use drains that are taken out the first week after the operation. This also helps prevent a hematoma. Finally, we ask that you don’t do any heavy lifting (>10 lbs) for 3 weeks after your operation to also help reduce the risk of hematoma. We will teach you techniques to make your scars look as best as possible.