Gynecomastia is the medical term referring to males who have excessive breast tissue. During adolescence, with changes in hormone levels, up to half of males undergo temporary breast tissue growth that resolves in the majority of cases. However, many men are still afflicted with persistent gynecomastia. The cause is hereditary or external factors such as certain medications, most notoriously steroids, other hormonal modulators, and some psychological drugs. Patients complain about self-consciousness especially without a shirt on as they often get teased. Although generally benign, there is a small chance that breast cancer could develop in the tissue. After the procedure, patients are extremely satisfied with the results as there is an immediate elimination of the breast tissue, a significant improvement in contour of the chest, and an increase in self-image.
There are different methods for treatment depending on the degree of gynecomastia and amount of breast tissue desiring to be removed. If you have mild to moderate deformity, then simple Liposuction should be able to treat your symptoms. Basically a blunt cannula is used to extract and remove the excess breast tissue with tiny incisions. This also helps sculpt the chest region for an improved contour. If you have a larger deformity, then an excision of the breast tissue is required. The incision is created around the areola, thus hiding the scar around the natural change in pigment. The excess fatty tissue is then removed from this incision and closed. In severe cases, not only is there excess fatty tissue but extra skin as well. This may require an additional incision in the skin to excise the residual skin, similar to the female Breast Reduction. During your consultation, Dr. Tsai will present you with all the possible options in detail and work with you to individualize treatment according to your specific goals and expectations to provide you with the best possible result.
Depending on which technique is to be preformed, male breast reduction typically takes 1-2 hours to complete. Surgery is done under general anesthesia (fully asleep) in the adjacent surgicenter. Patients return home the same day as the procedure so transportation will need to be arranged. Your first checkup will be the following day in clinic. Bandages are removed several days after the procedure and patients usually return to normal daily activities within 1-2 weeks. Pain is tolerated with prescribed oral pain medication. Exercise is resumed approximately 4-6 weeks after the procedure.
For more information, photos, and videos, please refer to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website for Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)