In cases of obesity, weight loss can alter the gynecomastic condition, but for many it will not eliminate it. For all other causes, surgery is the only known physical remedy. Today gynecomastia can be effectively treated so that a man no longer has to be embarrassed to remove his shirt. It is important however for men with gynecomastia first to consult a physician to rule out any underlying health concerns.
Is Surgery The Right Choice For Me?
A man who feels self-conscious about his breasts may want them reduced. The benefits of male breast reduction surgery are both physical and psychological. When a man is rid of unattractive, sagging breasts, his more defined pectoralis muscles, previously hidden, show through like they should. Shirts fit much better, and can even be fitted or body-hugging.
This breast reduction is permanent but its results may be compromised in significantly overweight men. If you are overweight, you should try to get within 15-20 kg (30-40 lbs) of your ideal body weight.
Treatment depends on what is causing the problem. Treatment options can be any of the following:
- Excess Fat – This is found in almost every gynecomastia patient. Excess fat is centered around the nipple/areola but usually involves the entire chest, and can usually be removed with liposuction (best coupled with VASER Lipolysis) alone. You can expect the skin to shrink back after the fat is removed and a good result is obtained.
- Excess Fat and Breast Tissue – All men have breast tissue, the same breast tissue as women but less of it. In gynecomastia, the excess breast tissue typically is located right under the nipple/areola and is enlarged. Liposuction alone usually will not adequately remove this tissue. It needs to be surgically cut out.
- Excess Fat, Breast Tissue, and Skin – As above, after the fat and breast tissue are removed, the skin usually will shrink back and a flat result will be obtained. There are times when the skin does not shrink back and it needs to be excised.
You will probably be very sore for the first week. You may experience some numbness. Bruising is normal and will subside in 2-4 weeks. Breast asymmetry is normal for the first 6 weeks.
Some men with sedentary jobs go back to work after 3 days. Most return to work in about one week. If your job requires lifting or significant arm movements, you may have to wait up to 2 weeks before returning to work. It can take 3-12 months for skin contraction to be complete.
The most common complication after male breast reduction is asymmetry or incomplete removal of breast tissue. While all breasts have some asymmetry, in men this is not as noticeable as it is in women. A male breast reduction can correct asymmetry but it is unreasonable to expect both breasts to be identical.
With liposuction alone, loss of nipple sensation is unusual but possible and returns in a few months. With a surgical procedure, nipple sensation rarely returns. Other complications that must be considered are the risks of infection, wound healing problems, fluid or blood collection, and contour irregularities.