Gynecomastia Surgery - Male Breast Reduction in Plymouth, Minnesota
Male breast enlargement, or gynecomastia, is a condition that can affect teenagers, young, and middle-aged men. It can cause self-consciousness and embarrassment, particularly at the beach, the gym, or any other place where you might go without a shirt.
Fortunately, excess breast tissue in males can be corrected through surgery. For more information about male breast reduction surgery and to schedule a consultation, contact Dr. George H. Landis in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area at (952) 562-5940.
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What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a medical condition marked by the presence of too much male breast tissue. This tissue may take the form of excess fat, but in some cases, men affected by gynecomastia also have more glandular tissue than normal. Contrary to popular belief, a man does not have to be overweight or out of shape to develop gynecomastia. This condition has numerous potential causes, many of which are not directly related to lifestyle factors. Some of the most common causes of gynecomastia are as follows:
- Hereditary traits
- Hormonal changes, especially age-related decreases in testosterone
- Medications and drugs, including steroids
- Health conditions such as kidney or liver failure, tumors, and hypogonadism
- Dietary supplements
- Weight fluctuations
Most men experience breast enlargement during adolescence, but develop slimmer contours during their 20s as their hormones stabilize. For some men, however, breast enlargement persists into adulthood. If you are over the age of 25 and still have fuller breasts than average, male breast reduction surgery may be right for you.
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Am I a Good Candidate for Gynecomastia Surgery?
Before we decide whether gynecomastia surgery is right for you, you must be sure that your condition is not related to the use of medications or other significant health issues. Sometimes the treatment of medical problems or changing your medications may correct the problem without surgery. If you are overweight, we recommend improving your diet and exercise habits before considering surgery. Often this condition can be resolved by maintaining healthy body weight. However, if these factors are not causing your breast enlargement, you may be a good candidate for gynecomastia surgery. Ideal candidates for this procedure share the following traits:
- In good overall health
- Not significantly overweight
- Good skin tone and elasticity
- Have realistic expectations regarding the outcome of the surgery
Before you have breast reduction surgery, you may need to make certain lifestyle adjustments. If you smoke, we’ll ask you to stop smoking for at least three weeks before and after your procedure. (Wearing a nicotine patch is permissible.) Smoking cessation is necessary to avoid surgical complications, including infection and delayed healing. You may also be asked to discontinue the use of some medications, especially any medications that thin your blood. During your consultation, Dr. Landis will review your complete medical history and let you know what changes you need to make, if any.
Causes of Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia can often appear in adolescents during puberty. Sometimes it goes away in the early 20s, but it can also persist for some time afterwards. Among the causes of excess breast tissue are hereditary traits, hormonal changes, weight gain, medications and drugs, including steroids or dietary supplements, and conditions such as kidney or liver failure, tumors, and hypogonadism. If the condition is severe in a teenage boy, surgery can be done following consultation with his pediatrician.
Deciding on Surgery
You may feel uncomfortable in your body or embarrassed to take off your shirt. Some men experience puffiness in the nipples or feel like clothes are unflattering when they are too tight and cling to the breast tissue.
Your doctor will want to be sure that your condition is not caused by the use of medications or any other health issues. If there are other factors, they can be addressed without surgery. You can also improve your diet and exercise to see if that takes care of the problem.
Your Male Breast Reduction Procedure
There are two main surgical procedures to treat gynecomastia – excision and liposuction. Choosing the right one depends on your anatomy and preferences.
Excision involves cutting out excess fatty tissue and glandular tissue to restore a masculine appearance. It is performed under general anesthesia, IV sedation or local anesthesia. A small incision is made around the bottom of the areola and the excess tissue is removed. The incision is closed with dissolvable sutures and any scar that remains is disguised in the natural transition between areola and the outer skin of the breast.
In liposuction, one or two incisions of about one-quarter inch are made in each side of the chest. After a long-lasting anesthetic is placed, small tubes are placed through those incisions so the chest can be contoured through targeted fat removal. The incisions will be closed with sutures that will be removed after about five days. The procedure is performed under IV sedation or local anesthesia.
In true gynecomastia, the chest enlargement is caused by glandular tissue, which is firm and rubbery and must be excised. Steroid use causes the development of firm tissue that requires excision. On the other hand, swollen-looking breasts be caused by excess fat, which is easily removed with liposuction. Some patients have a combination of both. Men who are thin will rarely have fat and thus won’t need liposuction. Men who are overweight generally require liposuction.
While you might want as much fat removed as possible, it’s normal for there to be some glandular tissue beneath the areola and some fat throughout the chest. Therefore, the surgeon’s goal will be to remove the bulge and create a more masculine contour to your chest.
Recovering from Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Male breast reduction recovery is generally brief and straightforward, especially for younger patients. If you have this procedure, you can expect to feel better within three to five days. Most patients can resume light activities, including work, after about one week.
Soreness is uncommon after male breast reduction (as long as patients take their provided pain medication). However, it’s normal to experience minor swelling and bruising around your incision sites for two to three weeks. Some residual swelling may remain for three months or longer, making your chest look fuller than you expected. As this swelling wears off, you’ll be able to see your permanent results.
Why Choose Dr. Landis for Male Breast Reduction in Plymouth?
Dr. Landis is a board-certified plastic surgeon with more than 25 years of experience performing gynecomastia surgery. He understands patients’ self-consciousness about this condition and strives to provide compassionate, confidential care to men struggling with gynecomastia. To learn more about what sets Dr. George Landis apart from other surgeons in the Plymouth area, contact our Minnesota clinic to arrange a breast reduction consultation. Our team is here to help you achieve the lean, masculine physique you deserve.
Male Breast Reduction FAQs
You will not experience any pain during the surgery. However, you will have some swelling and bruising afterwards, and these will generally resolve within a week or two. You will be prescribed medication to enhance your comfort during your recovery.
About three days after the surgery, as long as your job doesn’t involve heavy lifting or any activity that is strenuous.
When you are off prescription pain medication and no longer feel any discomfort that would keep you from safely operating your vehicle.
If you had liposuction, you can resume working out after about 10 days. Otherwise, you should wait three weeks.
There are instances when gynecomastia can return, such as when patients use anabolic steroids. There have also been cases where only liposuction was performed and the patient later wished that excision would have been performed. Regardless, the results are relatively permanent as long as the patient is able to maintain a stable weight after the surgery.
Yes, if it’s necessary to remove more fat or tissue.
Yes. It would be safe to also have liposuction of the stomach or love handles performed at the same time as your breast reduction surgery.
Most men are extremely pleased with the surgery’s results. However, there can be some irregularity in the skin’s contour if the patient required a fair amount of liposuction, particularly under the arm if the skin isn’t tight enough to snap back. If there is a large amount of fat in the chest itself, there can also be a risk of an irregular contour and wavy skin, particularly if the skin isn’t tight. Occasionally, patients may require additional contouring or skin removal to correct these irregularities.
You will want to lose as much weight as possible before having the surgery. That will contribute to your chest having a better contour following surgery. It is important that only enough fat is removed to make your chest look proportional with the abdomen. Some patients and surgeons are tempted to remove as much fat as possible, but that can make the chest look less prominent than the stomach. That problem will be highlighted if the patient loses weight after their gynecomastia surgery.
If your problem was glandular, gaining weight will not be a problem. If the problem was fat, then it is possible that some of it will come back. But whatever was removed is gone for good.
Most patients prefer general anesthesia, although IV sedation or local anesthetic are also sometimes used.
If you have liposuction, there will be two small incisions. If you have an excision, there will be a scar at the bottom of the areola. The scars will eventually fade and are generally not noticable. Surgeons recommend that you let your chest hair grow before surgery so it can help conceal the scars during the early healing process.
That’s possible, but uncommon.
You can go home after the surgery as long as you have someone to look after you.
Swelling will peak in about five to six days after surgery, and then begin to subside. You will notice substantial reduction in swelling after one month, and more after three months. You may still have some slight swelling up to six months after the procedure.
You will be placed in a compression vest with a foam underlayer in the operating room. You can throw away the foam after about two days and just wear the vest when you are at home. If you leave your house, wear a tight shirt or vest. The more you wear the vest, the quicker the swelling will go away. You’ll wear the vest for approximately one month.
For more information about male breast reduction and to schedule a consultation, contact Dr. George H. Landis today.