Many men desire a flat and toned chest with defined pectoral muscles. That is why when a man develops gynecomastia, a condition that causes enlarged breast tissue, it is often a source of insecurity. Many patients try to cover up their symptoms by wearing multiple layers of clothing, putting on baggy shirts, or avoiding beach and pool activities; however, hiding gynecomastia is not always easy. Fortunately, there are surgical solutions that can improve the appearance of the chest wall for men. Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Brian Miller, offers male breast reduction surgery to address overdeveloped or enlarged male breast tissue, and/or unwanted fat deposits in the chest region. Dr. Miller and his team are dedicated to helping male patients achieve their ideal chest contour while boosting their self-confidence.
To learn more about gynecomastia and male breast reduction surgery, we invite you to read the informational sections below.
- What Is Gynecomastia?
- Gynecomastia Causes
- Gynecomastia Symptoms
- What Is Gynecomastia Surgery?
- Gynecomastia Surgery Procedure
- Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery
- Gynecomastia Surgery Scars
- Gynecomastia Surgery Costs
What Is Gynecomastia?
Men who have enlarged breast tissue may be experiencing a phenomenon known as gynecomastia. The media may also refer to this condition as “man boobs.” For the most part, gynecomastia affects both breasts, but some patients may experience one-sided gynecomastia. Besides a larger appearance, the condition can also lead to breast tenderness, nipple sensitivity, and a decline in a patient’s self-confidence.
There are two types of gynecomastia, true gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia. While both result in chest enlargement, there are distinct differences. True gynecomastia typically means breasts are bigger primarily because of excess glandular or breast tissue, while pseudogynecomastia involves enlargement caused by fat deposits. Some men may be affected by both, but there are different techniques to address either type. Dr. Miller is happy to discuss the best treatment option for your specific needs.
What Are the Causes of Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia can happen when there is a surge of hormones during puberty. If a man has low testosterone or high estrogen (the female hormone), then it can cause female-like breast tissue to form. Men who use certain types of drugs and medications, like steroids, may also be at an increased risk for gynecomastia.
Additional factors that may potentially contribute to gynecomastia conditions include:
- Significant weight fluctuations
- Natural hormone imbalance
- Health conditions like tumours and kidney problems
- Marijuana or tobacco use
- Certain herbal products like plant oils in shampoo, lotion, and soap
What Are the Symptoms of Gynecomastia?
Symptoms of gynecomastia can develop during puberty and either resolve themselves as hormones become more balanced or persist into adulthood. Men with gynecomastia usually have breasts that appear swollen or enlarged and may experience breast tenderness and protrusion of the nipples. Any new breast/chest mass should be assessed by your family physician as other conditions besides gynecomastia can cause breast prominence, such as male breast cancer or other tumours.
As a result of obesity and/or excessive weight gain, men may experience something called pseudogynecomastia, which means they have enlarged male breasts due to a buildup of fatty tissue, not glandular tissue. There is also a chance that patients have both enlarged glandular tissue and excess fat in their breasts. If you are concerned about gynecomastia or pseudogynecomastia, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Miller, who can give you an official diagnosis and talk to you about available treatment options.
What Is Gynecomastia Surgery?
Gynecomastia surgery is a procedure that can remove excess tissue in the male breasts to achieve a flatter, smoother chest appearance. It is widely considered the most effective treatment for gynecomastia. If you think that reducing the size and shape of your breasts will help you achieve improved chest contour and gain self-confidence, we invite you to book a consultation with Dr. Miller. He can determine if gynecomastia surgery is the ideal solution for your needs and aesthetic goals.
How Is Gynecomastia Surgery Performed?
Gynecomastia surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia and takes approximately one to one and a half hours to complete. Dr. Miller removes excess fat and glandular tissue from the patient’s chest either by direct excision, liposuction, or a combination of both. The technique that Dr. Miller chooses will highly depend on the nature and extent of the gynecomastia and whether there is an excess of glandular tissue, fat, or both. Liposuction is usually used for soft fatty tissue, while removal with a scalpel is typically used for dense and firm glandular tissue. During your consultation, Dr. Miller can go further into detail about what method can benefit you more.
What Is Recovery from Gynecomastia Surgery Like?
We recommend that patients have someone who can drop them off and pick them up after gynecomastia surgery. Most patients can comfortably drive a few days after the procedure. Patients should not drive if they are impaired by pain or medications. Within five to seven days, patients can return to school or work as long as their job is not physically demanding. If your work does include strenuous labour, then we suggest waiting three to four weeks after the surgery to ensure that you are fully recovered. In terms of exercise, patients can start doing moderate exercises three to four weeks after the procedure and more intense workouts after four weeks of recovery.
Dr. Miller usually provides a compression garment for patients to wear for four to six weeks. This helps reduce swelling and promote proper healing of the chest. Symptoms of bruising, swelling, or numbness are normal and should dissipate after a few weeks. Although improvement in the chest area may be apparent weeks after surgery, the internal healing process typically takes up to two to three months.
Does Gynecomastia Surgery Leave Scars?
The level of scarring will typically depend on the technique that is utilized. Dr. Miller understands the concern and works to minimize scarring following gynecomastia surgery. If liposuction is employed during the gynecomastia surgery, scarring can be slight as the incisions needed for that method are quite small.
How Much Does Gynecomastia Surgery Cost?
The cost of gynecomastia surgery varies from patient to patient. Individualized treatment plans address specific concerns, needs, and goals, which means the total cost will also be personalized.
Contributing factors that could affect the overall price include:
- Utilized techniques (such as liposuction)
- Amount of tissue that needs to be removed
- Anesthesia fees
- Post-operative garments
Once a treatment plan has been developed after an initial consultation, the team at Miller Plastic Surgery is happy to discuss the customized surgery cost.
Contact Dr. Brian Miller
If you have any questions about gynecomastia or breast reduction surgery, please do not hesitate to contact our office.