The enlargement of the gland tissues in the male breast is referred to as Gynecomastia and is a common condition affecting around one third of the male population. This large and often feminine looking tissue can begin to appear during infancy, puberty, and even in middle-aged men. The increase in this glandular tissue is usually the result of a hormonal imbalance in the male body where there is an excess of female hormones called estrogens when compared to the male hormone called androgens.
Common Factors for Gynecomastia Include:
- Imbalanced hormones
- Over-weight / Obesity
- Not enough testosterone production in the testes
- Impaired or damaged liver functionality
- Marijuana use or other drugs
This condition can lead to a negative effect on men and their self-esteem as they become embarrassed by their enlarged breasts and very pronounced nipples. Fortunately, gynecomastia surgery, also known as male breast reduction, is a surgical solution to address this condition and a common procedure that Dr. Jacono's board certified plastic surgery associates perform at the New York Center for Facial, Plastic, and Laser Surgery.
Gynecomastia surgery is a cosmetic procedure for men that reduces breast size by flattening and enhancing the chest for natural and masculine results. For men, there are several factors that can lead to the development of excess skin, fat, and breast tissue on the chest.
Other factors include:
- Fluctuations in weight
- Hormone imbalances
- Anabolic steroid use
- Klinefelter Syndrome
- Gilbert's Syndrome
- Testicular hormone production irregularities
In many cases, diet and exercise are often not enough to reduce the appearance of male breasts, which can cause a degree of self-consciousness in men that leads to discomfort and uneasiness. There are different procedures that can be used to reduce the appearance of male breasts, including repositioning of the nipple and areola. However, it is important that prior to any breast reduction surgery, men need to have a complete physical evaluation by their primary care physician, complete with lab work, to determine the cause of male breasts tissue.
There are three main techniques used to perform the gynecomastia surgery and they include:
- Combination of liposuction & excision
When gynecomastia is a result of excess fatty tissue, your surgeon may elect to perform the procedure using liposuction. Several small incisions will be required and a cannula will be used to remove the excess fat. The cannula is moved back and forth to loosen the fatty tissues which will then be suctioned out through the cannula wand.
If glandular breast tissue needs to be removed, we will perform the gynecomastia surgery using the excision technique. For this technique, an incision will be made in the armpit or around the areola so that he can remove the glandular tissue, fat, and excess skin. In some cases we may opt to use both the excision method with a combination of liposuction to obtain the best results to meet our patient's surgical goals.
Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery
Following your gynecomastia surgery at the New York Center for Facial, Plastic, and Laser surgery, you will receive instructions to follow for your recovery period. Surgical dressings or bandages will be applied to the incision sites and our staff may recommend a compression garment to be worn for a period to help minimize the swelling. This garment will also offer support for the new chest contours as it continues to heal over the next few weeks. In some cases, a small tube will be temporarily inserted at the surgical site to allow for fluid and excess blood to drain from. This tube will be removed on your post-surgical follow up visit.
Most patients can return to light activities including work within 1 to 2 days, however heavy lifting and strenuous physical activities should be avoided for at least the first four weeks to allow for a proper recovery. At that point, most men are able to return back to their normal daily activities including going to the gym and heavy lifting.
Male Breast Reduction Candidates
Men who have excess fatty breast tissue that cannot be corrected by alternative methods are typically good candidates for a gynecomastia surgery. They should be in good physical health and have a positive outlook on their specific goals that they wish to accomplish through the surgery. We will meet with you during your consultation to discuss the issues you are having and determine if this is the right surgery for you. Having a realistic expectation is the key.
To schedule your consultation or to learn more about gynecomastia, contact our New York City office at 212-570-2500 or our Long Island office at 516-773-4646. You can also complete an online consultation form and one of our gynecomastia specialists will promptly follow up with you.