Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia Treatment)

Gynecomastia is a common condition in which excess fat and glandular tissue develop in the male breasts. If you are a male patient who struggles with enlarged breasts, or if you know someone with this disorder, then you likely understand how uncomfortable and embarrassing the condition can be for men of any age. Gynecomastia can affect men, as well as boys. For some, male breast reduction surgery, or gynecomastia treatment, is a solution for enlarged breasts. During this treatment, excess breast tissue is removed using liposuction and surgical excision.

Dr. Neal Goldberg, a board-certified plastic surgeon, will work with you to determine if this procedure is the ideal choice to help you restore a flatter look in the chest. When treating gynecomastia, it can be very important to prioritize a natural-looking outcome. As a top aesthetic plastic surgeon in the Scarsdale area, Dr. Goldberg utilizes advanced techniques to achieve results that look natural and masculine.

What Causes Gynecomastia?

Though the exact cause is unknown, experts suspect that gynecomastia originates from a hormonal imbalance. Conditions that contribute to this imbalance include impaired liver function, testosterone deficiency, the use of estrogen-containing medications or anabolic steroids, and some lifestyle factors. Some of these influences can be reduced or eliminated through lifestyle changes, while others cannot. Dr. Goldberg can provide some insight into what issues may be contributing to your condition; however, in many cases the root cause will remain unknown.

How Do I Know If I Have Gynecomastia?

This condition is more common than many people realize. If you have developed excess volume in the chest area, you may have gynecomastia. The tissue can be a combination of fat and breast (glandular) tissue, or it may be one or the other. In most cases, patients who live a healthy, active lifestyle and who still have visible breasts likely have gynecomastia to some degree. Stretched or puffy nipples in men can also be an indication of gynecomastia, particularly if the nipples are particularly sensitive or tender. While the condition usually develops during puberty, it often resolves naturally as patients reach adulthood. Most gynecomastia patients still struggle with overdeveloped breasts even after progressing past the age of puberty.

The best way to determine if you have gynecomastia is to schedule a consultation with an experienced plastic and reconstructive surgeon like Dr. Goldberg. He can evaluate your needs and order the appropriate tests to identify the cause of your concerns. We understand that this can be a sensitive issue, and our compassionate and discreet staff will make every effort to enhance your comfort.

Types of Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia sits on a sort of spectrum. The source of patients’ enlarged breasts may be solely glandular tissue, glandular tissue along with fatty tissue, or only fatty tissue. Part of developing a personalized treatment plan is identifying which types of tissue are present so that the ideal technique can be utilized:

  • True Gynecomastia: A condition in which glandular tissue, potentially along with excess fatty tissue, develops in men.
  • Pseudogynecomastia: A related condition in which excess fatty tissue alone is present in the breasts (no glandular tissue). In this case, liposuction or other fat removal techniques may be enough to flatten the chest without excision. However, surgical excision can still be necessary to adequately resolve your concerns even if you only exhibit pseudogynecomastia — particularly if you have enlarged or puffy nipples you would like to reduce.
“Having plastic surgery isn’t a copout or a sign that someone is vain. It’s about getting your mojo back and feeling good about how you look.”
- Dr. Goldberg

When Should I Consider Treatment For Gynecomastia?

If you feel self-conscious about the size or appearance of your chest due to gynecomastia, this treatment may be able to help you improve your confidence and allow you to feel more comfortable on a day-to-day basis. Many patients suffer from low self-esteem that makes life difficult, and certain activities may be avoided if they require a man with gynecomastia to go without a shirt. For treatment, it’s important for you to be in good overall shape and to have reasonable expectations for the outcome.

Boys and men who struggle with the development of breast tissue may present as candidates for male breast reduction surgery. The breast itself comprises both fat and glandular tissue, and may be tender. It is also important that the individual be a non-smoker (for at least two weeks prior to surgery), of stable weight, and in good health. Dr. Goldberg will walk you through your customized procedure to help you understand what can be accomplished.

What is Male Breast Reduction?

Male breast reduction is an elective surgical procedure performed to flatten the chest and provide a more masculine look. This is done by extracting fat, removing excess breast tissue, and addressing loose skin on the chest. Surgery can also help resize or recontour the nipples if necessary. The procedure may include liposuction, nipple revision, surgical excision, or some combination of all three techniques. Whether a patient’s gynecomastia is caused by glandular tissue or isolated fat, the treatment plan for male breast reduction is personalized according to each person’s unique needs. This procedure is the only treatment for gynecomastia capable of contouring the chest with long-lasting and natural-looking results. Our before-and-after photos of male breast reduction results can illustrate the types of outcomes you can expect following the procedure. If you believe this enhancement aligns with your overall goals, this may be an indication that you can benefit from male breast reduction.

How Is Male Breast Reduction Performed?

In order to assess your condition thoroughly, Dr. Goldberg will likely recommend that you receive a medical examination prior to surgery, including an MRI or mammogram. The procedure itself takes approximately two hours, and is conducted under general anesthesia for large tissue removal; local for minor removal.

If the MRI or mammogram shows that the breast is composed mainly of glandular tissue, Dr. Goldberg will probably select surgical excision to conduct your breast reduction. During surgery he will make an incision under the arm or at the areola. The glandular tissue and fat will then be removed with a scalpel.
If testing reveals that the breast is composed of both fat and glandular tissue, a combined approach may be necessary. In liposuction, the plastic surgeon inserts a cannula, or thin tube, into the incision to dislodge the fat deposits. The fat is then removed by way of a vacuum device. Sometimes only liposuction is needed, in which case, a small incision is made under the arm or at the areola.

What Is Recovery From Male Breast Reduction Like?

Patients should be able to return home the same day as the surgery. Some discomfort, as well as swelling and bruising, are common after the procedure, and we will provide medication to ease your symptoms. You may be able return to work as quickly as one week following breast reduction surgery. Strenuous exercise should be avoided, however, for approximately three weeks, although walking and light activity are encouraged. Once you have recovered, it is important to remember that regular exercise and a healthy diet are necessary to ensure lasting results. You should have a good idea of the final results after a couple of months.

How Long Do Male Breast Reduction Results Last?

The outcome of surgical gynecomastia treatment should last a lifetime, allowing you to live free of the embarrassment and self-consciousness often associated with visible male breasts. Although your more masculine contours should be permanent, weight gain after your procedure is one factor that can potentially cause a full or enlarged look in the chest once more. For this reason, we typically advise patients that living a healthy and active lifestyle after surgery is the most effective way to preserve their results. Dr. Goldberg and our team will supervise your recovery process and determine when it’s safe for you to resume exercise and strenuous activities, such as weight lifting, cardio, etc. As long as you maintain a stable weight in the years following male breast reduction, you should be able to enjoy your results forever.

What Will My Male Breast Reduction Scars Look Like?

Typically the incisions made will be small and, when healed, often unnoticeable. Depending on your unique treatment plan, the incisions may be located under the arm or around the areola (the pigmented area around the nipple). Dr. Goldberg takes great care to minimize the appearance of scars. Patients usually are so happy with the results that they don’t mind the marks. That said, the scars will never be completely invisible. In some cases, larger incisions may be necessary, and Dr. Goldberg will discuss this possibility if it applies to you. We offer scar revision techniques to help enhance your results, and we will go over this option with you during your initial consultation.

How Much Does Male Breast Reduction Cost?

The price of gynecomastia treatment at our practice can range from $4,000 to $9,000. Factors unique to your treatment plan may alter this estimate to some degree, and the best way to determine the cost of your procedure is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Goldberg, who will develop a customized plan and review the parameters, including fees, at your initial meeting. Most patients choose to have male breast reduction surgery as a cosmetic treatment, and we work with reputable lenders that offer plastic surgery financing, should you wish to consider a payment plan. We can provide more information at your visit.

Are There Any Non-Surgical Male Breast Reduction Treatments?

Non-surgical treatments as well as diet and exercise are insufficient to reduce excess breast (glandular) tissue; however, these methods may be useful at minimizing excess fatty tissue. If your condition is primarily the latter, we can recommend some non-invasive options that may provide some relief or can help to extend the benefits of your surgical results. In many cases, though, surgery will be the most effective treatment for unwanted fat and breast tissue in this area.

Is Male Breast Reduction Safe?

When performed by a qualified plastic surgeon who frequently treats gynecomastia, male breast reduction can be a very safe and effective procedure. Not only does male breast reduction have an excellent safety record, but it’s also considered one of the most rewarding cosmetic surgeries available. Many men who undergo gynecomastia treatment feel the procedure is life-changing and truly allows patients to reclaim a positive, confident self-image. However, all surgical procedures have a chance of adverse reactions, including infection, unfavorable scarring, loss of sensation, bruising, and asymmetrical breast tissue, among other potential complications. An experienced and well-trained plastic surgeon can minimize the risk of complications during male breast reduction, helping ensure the highest standards of safety throughout the surgical process.

Choosing the Right Plastic Surgeon to Correct Gynecomastia

Selecting a gynecomastia surgeon who you can trust to achieve your goals is essential to the overall success of the procedure. While there are many male breast reduction providers to choose from, it’s in your best interest to enlist a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in aesthetic surgery to correct your gynecomastia. A few tips to help you narrow down your options include:

  • Researching a doctor’s experience and educational background: Not all plastic surgeons are created equal. If you want to ensure the highest quality of results after your procedure, choosing an experienced aesthetic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is paramount.
  • Exploring a plastic surgeon’s before-and-after photos: These photos can give you an idea of a plastic surgeon’s quality of work and help you determine whether he/she is the right doctor for your needs.
  • Reading online reviews from previous gynecomastia patients: A plastic surgeon’s reviews give you insight into the level of patient care provided by a practice, as well as what you can expect when you arrive at your appointment.
  • Scheduling a consultation to build a rapport: You won’t know how you feel about a prospective plastic surgeon until you book an appointment with them. An initial consultation is your opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the male breast reduction procedure, or a doctor’s experience correcting gynecomastia.

Ultimately, your plastic surgeon should not pressure you into treatment and carefully answer all of your questions about surgery. After your initial consultation, you should feel confident trusting him/her with your health, appearance, and aesthetic goals.

Additional Gynecomastia Treatment FAQs

Is liposuction enough to get rid of gynecomastia?

Liposuction may be enough to reduce enlarged male breasts if your gynecomastia is only composed of excess fat, which can only be revealed through testing and evaluation. Each patient’s treatment plan differs based on their unique situation, so Dr. Goldberg will be able to give you more personalized information about your options during your consultation. Liposuction will not address any excess in glandular tissue, so surgical excision techniques are often necessary to comprehensively treat gynecomastia if actual breast tissue is present.

Does gynecomastia ever resolve on its own?

In some cases, gynecomastia caused by hormonal changes experienced throughout puberty can resolve without treatment during a patient’s early adulthood. However, for adult men who still have enlarged or visible breasts after puberty, gynecomastia is often unlikely to go away. It’s important to speak with your doctor about your concerns so that your gynecomastia can be evaluated, and an appropriate course of action can be developed to treat your symptoms. If the appearance of your chest is stopping you from living your life with confidence, it may benefit you to seek treatment options.

Can male breast reduction fix puffy nipples?

Yes, a male breast reduction procedure can enhance the appearance of asymmetrical, enlarged, or puffy nipples. This is typically achieved by removing a wedge-like portion of the areolas to reduce size and restore a more natural, masculine look, although other techniques may also be utilized. Don’t hesitate to discuss your desires with Dr. Goldberg so he can develop the most beneficial approach for your unique concerns.

What happens if gynecomastia goes untreated?

Gynecomastia is considered medically harmless, so your health and safety should not be affected if you do not seek treatment for enlarged male breasts. This is a completely elective procedure that patients commonly pursue to enhance their self-image, feel more comfortable in their own bodies, and live life with more confidence.

Is male breast reduction covered by insurance?

Gynecomastia treatment is not covered by insurance since the condition itself does not present any medical necessity. That said, plastic surgery financing is available via CareCredit® and ALPHAEON Credit for qualified patients who would like to pay for male breast reduction in more manageable installments. Please reach out to our practice to learn more about the cost of male breast reduction or our various payment options.

For more information about male breast reduction, call our office for a consultation at 866-481-5585.

*Individual Results May Vary