Breast Reduction for Men
Breast reduction for men is the surgical correction of over-developed or enlarged breasts in men. Enlarged male breasts is also called gynecomastia.
It can occur in younger age groups due to puberty and the effect of estrogen receptors in the breast glands. It can also occur due to the effects of certain medications on these same receptors. In addition, hormonal changes, heredity conditions, diseases or drug use and cause this condition. For this reason it is important to get a full medical history and physical when being evaluated for this condition.
It is a misconception that diet and exercise can correct this condition as the hypertrophy of the breast is not due to fatty tissue. Only surgical excision can correct this condition in most cases.
Gynecomastia can cause emotional discomfort and impair your self confidence. Some men may even avoid certain physical activities and intimacy simply to hide their condition.
Characteristics of Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia is characterized by:
- Excess localized fat
- Excess glandular tissue development
- Excess breast skin
- A combination of both excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin
- Gynecomastia may be present unilaterally (one breast) or bilaterally (both breasts)
Gynecomastia in Adolescence
Adolescents may be affected by the psychological impact of gynecomastia resulting in a negative body image and social isoloation.
In the early years of adolescence, it is not uncommon to have a mild form of gynecomastia exhibit. It is important to counsel these adolescents that this is a normal stage in male development and to allow the normal puberty stage to complete before considering any surgical correction.
What happens during gynecomastia correction surgery?
Plastic surgery to correct gynecomastia is technically called reduction mammaplasty, and reduces breast size, flattening and enhancing the chest contours.
In severe cases of gynecomastia, the weight of excess breast tissue may cause the breasts to sag and stretch the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple). In these cases the position and size of the areola can be surgically improved and excess skin may be reduced.
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
In cases where gynecomastia is primarily the result of excess fatty tissue, liposuction techniques alone may be used.
This requires insertion of a cannula, a thin hollow tube, through several small incisions. The cannula is moved back and forth in a controlled motion to loosen the excess fat, which is then removed from the body by vacuum suction.
There are various liposuction techniques that may be used; the technique most appropriate in your case will be defined prior to your procedure.
In our practice, the best results have been seen with power-assisted liposuction that helps break through dense fibrous breast tissue and remove excess fat and some glandular tissue in the process.
Excision techniques are recommended where glandular breast tissue and excess skin must be removed to correct gynecomastia.
Excision also is necessary if the areola will be reduced, or the nipple repositioned to a more natural male contour. Incision patterns vary depending on the specific conditions and surgical preference.
More commonly, gynecomastia is treated with both liposuction and excision.
The results will be long-lasting
The final results of breast reduction in men are permanent in many cases. However, if gynecomastia resulted from the use of certain prescription medications, drugs including steroids or weight gain you must be fully free from these substances and remain at a stable weight in order to maintain your results. Please discuss this with your physician before making changes to your prescription medications.
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