In the male breast, excess tissue and/or fat may develop in some individuals. Use of certain prescription and hormonal drugs, such as steroids, can cause enlarged male breasts (gynecomastia) at any time from puberty onward. Gynecomastia is usually treated as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. Consult our plastic surgeons if you have one or more of the following indications:
- Breast tenderness
- Swollen breast tissue
- You wish to remove fat from your breasts
- You are unhappy with the appearance of your breasts
- Change in breast appearance
- Pain or tenderness in breasts
- Nipple discharge in one or both breasts
What are the treatment options for enlarged male breasts?
Liposuction removes excess fat that is unresponsive to diet and exercise, thereby achieving more-proportionate and more-pronounced contours to look trimmer and more attractive. Ultrasound-, Power- or VASER-assisted techniques may be employed to facilitate fat removal.
Direct Excision of Gynecomastia
A direct excision can be performed for dominant breast masses or thick breast tissue that cannot be removed with liposuction. The excised tissue may be sent to pathology for testing. Direct excision can also be performed for the majority of the breast tissue including fatty tissue through an incision around a portion of the areola. A drain may need to be placed into the breast skin envelope to accelerate healing and reduce the risk of fluid accumulation.
In some cases, mastopexy (breast lift) involves removal of skin and a small amount of breast glandular tissue, repositioning of the nipple, and improvement of the breast position with lifting. Several incision approaches may be used, including scars around the areola, in the inframammary fold, and vertically between the areola and the fold.
Direct Excision of Gynecomastia and Liposuction
This combination strategy is performed to minimize scars and provide the best contour and aesthetic outcome. With this approach, liposuction is used to remove fatty tissue and contour the borders of the breast with the axilla and abdomen. Additionally, the liposuction cannula can help break up a well-defined inframammary fold, which is a feminizing feature of enlarged male breasts; in men, this area should “blend” with the abdomen. The hard, thick, glandular tissue can be removed via direct excision through a small incision usually concealed within the inferior border of the areola.
Surgery to treat gynecomastia is usually an outpatient procedure. When your driver, friend, or loved one takes you home, you will be wearing compression garments and you should continue to wear them for a few weeks to encourage optimal healing.
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