Gynecomastia surgery focuses on masculinizing the male chest and removing excess fat and enlarged breast tissue.
This type of procedure might be right for you if you've ever said:
“I have ‘man boobs’ that won’t go away.”
“I don’t like taking my shirt off in locker rooms.”
“I wear a compression shirt to make my chest look more flat.”
Male breast development can occur during puberty, from medications, or as we age past 60. Whatever the cause, there is a stigma associated with men that have developed even a small amount of breast tissue. This is not only visually painful to patients, but the tissue can be tender to the touch. This pain can make weight-lifting challenging and even the way a shirt rubs on your chest when running can set it off. Men may notice one or both sides of their chest changing over time and depending on the situation may be related to a medical condition or medication use.
Gynecomastia surgery is performed as an outpatient surgery in the clinic with numbing medication. This can be performed with or without liposuction depending on the severity. If there is a localized or small area of breast tissue just under the nipple, we may be able to make a small incision around the nipple so it stays hidden and remove the excess breast tissue to give a more masculine and flat appearance to the chest. If there is widespread fatty tissue on the chest wall, you will most likely benefit from added liposuction so the skin lays flat on the pec muscles. In more rare cases where there is severe breast enlargement, patients may need skin excision and breast reduction that results in more extensive scarring.
The procedure begins with you standing and we discuss whether we will perform liposuction or just removal of the breast tissue. Once the areas are marked for removal, we begin with laughing gas and then numbing the area. After all the areas are numb, liposuction may be performed to remove any fat and help to feather out the chest wall so there’s not a concavity where the breast tissue is removed. Breast tissue is removed either through an incision around the nipple or throw small incisions under the pec muscle crease lower on the chest.
You will need to have a small drainage tube for a few days after the procedure to prevent any fluid from building up at the surgical site. You don't want to trade enlarged breast tissue for a collection of fluid that will fill the space. The drainage tube allows the space to decompress and divert any swelling so the tissues can heal against each other instead of the space filling with fluid.
Another important aspect is restricting your activity by not doing any cardio for 2 weeks and no weight-lifting for 6 weeks. Most patients struggle with these restrictions because once they look and feel better they want to be active again, but it's important to allow time for the skin to heal down to the muscle so the space doesn't fill with a seroma. A compression shirt (kind of like Under Armor) keeps swelling to a minimum and can help with keeping fluid from collecting. These tight shirts are required for 6 weeks after surgery and can get hot if you have to wear them in the summer, so plan accordingly.