Gynecomastia, over-developed or enlarged breast tissue in males, is a common condition that can occur at any age and occur as a result of a variety of causes. It is often resistant to diet and exercise and may cause clothing to fit poorly, as well as embarrassment in social situations, such as swimming. Occasionally, it can even be painful. In most cases, the only solution to this condition is surgery. A male breast reduction will greatly improve the condition, or, more likely, correct it completely, leading to a more masculine-looking chest and greater self-confidence.
Candidates for male breast reduction include men who are unhappy about the size or shape of their breasts, or who have experienced discomfort as a result of their gynecomastia. Ideally, potential patients who are overweight should first try weight loss to see if it reduces the problem before seeking surgery. In addition, men who are considering this procedure should first see their medical doctor to rule out any underlying conditions that could be causing their gynecomastia.
During your consultation, you will go over the different techniques used during the procedure. For most candidates, the most appropriate technique utilizes a periareolar incision, which goes along the bottom edge of the areola but stays within the pigmented area so that visible scarring is reduced. Larger breasts may also require an incision in the crease under the breast. Individuals with less breast tissue may be eligible for less invasive techniques that use smaller incisions, while patients with more severe gynecomastia may require some skin removal or repositioning of the areola and nipple. In some cases, the problem is primarily stubborn fat deposits, in which case you may be a candidate for liposuction-assisted breast reduction.
In many cases, the scars can be hidden within the areola, but sometimes additional incisions will be required to completely correct the problem, and these will leave a scar. Most patients are pleasantly surprised, though, by how faint the scar is when fully healed. You can encourage a good result through adherence to Dr. Schwartz’ post-op instructions and careful use of sunscreen to protect against excessive pigmentation from sun exposure.
Yes, an areolar reduction can be performed on its own or as part of a male breast reduction. The procedure requires an incision all the way around the areola, but the scar is usually well-hidden by the color change between normal skin and areola, and the results will give you a more masculine-looking chest.
Unfortunately, no. True gynecomastia is a problem of excess breast tissue, so losing fat or building muscle cannot eradicate it. You can help to minimize the visibility of the problem by improving the muscle underneath the tissue, but it can only be completely removed surgically.
In most situations, a male breast reduction is a permanent solution. However, weight gain after the surgery can cause breast enlargement due to new fat deposits, and use of hormones or steroids can greatly increase the risk of recurring gynecomastia.