What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a condition in men that is characterized by enlarged breast tissue. Contrary to popular belief, over-developed or enlarged breasts are common in men of any age. It can be the result of hormonal changes, genetics, disease, or from the use of certain drugs, including steroids.While it is rarely serious, the condition can result in embarrassment and loss of self-confidence for men, particularly when it is severe. Fortunately, gynecomastia can be easily treated through a breast reduction procedure. The surgery removes excess skin and breast tissue, leaving a flatter, more masculine chest contour. Plastic surgeon Geoffrey Leber, MD has performed numerous breast reduction procedures for male patients at his Scottsdale cosmetic surgery facility.
- Gynecomastia Symptoms
- True Gynecomastia vs. Pseudogynecomastia
- What is Male Breast Reduction?
- Male Breast Reduction Procedure
- Male Breast Reduction Recovery
- Male Breast Reduction Cost
What are the Symptoms of Gynecomastia?
While gynecomastia is seen relatively frequently, it often causes psychological distress, emotional discomfort, and can impair the self-confidence of those afflicted. Some men may even avoid certain activities as well as physical intimacy simply to hide their condition. Gynecomastia is characterized by:
- Excess localized fat
- Excess glandular tissue development
- A combination of both excess fat and glandular tissue
- Enlarged breasts unilaterally (in one breast) or bilaterally (in both breasts)
For men who are uncomfortable with the size and shape of their breasts, a male breast reduction plastic surgery procedure can be performed to minimize the visibility of excessive breast tissue. The best results are seen in patients who are relatively healthy, do not smoke, and have reasonable expectations about the outcome of their treatment. While surgery is occasionally performed on adolescent males, subsequent procedures may be needed for younger patients as the breast continue to develop.
True Gynecomastia vs. Pseudogynecomastia
Breast fullness in men is generally categorized as either true gynecomastia or pseudogynecomastia. The difference between the two involves which type of tissue is causing visible male breasts. When breast or glandular tissue is creating the look of increased chess mass, this is known as true gynecomastia. In contrast, pseudogynecomastia is characterized solely by excess adipose (fatty) tissue in the chest. Due to the fact that both conditions can physically present the same, many patients with localized fat behind and around their nipples believe their condition to be true gynecomastia when they really experience pseudogynecomastia, with the prefix “pseudo” meaning “imitating something else.” In either case, the symptoms of both conditions can overlap and cause self-consciousness, diminished self-esteem, and a negative body image. Dr. Leber can treat both gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia at his Scottsdale practice.
What is Male Breast Reduction?
Male breast reduction is the surgical correction of over-developed or enlarged breasts in men. While diet and exercise may provide marginal aesthetic improvement in some cases of pseudogynecomastia (lingering breast fullness caused by fatty tissue only), the most immediate and effective results are often achieved through surgical means. This procedure can serve as an effective treatment for gynecomastia by removing the excess tissue creating the appearance of enlarged breasts and restoring the masculine planes of the chest. Incisions in male breast reduction are typically well-hidden in the natural lines and contours of the chest for natural-looking, inconspicuous treatment. After examining your concerns, Dr. Leber can help you determine the best course of action to fulfill your cosmetic goals.
How is the Male Breast Reduction Procedure Performed?
This is typically an outpatient procedure done under general anesthesia. Dr. Leber uses two different approaches to correct gynecomastia: liposuction using ultrasonic energy, or surgical excision using ultrasonic energy. He bases this decision on a patient’s individual needs.
In cases where the enlarged breast tissue is primarily due to weight gain, liposuction may be employed to remove the fatty tissue. This procedure utilizes a narrow cannula, which is inserted directly into the breast at strategic locations to loosen fat and remove it from the breast using gentle suction.
Other patients may require incisions, which are placed in inconspicuous areas of the breast to allow for the removal of tissue and excess skin. Fatty and glandular tissue is removed, along with excess skin if necessary. In severe cases of gynecomastia, repositioning of the nipple may also be required to ensure a result that appears natural.
What is Recovery from Male Breast Reduction Like?
There is some discomfort after male breast reduction surgery, which is usually managed by oral pain medication. Most patients are able to return to work and regular activities within a week after the procedure. Strenuous exercise will probably be discouraged for three to four weeks.
The results of male breast reduction surgery can be seen right after the procedure. The outcome will continue to improve in the weeks following the procedure as the breasts heal. Patients who maintain a healthy weight after surgery can expect their results to be permanent. To see examples of what can be achieved with male breast reduction, please see our before-and-after photos of gynecomastia surgery in our patient gallery.
How Much Does Male Breast Reduction Cost?
The average surgical fee for gynecomastia treatment is approximately $3,800, as reported by 2017 statistics from the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). However, this is not necessarily a reflection of the rates at our practice and the price of male breast reduction typically varies depending on the details of a patient’s treatment plan, including:
- The surgical technique used to reduce breast tissue
- The extent of concerns addressed
- The overall complexity of your procedure
After your consultation, our office will be able to provide you with a personalized quote of your procedure. Dr. Leber works with leading plastic surgery financing companies, including CareCredit® and Prosper® Healthcare Lending, to make the cost of male breast reduction more amenable to his patients’ needs. Once approved through the simple application process, qualified candidates can pay for their treatment over time by selecting from an array of low- to no-interest plans designed to make cosmetic surgery more affordable. If you have any questions about the price of male breast reduction, please don’t hesitate to contact our practice.
If you are self-conscious about your breasts, Dr. Leber and our team can help. Contact our Scottsdale office today to find out if male breast reduction surgery is the right choice for you.