Male Breast Reduction
Gynecomastia is a condition in which men’s breast tissue grows and is visible to varying degrees. It usually begins to enlarge at puberty and in many cases will resolve on its own. One or both sides may be involved. In some men, however, the condition does not go away. Many men find this a source of great embarrassment and never remove their shirts or undershirts in public. Removal of this tissue is a life-changing event. One of my patients was a World War 2 veteran who overheard the German nurses ridiculing him about his gynecomastia. They did not know he understood German perfectly. He lived his entire life in the shadow of this memory. In his late sixties he decided to do something about it. After surgery, he was one of the happiest patients I have ever had.
The operation I do combines liposuction and open breast tissue removal. It is done under sedation or general anesthesia. I begin by reducing the fullness on both sides of the chest with liposuction. After that, there is usually a small amount of breast tissue left around the areola. This has to be cut out because breast tissue cannot be aspirated like fat. I make a semi-circular incision at the bottom of the areola and remove the breast tissue while feathering the edges like a flying saucer. This avoids a result that looks like an ice-cream scoop plunged in and out of the skin. Drains are used and they come through the skin at the sides where the liposuction incisions were made. A compressive garment resembling a bra with no cups is used after surgery. Drains are removed on the second postoperative day. Sutures are removed in seven to ten days. If vigorous upper body effort is required at work, then one should be prepared to be off work for three weeks. Otherwise, one might be able to return to work after five days. Removal of breast tissue for gynecomastia has one of the highest satisfaction rates among my patients.