When discussing cosmetic surgeries, male breast reduction surgery often goes unmentioned. People forget that men, too, have breasts and can suffer similar issues that cause discomfort or unhappiness. Most plastic surgeons are aware of the need for this procedure in certain cases. Men who believe that they may be candidates for this surgery should make themselves aware of the options and of the surgical details, just as any other cosmetic surgery patient should.
When Male Breast Reduction Surgery Is Necessary
The phenomenon of enlarged male breasts is known as gynecomastia. The term phenomenon describes it because it does not appear to be a disease and apparently has many possible sources. When men suffer from this condition, their breasts appear much larger than normal and have a feminine appearance. In severe cases, drooping or sagging may occur to such an extent that some men need to wear supportive devices similar to women’s bras in order to avoid discomfort.
Different Origins of Gynecomastia
This enlargement may only affect one breast or it may affect both. The reasons behind such abnormal development vary. In some cases, it is simply a matter of too much weight. Obesity can contribute significantly to the likelihood of gynecomastia. Even after losing significant amounts of weight, these men can still retain their overly large breast tissue. Other reasons for the enlargement seem to be genetic. Some boys will simply develop larger breasts during puberty. In some cases, these recede without treatment but not always. Certain foods and drugs have been tied to male breast enlargement as well. The use of anabolic steroids in sports has resulted in breast enlargement. Other causes such as marijuana use, prostate cancer treatment, and other medical drugs have been associated with breast development in men as well. The scientific community admits, however, that many cases seem to occur for unidentifiable reasons.
It is important to do a thorough medical work-up prior to scheduling this procedure. Pituitary tumors and testicular tumors may be responsible for gynecomastia, so a series of blood tests should be ordered to determine any potentially underlying causes.
Surgical treatment of gynecomastia is not covered by insurance. Candidates for male breast reduction surgery are of relatively normal weight and are healthy. The best candidates for this procedure have firm but elastic skin. This characteristic allows their skin to reshape itself after the removal of significant amounts of tissue.
Many doctors will look to see that the patient seems to be in good mental health. The development of the breasts must have been stabilized by the time you are scheduled for surgery. Patients who have not tried to lose weight may be discouraged from trying this surgical solution.
In removing the tissue during surgery, doctors have many of the same options that they have with women. Typically, however, they will enter near the areola, or nipple. This will help reduce the visibility of scar tissue because they make the incision near the border of the nipple and the surrounding tissue.
Surgeons may use liposuction to remove the excess fatty tissue inside the breast, or they may instead prefer to cut away the glandular tissue. The surgical correction of this condition most commonly utilizes both liposuction and surgical excision of breast tissue together. Sometimes, men will ask to have liposuction done to other parts of their bodies during this procedure. This combination of procedures is becoming common in cosmetic surgery.
The surgery will take approximately 2-3 hours. When patients wake up, they usually need prescription painkillers to control the pain. Recovery may take several weeks. During that time, the patient should avoid strenuous labor and only attempt light activities when the doctor has cleared him for it. Patients also need to refrain from exposing scar tissue to the sun for some time. Possible side effects will include numbness and/or a burning sensation in the area of the surgery as well as bruising and swelling surrounding the incision.
There are many benefits from a procedure like this. Shedding excess fatty tissue from any part of the body is usually a boost to health. The results are permanent and usually leave the patient with a contoured chest that may also boost self-confidence. For more information about male breast reduction surgery, potential candidates should talk with their primary physician or a board certified plastic surgeon.