Male Breast Reduction: Before and After Care Tips
Plastic surgery is not just for women. Many men enter into a plastic surgeon’s office looking for body contouring procedures that will make them look and feel younger. Topping the list of male procedures are liposuction and male breast reduction surgery. Enlarged male breasts, also known as gynecomastia, can cause low self-esteem and embarrassment, making it difficult to do normal activities such as getting a job, joining a gym, or dating. A breast reduction surgery will eliminate the unsightly “man boobs” and build confidence.
What is Male Breast Reduction?
Male breast reduction surgery is the most effective known treatment for gynecomastia. This procedure removes excess fat and glandular tissue to restore a flatter, firmer, and more masculine chest contour. Gynecomastia can be caused by genetics, use of certain medications, or other unspecified reasons. It can be present at any age, and male breast reduction surgery can be performed on both adults and teenagers.
Gynecomastia is characterized by:
- Excess localized fat
- Excess glandular tissue development
- Excess breast skin
- Presence either unilaterally or bilaterally (one or both breasts)
What Makes a Good Candidate?
You may be a good candidate for male breast reduction surgery if:
- Your condition can’t be corrected through alternative medical treatments
- You are healthy with no life-threatening illness or medical condition that could impair healing
- You are physically healthy and of a normal weight
- You have realistic expectations about what to expect from your surgery
- Your breast development is stabilized (usually if you are over the age of 18)
- You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too large
Preparing for Your Surgery
Preparing for male breast reduction surgery can begin up to one month before your procedure and continues up until the day of surgery. It is important to talk about your health conditions and any concerns that you may have at your consultation. The following guidelines are general and Dr. Gabriel Chiu can give you a specific plan tailored to your individual needs.
One month before:
- Stop smoking or using products that contain nicotine
Two weeks before:
- Avoid long periods of time in the sun
- Avoid tanning booths
- Stop taking blood thinners (including vitamins and minerals that may cause blood thinning)
- Stop taking medications that interfere with blood clotting
- Schedule a leave of absence from work
One week before:
- Inform your Dr. Chiu if you get sick in any way (he may want to reschedule your surgery)
- Arrange a ride to and from the hospital
- Pack comfortable clothes
Recovery and Maintenance
During your recovery period, dressings and bandages will be applied to your incisions and an elastic bandage or support garment will be used to help minimize swelling, as well as to help support your new chest contour as it heals. A small, thin tube may also be placed, temporarily, under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid.
You can expect to feel some discomfort or tenderness in the chest area. This discomfort should subside within a week or two, but some degree of swelling or numbness may last for several months.
Results from male breast reduction surgery are meant to be permanent. However, you should try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, since significant weight gain, steroid use, drugs that influence testosterone levels, or certain medical conditions may cause your gynecomastia to return.
Possible Risks and Considerations
Just like any other type of surgery, male breast reduction has its possible, albeit unlikely, risks that you will need to consider before having your operation. Some of the ricks include:
- Negative reactions to tape, suture material, glues, topical preparations, or injected materials
- Blood clots
- Breast asymmetry
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation (temporary or permanent)
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Possibility of another surgery
Book a Consultation
Before having male breast reduction surgery, it is important that you consult with a properly trained physician who can help you make the right decision about whether or not male breast reduction surgery is the right step for you. Consult with Dr. Gabriel Chiu of Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery, Inc., and with his years of experience in the field of plastic surgery, he can help you with any questions or concerns that you might have about the procedure.