Gynecomastia is the medical name for enlarged male breasts. This condition can be alleviated through breast reduction surgery.
The University of Michigan is a nationally recognized leader in reconstructive surgery. Our team of board-certified plastic surgeons and medical specialists guide our patients through every step of the male breast reduction process to ensure the best results possible.
Is Breast Reduction Surgery Right for You?
Surgeons treat gynecomastia by surgically removing fat and/or glandular tissue—reducing the size and shape of the breasts. In extreme cases, the surgeon also removes skin. The more masculine-looking chest that results can enhance your self-image and self-confidence.
Breast reduction is best for patients who are otherwise in good health, without active diseases or serious, pre-existing medical conditions. Good candidates for surgery have firm, elastic skin that will adapt to the new contours of the body.
Gynecomastia occurs in 40 to 60 percent of men, affecting one or both breasts. The cause is not always known, but obesity and the use of some drugs (including anabolic steroids, marijuana or alcohol) may increase the risk. Impaired liver function and the use of estrogen-containing medications may also cause gynecomastia. Physicians do not consider men who are in any of these risk groups as good candidates for breast reduction. If your surgeon identifies a medical problem as the cause during your initial consultation, you will be referred to an appropriate specialist.
About the Procedure
Your surgeon will choose the surgical technique for your breast reduction based on your anatomy, your surgeon's preferences and your desired result. Options include removal of the tissue under the breast, or suction lipectomy (liposuction) [[link]] of the chest wall. In both procedures, the surgeon will make a small elliptical incision on the lower half of the nipple area (areola).
For those men with enlarged glandular tissue, the surgeon will remove all breast tissue directly under the nipple.
If the tissue is more fatty in nature, liposuction can provide excellent results. In some cases, the surgeon will use ultrasound to assist liposuction. During liposuction, the surgeon will insert a small tube, or cannula, into the incision to remove excess fat.
If you’re interested in breast reduction, we’ll first have you come for a personal consultation with your plastic surgeon. You will have the opportunity to discuss your goals and the results you would like to achieve. Your surgeon will work with you to reach an understanding about what you can expect from this procedure and the long-term benefits. Every patient is different, and your surgeon will choose the surgical technique and treatment plan that is right for you. During your initial consultation, you should expect to:
- Provide a complete medical history. Include information about any previous surgical procedures; past and present medical conditions; and all medications or herbal supplements you are taking.
- Have your surgeon conduct a physical examination of your breasts and check for causes of the gynecomastia. He or she also will take measurements and photographs for your medical record.
- Discuss possible risks and complications.
Preparing for Your Surgery
After your consultation and decisions about surgery, we will give you pre-operative information that explains everything you should do and know before your procedure. Your surgical team will instruct you on how to prepare for surgery. You should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery. You also may want to make arrangements for someone to help you out for a day or two while you heal.
We use general anesthetic so that you will sleep and remain comfortable throughout the procedure. Local anesthesia with intravenous sedation is also an option for some patients.
It’s very important that you follow your surgeon's instructions. This will promote healing and improve progress towards your new physical appearance. It also is important that you attend all follow-up appointments so that your surgeon can assess your long-term results and answer any questions or concerns.
Your procedure will take place in the University of Michigan Hospitals state-of-the-art surgical suites and recovery areas. Most of these procedures are outpatient.
We conduct all pre-operative and post-operative visits at Domino’s Farms where our patients enjoy personalized care in a private office atmosphere.