Many men have enlarged breasts which is commonly called gynecomastia. It can be the result of some medications, hormones or genetics. Excessive alcohol use, tobacco use, marijuana use and anabolic steroid use can also lead to gynecomastia. Gynecomastia can cause physical as well as emotional problems. Surgical reduction of the breasts may result in a more masculine contour of the upper body and a better self image. Surgery may just remove excess fat or glandular tissue and may involve removing excess skin in some patients.
What should I expect from the consultation?
The first step in having this surgery of course is the initial consultation. During this meeting we will discuss your condition as well as any other medical conditions and medicines that might affect the surgery. The different options for male breast reduction surgery will be discussed as well as possible complications.
How is male breast reduction surgery performed?
There are several techniques available for male breast reduction. The method used depends upon the amount of glandular tissue and excess skin. The surgery is performed with you under a general anesthesia typically at an outpatient surgery center. Frequently the reduction can be done using only liposuction. This technique works best if the breasts are not very glandular (firm) and you have minimal excess skin. If the tissue is glandular in nature a small incision along the lower border of the areola (dark skin around the nipple) can be used to excise the glandular tissue. If a lot of excess skin is present larger incisions will be necessary to excise the loose skin.
The majority of patients have no complications. The most common is fluid collection in the wound and delayed healing of an incision. It is very important to not smoke at least 2 weeks before and after the surgery.
What can I do to prepare for surgery?
- Do not smoke for two weeks before and after your surgery.
- Avoid medications that can cause bleeding (aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil, Nuprin, etc) for about 10 days before the surgery.
- Arrange for help or special care following surgery.
Day of Surgery
After your surgery you will spend 1-2 hours in the recovery room. You will need a friend or family member to drive you home. Sleep with several pillows behind you to keep your head and chest elevated. A compressive vest will be place over the chest area to help reduce swelling. Drain tubes may be placed on each side. Ice packs may be used during the first 24 hours if you wish.
Day 1 After Surgery
It is common to have drainage on your garment. Maintain a daily record of output from each drain. Do as little as possible around your house. Lift nothing over 5-10 pounds.
Days 2-7 After Surgery
Shower on day 2 unless a bolster is covering your nipples. If a bolster is present, do not get wet, a sponge bath will be necessary. A compression shirt such as Under Armour can be worn while cleaning the surgical garment. Compression garments are worn 24/7 until instructed otherwise. The chest will be swollen and may have some areas of bruising. You may gradually increase your activity, but still no bending over and lifting over 10 pounds. You will be asked to come to the office about 7 days after your surgery for suture removal. Do not drive as long as you are taking pain pills.
After 1st Week
Pain and swelling continue to improve. Some people feel up to working and doing light activities, after the 1st week Gentle sexual activity may be resumed. At 2 weeks you may begin cardio as long as the arms are not involved.
After 1st Month
After this visit, you will have no restrictions after 6 weeks. This will be determined according to the extent of your surgery.