Gynecomastia surgery is a procedure designed to treat the over-development of male breast tissue. While enlarged breast tissue in men is fairly common, a loss of self-confidence and psychological distress are frequently experienced if the condition becomes increasingly visible or does not resolve itself during puberty. Aesthetic plastic surgeon Geoffrey Leber, MD, FACS offers treatment for gynecomastia at his Boston practice to remove excess breast tissue, skin, and fat where necessary, and restore the masculine contours of the chest.
- Gynecomastia Causes
- Male Breast Reduction Procedure
- Gynecomastia Surgery Candidates
- Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery
What Causes Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia can develop in men of all ages and may be present unilaterally (in one breast) or bilaterally (in both breasts). While the condition is usually a result of elevated hormone levels during puberty, the exact cause of gynecomastia is unknown. In general, the following may contribute to excessive male breast tissue:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Hereditary conditions
- Steroid use
- Medication side effects
- Chronic liver disease
- Herbal supplements
How is Gynecomastia Surgery Performed?
Surgical treatment for gynecomastia is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. Depending on whether your gynecomastia is caused by excess localized fat and/or excess glandular tissue, Dr. Leber will employ liposuction techniques using ultrasonic energy or surgical excision assisted by ultrasonic energy. For some patients, he may combine both approaches to yield the best aesthetic result. Dr. Leber will make every effort to place incisions inconspicuously to minimize visible scarring and achieve a flat, natural-looking chest contour. If excess skin removal or nipple repositioning is necessary, Dr. Leber can also address these concerns to attain a result that aligns with your aesthetic ideal.
Who is a Candidate for Gynecomastia Surgery?
While gynecomastia does not usually present a medical necessity, the growth of male breast tissue has been known to cause significant embarrassment and insecurity in patients that can ultimately lead to a diminished quality of life. You may consider male breast reduction if you:
- Avoid swimming pools, locker rooms, or do not engage in activities that require removing your shirt
- Have a negative self-image due to enlarged breast tissue
- Experience tenderness or swelling in the breasts
Ideally, candidates for surgery have realistic expectations for the outcome and are healthy individuals with no life-threatening medical issues. Additionally, the procedure is generally most successful for men near their ideal weight and whose breast development has stabilized. During a private consultation, Dr. Leber will review your medical history and help you determine whether you would benefit from gynecomastia surgery.
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What is Recovery Like for Gynecomastia Surgery?
The recovery period following gynecomastia surgery can be relatively quick. Patients typically experience temporary bruising and swelling, which can be managed with oral pain medications. The cosmetic outcome of surgery is usually immediately apparent, but typically improves as your healing process progresses. Most patients can return to their daily routines in a few days, although strenuous activity should be avoided for three to four weeks. While there is usually no medical necessity associated with gynecomastia, resolving the condition through surgical treatment has been characterized as an exceptional way to improve an inhibited self-image caused by visible male breasts and alleviate the emotional distress frequently experienced by gynecomastia patients.
Questions? To learn more about gynecomastia surgery, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Leber, please contact our practice today.