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Breast Reduction for Men with Gynecomastia 

Breast reduction for men (reduction mammoplasty) is a cosmetic and reconstructive surgical procedure that is used to  reduce the size of the breasts.  Men may experience enlarged breasts (gynecomastia) for several reasons, including hormone abnormalities, hereditary conditions, disease, use of certain drugs, and weight gain.  Breast enlargement may begin in adolescence or occur at any age.  The condition may make some men self-conscious causing them to avoid certain activities.  Surgery may be performed as early as adolescence, but in such cases a second surgery may be required after the breasts are fully developed.  

There are a few surgical methods for breast reduction.  The procedures are similar in that they remove excess tissue and reshape the breast.  Tissue may removed by surgery, liposuction, or both.  The procedures differ in the specific incision patterns and techniques.  Your doctor will determine the most appropriate breast reduction procedure based on your breast characteristics and personal preferences.

At your initial consultation, your doctor will help you decide which breast reduction method is right for you.  You should tell your doctor about your concerns and expectations.  Your doctor will evaluate your breast size, shape, and skin integrity.  A general health evaluation will be performed.  Diagnostic testing may help determine if there is an underlying cause for the breast enlargement.  It is common for “before” photos to be taken for your medical records. You will need to stop smoking before your surgery and you may be instructed to temporarily discontinue certain medications.

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Breast reduction is most frequently an outpatient procedure.  You should plan to have a person drive you home and stay with you for the first night.  Breast reduction may be performed at an accredited plastic surgeon’s outpatient surgical facility, hospital, or outpatient surgery center.  You will receive general anesthesia or IV sedation and local anesthetics for the procedure. 

If liposuction is used, the liposuction wand is inserted through several small incisions to loosen and vacuum excess breast tissue and/or fat.  Based upon the amount of excess skin and residual elasticity of the skin, a decision for excess skin removal will be considered.  The nipple and dark skin surrounding it (areola) may need to be surgically repositioned and possibly reduced in size.
At the end of the procedure, temporary drainage tubes may be inserted to remove excess fluids.  The incisions in the skin are closed with stitches, tape, or surgical adhesive.  The area is gently wrapped with bandages.  Elastic wraps or a support garment will help minimize swelling while you heal.

You will receive medication for post procedure pain and specific instructions for wound care.  Your stitches will be removed at one or more follow-up appointment(s).  Your doctor will gradually increase your activity level.  It may take time for swelling to resolve and several months for incision lines to fade.  The results of your procedure are immediately visible and are permanent for many men.

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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit