What is Gynecomastia?
West County Plastic Surgeons performs male breast reduction for gynecomastia at our St. Louis practice. Gynecomastia is overdeveloped male breast tissue, typically caused by an imbalance of hormones. For men who feel self-conscious about their “man boobs,” male breast reduction can help them eliminate embarrassing excess breast and fatty tissue and reveal the masculine pectoralis muscle definition underneath.
At West County Plastic Surgeons, our male breast reduction patients have access to leading innovators in the field of plastic surgery. Dr. Terence Myckatyn serves as Director of Cosmetic and Breast Plastic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, specializing in all forms of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Marissa Tenenbaum also performs all forms of cosmetic surgery and breast reconstruction, employing techniques acquired through working with some of the most respected cosmetic and reconstructive surgeons in the country. Our practice offers a patient-friendly atmosphere and a university medical-school reputation for cutting-edge techniques and technologies that lead to optimal results and patient satisfaction.
To schedule your consultation for male breast reduction,contact our St. Louis office by phoning 314-996-8800, requesting your consultation online, or emailing us today.
Male Breast Reduction: What You Should Know
Who Develops Gynecomastia? Gynecomastia most commonly affects adolescents and young men, but it usually goes away after about 2 years. If it does not, then it should be evaluated and treated. Elderly men also acquire this condition, though for different reasons. Most cases are sporadic and not the result of a medical problem; however, because gynecomastia can be associated with abnormal hormone production, patients should first be evaluated to rule out masses in the testicle or the pituitary gland.
How Is It Treated? Certain medicines that can stimulate or chemically resemble male hormones may also cause excess breast tissue in men. If an underlying cause is identified, an endocrinologist should first treat that cause. Following careful medical evaluation, the condition can be treated with ultrasonic-assisted liposuction alone or combined with surgical removal of excess skin. The decision about how to treat, either with VASER® ultrasound-assisted liposuction or with skin removal, depends on how much excess breast tissue and skin are present, and how fibrous the fat is in the male breast.
The VASER LipoSelection® system uses ultrasonic energy to liquefy fat cells in the targeted area. The VASER® cannula emits ultrasonic energy that allows the surgeon to selectively “liquefy” fatty tissue, resulting in less thermal damage and swelling than alternative procedures. This technique is often used for treatment of dense areas of the body and is ideal for male breast reduction.
To learn about which procedure is appropriate for you, view this figure:
To learn how ultrasonic liposuction is used to treat excess male breast tissue, view this figure:
To learn how to treat gynecomastia that includes both fibrous tissue and a disk of tissue under the areola, see this figure:
To learn how to treat a large amount of male breast tissue or skin excess – such as after significant weight loss, see this figure:
Anesthesia: Male breast reduction surgery is usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia.
Length of procedure: 1 to 2.5 hours, depending on the extent of the problem.
Estimated recovery time: Patients can expect to return to work 7 to 14 days following surgery, depending on the degree of gynecomastia, and they should avoid vigorous activities for 3 to 4 weeks. Visible bruising or swelling should resolve within 2 to 4 weeks. A compressive garment to reduce swelling is placed immediately after surgery and should be worn as much as possible for several weeks. To learn how to prepare for this surgery and what to expect afterwards, click here to download our patient instructions.
Side effects: Our male breast reduction patients in St. Louis report the following common side effects: bruising, swelling, tiny concealed scars, and some numbness and itching in the treated areas. If seromas, or collections of fluid under the treated area, develop, your surgeon will place drain tubes for a short time following surgery. Click here to download a detailed consent form from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons that lists the risks and benefits of this procedure.
Associated Procedures to Complement Male Breast Reduction
Some of our patients who are overweight or who have lost a considerable amount of weight elect to combine male breast reduction with post-weight loss body-contouring procedures. If excess breast tissue and skin have developed in response to weight gain, then diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle are the first and best steps toward treating the condition. If they have developed following weight loss, they are usually accompanied by loose skin in other places, including the trunk and arms. West County Plastic Surgeons performs many procedures to help patients look their best following weight loss or weight-loss surgery. These include lower body lift, brachioplasty and medial thigh lift.
Male breast reduction can be performed with other procedures efficiently and safely in our St. Louis surgical center. To schedule your consultation for male breast reduction, as either a stand-alone or a combined procedure, contact our St. Louis office by phoning 314-996-8800, requesting your consultation online, or emailing us today.