Gynecomastia is a medical term that comes from the Greek words for "woman-like breasts." Though this oddly named condition is rarely talked about, it's actually quite common. Gynecomastia affects an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men. It may affect only one breast or both. Though certain drugs and medical problems have been linked with male breast over development, there is no known cause in the vast majority of cases.
For men who feel self-conscious about their appearance, male breast reduction surgery can help. The procedure removes fat and or glandular tissue from the breasts, and in extreme cases removes excess skin, resulting in a chest that is flatter, firmer, and better contoured.
If excess glandular tissue is the primary cause of the breast enlargement, it will be excised, or cut out, with a scalpel. The excision may be performed alone or in conjunction with liposuction. In a typical procedure, an incision is made in an inconspicuous location--either on the edge of the areola or in the under arm area. Working through the incision, the surgeon cuts away the excess glandular tissue, fat and skin from around the areola and from the sides and bottom of the breast. Major reductions that involve the removal of a significant amount of tissue and skin may require larger incisions that result in more conspicuous scars. If liposuction is used to remove excess fat, the cannula is usually inserted through the existing incisions.
If your gynecomastia consists primarily of excessive fatty tissue, your surgeon will likely use liposuction to remove the excess fat. A small incision, less than a half-inch in length, is made around the edge of the areola--the dark skin that surrounds the nipple. Alternatively, the incision may be placed in the underarm area. A slim hollow tube called a cannula which is attached to a vacuum pump, is then inserted into the incision. Using strong, deliberate strokes, the surgeon moves the cannula through the layers beneath the skin, breaking up the fat and suctioning it out. Patients may feel a vibration or some friction during the procedure, but generally no pain.
Additional Procedures for Men
If you have questions or if you'd like to schedule an appointment for a male breast reduction consultation, please email us or give us a call at 616.454.1256 if you're local to Grand Rapids, MI, or toll free at 800.968.7474.