Gynecomastia

Feeling self-conscious about your chest area can cause you to limit your activities, alter your clothing style, and even lose confidence. As an extensively trained plastic surgeon, Dr. Steven Holzman can address your concerns and help you achieve a flatter, firmer, and smoother chest that looks and feels more masculine.

What Is Gynecomastia?

For males, excess fat and glandular tissue in the chest region can create the appearance of breasts. This condition, known as gynecomastia, can be a difficult and frustrating physical irregularity to  live with for many men. Dr. Holzman can help these men using male breast reduction techniques to treat gynecomastia.

What Are the Symptoms of Gynecomastia?

The most noticeable symptom of gynecomastia is enlarged breasts. Excess tissue can cause the male chest to enlarge, protrude, and even sag. The male breast could also appear swollen and may or may not feel tender. If you feel pain or there is nipple discharge, you should see your primary care physician to rule out an infection or another disorder. While gynecomastia can result in psychological discomfort, it is not usually a physically harmful or dangerous condition.

True Gynecomastia Vs. Pseudogynecomastia

Two kinds of gynecomastia, or male breast enlargement, are common and often referred to as the same condition. True gynecomastia is when glandular tissue is present in the chest. Glandular tissue is different in texture and quality to fatty tissue, which may also be present. Pseudogynecomastia is a similar situation, but there is only fatty tissue present. It’s important to understand which condition you have, so the correct techniques can be used and the best possible result can be achieved.

What Is Male Breast Reduction?

Male breast reduction is a surgical procedure designed to reduce excess tissue from the male breast for a flatter, smoother appearance. Multiple techniques are available to provide a natural-looking result, including breast reduction, liposuction, and body contouring. Dr. Holzman can go over the best approach for you and your needs during your initial consultation.

How Is the Male Breast Reduction Procedure Performed?

Depending on the severity of the case and the composition of the breast tissue, our surgeon will choose the procedure that will produce the most ideal results. For men with mainly fatty tissue in the breasts, liposuction may provide for ample reduction of breast volume. In cases in which dense glandular breast tissue is causing the appearance of breasts, our surgeon will make an incision around the nipple to access and remove the appropriate amount of tissue. Liposuction and breast tissue removal can be combined if necessary to address breasts with an overabundance of both tissues.

What Is Recovery from Male Breast Reduction Like?

Dr. Holzman will place you in a compressive garment that contains foam pieces after your surgery. This helps avoid the use of tape. The compression garment holds the foam in position, which provides compression to the surgical site to stop oozing and prevent bruising. After that, the garment should to be worn approximately 18 hours a day for the next 4 weeks. Refrain from aerobic exercise, housework, driving, and lifting more than 10 pounds until you see Dr. Holzman for your first postoperative visit. You may not drive for 2 weeks postoperatively or longer if you are still requiring narcotic pain medication or muscle relaxants. Moderate swelling and bruising are completely normal and should resolve over the next 4-12 weeks. Be patient as your new and improved physique settles in place.

What Type of Results Can I Expect from Male Breast Reduction?

Male breast reduction yields a more masculine appearance to the chest area in males with gynecomastia. By evenly reducing the amount of excess tissue in the breasts, the chest appears flatter and more toned. Men who have undergone this procedure are often extremely pleased with the results and benefit from increased self-confidence and a more positive body image.

How Much Does Male Breast Reduction Cost?

The cost of male breast reduction and gynecomastia treatment can range depending on the particulars of the cosmetic program. In 2017, the national average price of male breast reduction was $3,641*. This number reflects only the surgeon’s fee, and patients are also responsible for the anesthesiology fee and hospital facility fee. During your first visit, we will review the full cost of your treatment, so you are well-informed, and go over your plastic surgery financing and payment options.

*According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Additional Male Breast Reduction FAQs

Dr. Holzman has answered the following commonly asked questions to better help you determine if this procedure is right for you and what to expect from surgery. For more information, please contact our practice and schedule a consultation.

What are some male breast reduction surgery tips for the first 24 hours?

Take your pain and nausea medications at regular intervals and begin advancing to a regular diet as tolerated. If you feel nauseated, drink clear fluids and eat simple, easily digested foods like saltine crackers, applesauce or plain, steamed rice. Keep your garment on 24 hours a day. Make sure garment stays dry and correctly positioned. Replace any saturated gauze. No strenuous activity is allowed.

How should I sleep after surgery?

Sleep on your back, slightly elevated for the first week after surgery.  

When can I bathe after surgery?

You may take a sitz- bath immediately after surgery. Run about 3 inches of tepid water into your bathtub, and carefully sit in the tub. You should take care to keep your dressings and incisions dry during this bath, and you should be very careful getting in and out of the tub.  

Be careful getting in and out of the tub. If you slip and put pressure on your upper body, you may cause bleeding in your surgical site.

Is there an alternative to traditional bathing?

If you do not feel safe getting into the tub, a sponge bath may be preferable.

When can I shower after surgery?

You may take a full shower after your first postoperative visit. Carefully remove your bra before showering and pat the incision areas dry after your shower before replacing the bra. You may place a 4×4 gauze pad (or a panty liner) in the bra if you notice any drainage from the incision site to keep the bra clean and dry.

What can I do for the swelling?  

You may apply ice to the chest if you desire for the first few days; however, many patients do not like the cold feeling.

I’ve noticed one breast is healing faster than the other, is this normal?

It is common for the two breasts to heal differently. One may have more swelling, one may seem more uncomfortable, and the shapes usually differ initially. With complete healing, they will look more similar and natural.

Why does the skin over my chest look shiny?

This is a result of the swelling that occurs after surgery. The swelling will subside in a few weeks and your skin will look more normal.

Why are my nipples overly sensitive?

If you had incisions around the areola, the nipples commonly become hypersensitive after surgery. This too should subside with time and is treated by gentle nipple massage for 1-2 minutes several times daily.

My incision lines itch, what can I do for relief?

Please take Benadryl® if this occurs so that you do not accidentally scratch your surgical site.

What can I do to help reduce scarring after male breast reduction surgery?

All new scars appear red, pink, or purplish. Scars on the chest may take a year or longer to fade. Avoid sun exposure to these areas and ask Dr. Holzman about medical-grade scar reduction treatments that are available. As always, apply sunscreen to areas that will receive sun exposure.

What should I expect during my first post-op visit?

At the first postoperative visit, which is usually on the fourth or fifth day after surgery, Dr. Holzman will remove the dressing to check the incisions. He will remove the foam pieces from the garment at this time. Additional instructions will be provided during this visit that will be tailored to your individual needs.  

When will my sutures be removed?

Dr. Holzman uses absorbable sutures that do not require removal; however, steri-strips will be placed over the wound and should be left intact. They are then usually removed after 10 days. There is no reason to disturb the dressings unless they become saturated, and then the soiled gauze may be replaced.