Male Breast Surgery

Male Breast Surgery

Do you need Male Breast Surgery?

Male breast surgery is typically performed to treat abnormally enlarged breast tissue or gynecomastia.

  • What is gynecomastia? Gynecomastia is excessive development of the male breasts. Breast tissue in men is palpable as firm tissue under the nipple, which may or may not coexist with fatty tissue of the chest wall. This can be a very troubling condition for men that limits their ability to participate in sports or social events due to their self-consciousness about there breast tissue. Certain medical conditions which can contribute to the development of gynecomastia which should be considered.
  • What is physiologic gynecomastia? This is the type of gynecomastia which is not due to exposure to drugs or disease states. It is seen for various hormonal reasons in three stages in life. Breast tissue can develop in infants due to exposure to maternal estrogen.In puberty, temporary gynecomastia has been reported in up to 64% of adolescent boys with an average duration of 1-2 years. In middle age, 30% of men may develop gynecomastia and this percentage increases to over 60% in the seventh decade.


  • This patient developed breast tissue in puberty, which remained present over time. It was bothersome to him and made him uncomfortable with his appearance. A small incision at the base of the nipple was used to remove the firm tissue and liposuction was used to removed the small amount of fatty tissue. No drains were used and there were no sutures to be removed.
  • If I have gynecomastia do I need to worry about any associated medical problems? Only in some cases. Gynecomastia can be caused by medications. Steroids, hormones, marijauna, diazepam, and spirinolactone, and several other common medications have been associated with breast development. Sometimes stopping the drug can result in improvement. If you do not see improvement over the course of a year, you may need to consider surgical removal of the tissue. Some tumors and medical diseases of the liver, kidney, testicles, or thyroid can increase estrogen levels as well. It is very reasonable if you have gynecomastia to consult with your primary care physician who can perform a history and physical exam to check you for possible medical problems which are contributing to the development of breast tissue. Not all gynecomastia is pathologic. Furthermore, gynecomastia does not seem to be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • When should someone with gynecomastia have surgery? For adolescent patients, if the breast tissue has been present for 18-24 months, it is reasonable to remove it. In any patient who has long standing gynecomastia which causes them distress, it is reasonable to consider removal.
  • This patient has no underlying medical problems, but has both breast and fatty tissue in excess on his chest wall. A small incision was used to remove the firm breast tissue under the nipple, and liposuction was used to reduce the overall size. The result is natural looking without indentations or signs of surgery.
  • How is gynecomastia surgery performed? Gynecomastia surgery can be performed through a small incision around the nipple to remove the firm parts of the breast tissue. There is usually a rim of fatty tissue around the edges of the breast tissue which can be removed with liposuction.
  • What are the common complications of male breast surgery? Whereas severe complications are rare, minor complications are common. It is important that your surgeon have a good command of this surgery as over reduction of tissue can lead to disfiguring scar formation. Minor complications such as bleeding and uneven results are also not infrequent. In some patients the breast tissue is difficult to effectively or easily remove using the minimal incision, liposuction techniques.

Questions about Male Breast Surgery?

Please schedule a consultation if you have any questions about male breast surgery.

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