The scientific term for male breast enlargement is gynecomastia. Male breast enlargement, especially in young men, is a common condition that can often lead to embarrassment, poor self esteem and poor self confidence. In its simplest form, male breast enlargement can be treated by liposuction. Larger reductions will require surgical removal of breast tissue and excess skin.
This condition is one that can produce a feminine chest due to the increase of growing breast tissue. Many times, gynecomastia is related to an unknown hormonal problem. It may also be caused by certain medications, steroids, weight gain, or it can be hereditary. Men with this condition often feel anxious and embarrassed, most commonly in situations where the chest is exposed, such as at the beach or pool or at the gym. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Phillip Chang performs surgical breast reduction for men who suffer from gynecomastia. This surgery does have a high success rate. It is known as one of the more common cosmetic treatments for men at Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center in Leesburg, VA.
What is the cause of gynecomastia?
The cause is often never known but can often be attributed to weight gain, marijuana use, and hormonal changes. These conditions need to be assessed before a patient is treated for the condition.
"It's been over a year and a half since I've been going to Dr. Chang's office, I drive an hour just to get here (although I know some drive three hours or more to see him!). I did a lot of research to find a board certified plastic surgeon in the area with a solid and reputable background.Throughout my visits, he's been incredibly kind and taken the time to listen to my never ending list of questions. There are a lot of doctors that push services that you don't need just for money but he'll be transparent to tell you exactly what he feels you'll need in order to gain improvement and will work with you to see what could be the best outcome. You can also text or email him directly after any invasive procedures if you have any questions/concerns instead of waiting for a follow up. I also don't want to forget the rest of the staff - everyone from the receptionists and nurses have been very gracious, patient and accommodating to my needs but I also want to mention Melanie whose an RN at Dr. Chang's office. She has superb bed side skills and truly makes you feel at ease when you're speaking with her. I've probably annoyed her with a million questions and emails but she's still been stellar. I highly recommend her for any non-surgical procedures. They have a few videos on their website and youtube as well so you have an idea of who they are and the procedures they perform if you want to get a better idea yourself but I definitely recommend them, they're awesome."- M. / Google / Jul 24, 2018
"Great patient care!!! Felt relaxed and comfortable through my procedures and can’t wait to see the results when the bandages come off."- M.E. / Google / Oct 20, 2018
"Compassionate, soothing and knowledgeable are his staff and Dr.Chang."- D.L. / Google / Oct 19, 2018
"Great doctor I travel from Alaska to see my sister and Dr Chang he always has pointers on what to do. Thank you"- R.R. / Google / Sep 25, 2018
"Dr. Chang and his staff help me to keep my skin youthful throughout the year in a peaceful setting. His staff is kind and helpful. Dr. Chang keeps me apprised of the new treatments available and how they can improve my appearance. I highly recommend scheduling an appointment."- B.B. / Google / Sep 19, 2018
Are you a good candidate for male breast reduction surgery?
Yes, you are a good candidate if your breasts are abnormally large compared to your peers
Male breast reduction treatment is reserved for men with overly sized breasts that cannot be treated through medications or diet. If you are frustrated by the size and shape of your chest (but you're healthy and at a good weight), you could possibly benefit from male breast reduction surgery by Dr. Chang at Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center.
Adolescent teens may also attain positive results from gynecomastia treatment; however, an additional procedure may be needed later as an adult if excess breast tissue continues to develop. In your initial consultation with Dr. Chang, treatment considerations will be provided, including the chances of moving forward with surgery to correct the condition.
The goals of male breast reduction are to reduce the size of the breast, elevate the nipple to above the under-breast crease if it is low, and to remove any extra skin and breast tissue if they are present.
Small reductions can be performed in the office under oral sedation. Larger reductions are performed at the ambulatory surgery center under general or IV sedation anesthesia.
Surgical Options for Male Breast Reduction
Small breast reductions with breast droop -
In patients with only a small to medium amount of extra breast fullness, the treatment of choice is liposuction of the breast. Liposuction is performed by making 1 or 2 extremely small incisions that can be used to suck out fat. The problem is that the hard breast tissue that is usually right under the nipple cannot be removed by liposuction. These patients will also need a small 1-2 cm cut under the nipple to remove the harder breast tissue.
Medium to large breast reductions WITH breast droop -
In patients with medium to larger breasts, there is usually some stretched and sagging skin. These patients will need the skin to be removed in addition to the liposuction. These patients essentially need a breast lift. Small lifts can be performed with a donut-style incision around the areola. Larger lifts will require a lollipop or anchor-style incisions. See Breast Reduction Page.
What To Expect
What to expect after a gynecomastia surgery
Pain after a breast reduction: Male breast reduction is not particularly painful. This is because muscle is usually not involved. A special thing that we do with all our patients is place long acting pain medicine directly into the muscle providing good pain control for the first day. Most patients will take a prescribed narcotic pain medication for at least 2-3 days. Patients can change to advil or tylenol after 3 days. Patients can purchase a pain medication called experil from the surgery center. This provides near-complete pain relief for 3 days.
Return to work after a male breast reduction surgery:
- Return to work in about 7-10 days ( but will still be sore )
- Return to light walking and 10 pound weights in 5 days
- Return to aerobic exercise and 20 pound weights in 21 days
- Drive in 7-10 days or have stopped narcotic medications for 48 hours
- A compression garment is required for 30 days
When will you see the final results of a male breast reduction:
- Feel engorged for 3 months to 6 months
- Decreased or sometimes increased sensitivity in the nipples for 3-6 months
- Scars will not whiten for 12-18 months ( use scar creams for silicone sheets for up to 3 months )
- Final shape is not apparent for 3-6 months to a year
What are the risks and complications of male breast reduction surgery?
As with any surgery, there are associated risks. Only you can decide whether a breast reduction can achieve your goals and whether the recovery and risk profile are acceptable to you. Fortunately, significant complications from breast reduction surgeries are relatively infrequent.
Although infrequent, the risks and complications of male breast reduction surgery can include
- Bleeding, hematoma, or bruising
- Infection particularly from the absorbable sutures
- Loss of sensation of the nipple
- Widened or thickened scar
- Asymmetry (unevenness between two sides)
- Delayed wound healing with skin or tissue necrosis
- Extra skin at the ends of the incisions
- Unsatisfactory results that may require additional procedures. Patients will generally be responsible for any associated facility fees.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does male breast reduction cost?
Excessive male breast tissue (gynecomastia) is a medical problem that is best handled by an experienced surgeon. For this reason, Dr. Chang suggests you focus on how to get your best results rather than costs. To make male breast reduction surgery fit your budget, Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center takes several payment methods. We can also help you locate low-interest financing. While surgery for gynecomastia is generally not covered by insurance, it's worth contacting your insurer to check.
The cost of a male breast reduction depends on the type of breast reduction that you require as well as the addition of any other procedures. Cost should be only a small factor in choosing the plastic surgeon that you want to provide you with the breast that will be part of you for the foreseeable future. The prices listed below are subject to change. Facility center fees are only estimates. Liposuction only is the most common procedure required.
- Surgeon’s fee - Liposuction only - $4,000
- Surgeon’s fee - Liposuction plus removal of breast tissue - $5,000
- Surgeon’s fee - Breast Lift plus removal of breast tissue - $5,500 - 7000
- Surgery Center Fees - $ 3,000
- VIP Members may have a discounted rate
Why should you choose Dr. Chang to perform your male breast reduction surgery?
Male Breast Reduction surgery is not only technically demanding but the surgery is an art that requires the highest level of surgical skill to perform to give you the best cosmetic results. For this reason, it is very important for you to choose a surgeon that not only has a high degree of surgical skill and experience, but one who can artistically combine all of the tools and techniques available to provide you with a individualized and unique experience and natural appearing outcome.
Dr. Chang is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has gained a national reputation for providing his patients with natural and sensually feminine results. He has been voted as one of the top plastic surgeons in Loudoun and Northern Virginia year after year. His work has been featured in national publications such as New Beauty magazine and his YouTube channel which highlights his surgical techniques has attracted thousands of followers and students. He is expert in performing the donut technique, the lollipop technique, an the anchor technique of breast reduction surgery if needed in more dramatic cases.
What causes gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia develops in men when there is an imbalance in the hormones. In most cases, gynecomastia is connected to the use of androgens and anabolic steroids. It may also be the result of using illegal drugs, including marijuana or heroin. Gynecomastia might also be triggered by some medical conditions (hyperthyroidism, hypogonadism, and tumors) plus some medications (highly active antiretroviral therapy for AIDS, chemotherapy, and anti-anxiety medications).
How can I tell if I have gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia occurs in men when there is an overgrowth of breast tissue in the chest, which can cause tenderness, swelling, and pain. Some patients might have pseudogynecomastia (false gynecomastia), so Dr. Chang suggests patients to lose weight by following an exercise plan and healthy diet before considering surgery. If you have excess breast tissue when you are at a healthy weight, Dr. Chang will perform a physical exam and order diagnostic tests. This might include a mammogram, blood tests, or a biopsy to look for other causes like an infection or the breast tissue (mastitis) or cancer.
Can gynecomastia be treated with exercise or pills?
Male breast reduction surgery is the most effective treatment for gynecomastia. Currently, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) hasn't approved any medications for the treatment of gynecomastia. Although they aren't approved for gynecomastia, a few breast cancer medications (Raloxifene or Tamoxifen) might give you minimal improvements. Upper body weight training to increase the pectoral muscles will not reduce the excess breast tissue and could even make the breasts look bigger.
Will this fix puffy or pointy nipples?
Puffy or pointy nipples may be caused by glandular gynecomastia. If you are concerned about this, be sure to tell Dr. Chang at your consultation. He will personalize your surgical plan to select the best incision pattern and technique to improve your nipples. Oversized areolas may also be corrected in surgery for gynecomastia. It is crucial to be honest with Dr. Chang about all your concerns and wants during your initial consultation, so he can help you attain the results you want.
Restore your Masculine Chest
If you are frustrated with the side effects of male breast enlargement (gynecomastia), we invite you to call our office and schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Chang to learn about our male breast reduction procedure at Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center. Once you've had treatment for gynecomastia (male breast enlargement), you won't have to keep hiding your chest when you go to the gym and beach. We have assisted so many Leesburg, VA men and have enjoyed helping them reestablish their self-esteem.