Gynecomastia surgery reduces breast size in men, flattening and enhancing the chest contours.
In severe cases of gynecomastia, the weight of excess breast tissue may cause the breasts to sag and stretch the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple). In these cases the position and size of the areola can be surgically improved and excess skin may be reduced.
Plastic surgery to correct gynecomastia is technically called reduction mammaplasty.
Gynecomastia is a condition of overdeveloped or enlarged breasts in men that can occur at any age. The condition can be the result of hormonal changes, heredity, obesity or the use of certain drugs.
Gynecomastia can cause emotional discomfort and impair your self-confidence. Some men may even avoid certain physical activities and intimacy simply to hide their condition.
Gynecomastia is characterized by:
The average cost of gynecomastia surgery is $3,641, according to 2017 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Gynecomastia surgery costs can vary widely. The average cost referenced above does not include anesthesia, operating room facilities or other related expenses.
A surgeon's cost may be based on his or her experience, the type of procedure used and the geographic location of the office.
Many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans for male breast reduction, so be sure to ask.
Your satisfaction involves more than a fee. When choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area for gynecomastia surgery, remember that the surgeon's experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.
In most cases, correction of gynecomastia is not eligible for insurance coverage. However, each insurance policy varies greatly. Carefully review your policy to determine coverage.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has published a position paper for physicians and insurers defining the recommended criteria for reconstructive cases of gynecomastia. Ask your physician for a copy of this document to submit to your insurer.
Gynecomastia surgery candidates include:
Adolescents may benefit from surgery, although secondary procedures may be needed in the future should breast development continue.
In preparing for gynecomastia surgery, you may be asked to:
The success and safety of your gynecomastia procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You'll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.
Male breast reduction surgery may be performed in an accredited, office-based surgical facility, licensed ambulatory surgical center or a hospital. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
A gynecomastia procedure includes the following steps:
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The options include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best option for you.
In cases where gynecomastia is primarily the result of excess fatty tissue, liposuction techniques alone may be used. This requires insertion of a cannula, a thin hollow tube, through several small incisions.
The cannula is moved back and forth in a controlled motion to loosen the excess fat, which is then removed from the body by vacuum suction.
There are various liposuction techniques that may be used; the technique most appropriate in your case will be defined prior to your procedure.
Excision techniques are recommended where glandular breast tissue or excess skin must be removed to correct gynecomastia. Excision also is necessary if the areola will be reduced or the nipple will be repositioned to a more natural male contour. Incision patterns vary depending on the specific conditions and surgical preference.
Sometimes gynecomastia is treated with both liposuction and excision.
The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal, and you will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of gynecomastia surgery are acceptable.
You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications.
Gynecomastia surgery risks include:
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It's important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.
Use this checklist as a guide during your gynecomastia surgery consultation: