I have man boobs! Can male breast reduction surgery help me?

By September 4, 2017Procedures
male breast reduction

You love working out at the gym with your mates. As you spot each other’s bench presses and squats, you can catch up on what’s going on in their lives.

After the workout as you head to the shower, you notice a guy getting changed. Before he slipped his t-shirt over his head, he wrapped a towel around his torso. As he walks by, you understand why. He’s got the same issue you have – man boobs!

For as long as you can remember, you’ve hated taking your shirt off in public. Even on a 40-degree day at the beach, you’d prefer to wear a baggy t-shirt as you swim. And while you claim it’s because you’re ‘sun-smart’, it’s because you don’t want to draw attention to yourself.

What if you could take your shirt off at the beach and change at the gym without having to retreat to the shower cubicle? You’re not alone feeling embarrassed and distressed with your man boobs and there is something you can do about it!

Male breast reduction surgery can give you back the self-esteem and confidence you crave.

What is male breast reduction surgery?

To improve the physical discomfort associated with male breast development, male breast reduction surgery removes glandular tissue, occasionally skin and excess breast fat. This simple surgical procedure is very effective at producing a flat chest.

Gynecomastia (male breast development) can be present in one or both breasts and can occur in men who are overweight or slim, fit men. It is characterised by an excess of glandular tissue development, breast skin, and localised fat.

What causes man boobs to develop?

Man boobs can occur without an identifiable cause. Known causes can include:

  • Genetics
  • Hormonal disorders, including increased levels of oestrogen or decreased levels of testosterone
  • Obesity or weight fluctuation
  • Chronic kidney or liver disease
  • Anabolic steroid use
  • HIV infection
  • Overuse of drugs or alcohol.

What types of men get male breast reduction surgery?

Men who can benefit from male breast reduction surgery are:

  • Shy about removing their shirt in public, exercising or participating in sport because of the way their breasts appear
  • Eager to enhance their aesthetic body proportions by reducing their breast size
  • Suffering psychological consequences because of the size of their breasts
  • Embarrassed of their man boobs and avoid having physical intimacy or relationships.

How is male breast reduction surgery performed?

Your Cosmetic Surgeon has a number of techniques available to remove the excess breast tissue, fat and skin from your chest. These techniques include:

  • Liposuction,
  • Ultrasonic liposuction, and
  • Removal of breast tissue and skin (where there is a lot of excess, saggy skin male breast tissue can be removed through keyhole incisions).

The type of male breast reduction surgery you have will depend on the amount of skin that needs to be removed and the size of the breast tissue. Male breast reduction surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and usually consists of a combination of liposuction followed by glandular excision.

To ensure there are no underlying causes for the breast tissue development, a full hormonal (endocrine) screen is undertaken. Most Cosmetic Surgeons will use a baseline ultrasound scan to confirm you have true gynaecomastia as opposed to pseudo-gynaecomastia, which is fat (adipose) tissue.

Specific male breast reduction surgery techniques include ultrasonic liposuction intra-areolar incision, skin resection and pull-through technique.

Ultrasonic liposuction

If excessive fatty tissue is present in the breasts, ultrasonic liposuction breast reduction may be used. Most male breast reduction patients need a combination of liposuction and excision.

Intra-areolar incision

This is common technique for gynaecomastia surgery involves making an incision extending along the lower half of the areola circumference in the pigmented portion. The length of the incision will depend on each patient’s breast anatomy.

Skin resection

If the breast development is more severe, your surgeon may use the skin resection technique. This involves the surgical removal of a portion of the breast structure, and a relocation of the nipple.

Pull-through technique

This less invasive procedure, involves making a very small incision at the edge of the areola. Using liposuction, the glandular tissue from the overlying areola is pulled through the incision.

Get more facts about male breast reduction surgery here.

What is recovery like after male breast reduction surgery?

You can expect to have some soreness and discomfort after the procedure. This is similar to the sore feeling after a hard gym session. To limit any pain and nausea after the surgery, you’ll be given medication. Most male breast reduction surgery does not require drainage tubes.

It’s important to note that you will need to wear compression garments for at least 5 days after the surgery 24/7. After 5 days, you will need to wear compression garments during the day or at night for at least 2 weeks.

The results of your male breast reduction surgery will not be seen until all the swelling has gone down. For some patients this can take up to 2 months.

Depending on the type of work you do, you can usually get back to work within a few days. Your Cosmetic Surgeon will advise how much time you need to take off work.

Are there risks and complications of male breast reduction surgery?

Male breast reduction surgery can improve your self-confidence, self-esteem and quality of life, but there are possible risks and complications to be aware of. It is important to note that any surgical operation also brings complications of anaesthesia.

Male breast reduction surgery risks include:

  • Allergic reactions to surgical materials
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots: In your leg (DVT) or your lung (primary embolus)
  • Breast contour and shape irregularities
  • Breast asymmetry
  • Bruising
  • Cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Damage to the nerves, blood vessels, muscles and lungs
  • Death of fatty tissue deep in the skin (called fat necrosis)
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Infection
  • Liposuction: if this is used during surgery there can be associated risks
  • Pain: To control pain you will given medication
  • Permanent pigmentation changes
  • Poor wound healing
  • Possibility of revision surgery for additional tightening or repositioning of the breasts
  • Scarring
  • Skin discoloration
  • Swelling
  • Temporary or permanent changes in nipple or breast sensation

How do I find a Cosmetic Surgeon who performs male breast reduction surgery in Australia?

While ‘man boobs have always been the source of jokes, regrettably, it is never that funny for men dealing with this condition.

Men who are considering male breast reduction surgery can feel like their ‘man boobs’ are affecting their self-esteem and self-confidence.

We suggest you make a shortlist and consult with a few Breast Reduction Surgeons. You can find the best Australian Breast Reduction Surgeons here.