Gynecomastia

Even when you’re at a healthy weight, it can feel embarrassing to take your shirt off in public. What’s worse, “man-boobs” are often the butt of jokes or ridicule. If diet and exercise don’t produce the results you’re hoping for, it can feel like there are few options. It’s important to know that a board-certified plastic surgeon can assess your health and recommend the right options for you to boost your confidence with a flat, masculine chest.

What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is the medical term for enlarged male breasts. It can have a variety of causes, like excess weight gain or loss, genetics, drug use, or a hormone imbalance. However, sometimes a cause is not found, making it difficult to find solutions. It most often effects men that are near puberty or middle age. Gynecomastia surgery is one option that your plastic surgeon can help you explore, and it often involves surgical excision, liposuction, or a combination of both.

Gynecomastia Surgery Candidates

When opting for gynecomastia surgery, it’s important to discuss your treatment options with your plastic surgeon and regular physician. In many cases, gynecomastia can be treated with simple lifestyle changes (like losing weight or cutting out substances like alcohol or marijuana) or changing your medications. Most men experience gynecomastia at some point, usually during puberty, when hormone fluctuations are common.

If surgery is the right option for you, then it’s important that your weight is stable and within your ideal range. Also, your body should not be subject to changes in hormone levels, since both of these factors can affect your results. You should be in overall good health and able to undergo surgery, so Dr. Diktaban will make sure to discuss your medical health during a consultation.

What Happens During Gynecomastia Surgery?

There are generally two types of gynecomastia surgery, which are liposuction, surgical excision, or a combination of both. The best way to judge which option is best for you is by determining what’s causing your gynecomastia. If it’s caused by fat tissue, then liposuction may be sufficient. On the other hand, enlarged breast tissue will require surgical techniques. Dr. Diktaban may also recommend certain options based on how elastic the surrounding skin is. If you have looser skin, then BodyTite can be used to tighten skin at the same time. Either option can be performed in our in-house, certified surgical facility.

The liposuction method can be performed under local anesthesia with a very small incision. During this technique, Dr. Diktaban will insert a cannula and surgical vacuum to gently break up fatty tissue and remove it. Once complete, the incisions are closed, and you’ll be fitted with a compression garment for your recovery.

During the surgical technique, incisions are used to remove the breast tissue because liposuction alone cannot remove firm breast tissue. Men who have lost a lot of weight might have excess, hanging skin that requires excision in order to reposition the nipple and areolae. The result is a flatter, more lifted chest profile.

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Results and Recovery

Your recovery timeframe will depend on the type of surgery. For example, liposuction alone may require less downtime than a more invasive procedure. In either case, you can expect to take at least one week away from work. You’ll be instructed to wear a compression garment during this time, as well as taking prescribed medications to manage swelling and discomfort. You should avoid extensive activity and get plenty of rest, resuming your exercise regimen once Dr. Diktaban clears you for it. Swelling will continue to subside in the months following your procedure, but most patients see their full results within three to six months. To get the most out of your results, it’s important to maintain your weight and a healthy lifestyle, as well as avoiding medications or drugs that can cause gynecomastia.

Schedule a Consultation

Gynecomastia can take a toll on your confidence, making it hard to feel like you’re at your best. To learn more about your options for gynecomastia and male breast reduction, we invite you to contact our Manhattan office by calling or filling out our online form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can guys develop breasts?

All men have a small bud of breast tissue beneath their nipple-areolar complex. In some men that bud of tissue grows because of hormonal stimulation, ingestion of drugs, different medical conditions to name a few.

Can gynecomastia be cured without surgery?

Gynecomastia by definition entails enlarged breast tissue which can only be treated by removal or excision. Pseudo-gynecomastia is related to fat related breast enlargement that may be treated with nonsurgical energy devices but they are not predictable.

Can thyroid problems cause gynecomastia?

Thyroid and several other endocrinological conditions can cause gynecomastia. The appropriate workup should be performed by an endocrinologist and surgeon.

Does gynecomastia go away with weight loss?

If the gynecomastia is related strictly to growth of the breast tissue itself then weight loss will not make it go away. If the gynecomastia is related to fatty tissue then it may be possible for it to decrease with weight loss. Excess fat in the breast tissue is more resistant to diet and exercise then fat in other areas of the body.

Does gynecomastia surgery leave scars?

Gynecomastia scars associated with only liposuction leave very small scars that look like small scratch marks usually hidden in creases that are hard to detect. If breast tissue needs to be removed then the scars are a little longer but placed at the lower half of the areolar. Those areolar scars usually heal quite well.

How long do you have to wear a compression garment after gynecomastia?

Compression garments are extremely helpful in maintaining shape and position of the newly contoured breast. The garments are also important in minimizing swelling and bruising. In general, they should be worn for 2 to 4 weeks. The time will be determined by the surgeon who will correlate it with the technique used, your breast anatomy and the course of healing.

How long does it take to recover from male breast reduction?

Male breast reduction surgery should not take too long provided your postoperative course is uneventful. Any bruising should resolve within 1 to weeks. The time to exercise will be determined by your healing course and the type of exercise that you prefer. The start of exercise can be as early as 1 week or as late as one month.

How long till swelling goes down after gynecomastia surgery?

A good percentage of the swelling will be gone by one month. Most of the swelling will be gone by three months but the final result might take up to six months.

When should I start massaging after gynecomastia surgery?

Massaging the breast area will help with the reduction of swelling and also hasten the return of softness to the tissues. Very gentle massaging can start any time as long as it is comfortable to the touch.

Can you get rid of gynecomastia without surgery?

Gynecomastia by definition entails enlarged breast tissue which can only be treated by removal or excision. Pseudo-gynecomastia is related to fat related breast enlargement that may be treated with nonsurgical energy devices but they are not predictable.

Do you lose weight after breast reduction?

Male breast reduction surgery entails liposuctioning the fat and removing a portion of the enlarged breast gland. The total weight of both of these tissues will not result in any appreciable weight loss.

Can you reduce breast size without surgery?

Weight loss that results in reduced breast size is related to the fat loss within the breast. The breast is made up of fat and breast glandular tissue.

Does a breast reduction make you look thinner?

A breast reduction will reduce the projection of the entire breast in a forward direction. That will enhance the look both with or without clothing. The goal is to put the chest torso in proportion to the trunk and lower body.

How can you tell the difference between gynecomastia and Pseudogynecomastia?

A physical exam and/or radiological test will distinguish the difference between the two. If there is proportionately more breast glandular tissue noted then that favors true gynecomastia.

How do I know if I need a breast reduction?

When you look in the mirror with and without clothes and you determine that your breasts appear to be to big then that serves as a good starting point. The next step is to see how your breast size and shape compares to the rest of your body. When the breasts just seem to be to big then your assessment is probably correct. Please obtain a consultation with a plastic surgeon to confirm your findings and feelings.

How do I know if I have gynecomastia?

When you look in the mirror with and without clothes and you determine that your breasts appear to be to big then that serves as a good starting point. The next step is to see how your breast size and shape compares to the rest of your body. When the breasts just seem to be to big then your assessment is probably correct. Please obtain a consultation with a plastic surgeon to confirm your findings and feelings.

How do you shower after gynecomastia surgery?

Taking a shower after male breast reduction surgery or gynecomastia surgery is pretty straight forward. Your surgeon will instruct you on the right time to take a shower and let the incisions get wet. It can be the first day after surgery up until one week after surgery

Is gynaecomastia surgery painful?

Male breast reduction surgery or gynecomastia surgery is associated with minimal soreness to mild pain. If significant pain develops then please contact your surgeon.

Is it worth getting a breast reduction?

Male breast reduction surgery and gynecomastia surgery are associated with a very high patient satisfaction rating or score. Men feel more confident about themselves. They feel less self-conscious about their looks. This can lead to a better outlook on life.

What causes gynecomastia in males?

There are many causes of gynecomastia. A short list is provided here: genetics, hormonal influences, valium, antihypertensives, antipsychotics, methadone, marijuana, digoxin and tumors.

What is the best treatment for gynecomastia?

Some form of surgery is the best treatment for gynecomastia. It usually entails liposuction with the addition of breast tissue/ glandular tissue in the majority of cases.

Should I lose weight before gynecomastia surgery?

This depends on your specific circumstances. If excess weight is causing your gynecomastia, then losing weight can help! On the other hand, gynecomastia that is caused by enlarged breast tissue won’t respond at all to diet and exercise. In either case, losing weight can help you establish habits to maintain your weight after surgery.

Does gynecomastia go away over time?

In some cases, yes— but very rarely. It’s common for men to experience gynecomastia during puberty because of hormone fluctuations. This means that some men see a reduction in their gynecomastia as they leave puberty and their hormones level out. In other cases, gynecomastia remains because of underlying causes.

Theodore Diktaban, MD, FACS
Double Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

For over 35 years, Theodore Diktaban, MD, FACS, has made it his life's work to enhance the natural beauty of his patients in the Upper East Side and surrounding areas of New York City. As a double board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Diktaban provides the ideal blend of realistic, aesthetic, and safe cosmetic treatments and procedures.