Gynecomastia is defined as an abnormal enlargement of the male breast. It can be quite stressful, especially in teenage boys, who will sometimes avoid gym class and/or involvement in sports if it requires their chest to be exposed to friends and teammates. Hurtful names are applied to this condition, including “man boobs”, “moobs” and others, making this a body- image challenge for those who suffer from the disorder.
My plastic surgery procedures, including treatment for gynecomastia, are done at one of the two local accredited ambulatory surgical facilities close to my Southwest Michigan plastic surgery practice. For the past 15 years, I’ve been fortunate to work with many of the same staff members, including board certified anesthesiologists. The benefits to you include the safety of a hospital operating room without the exposure to hospital bacteria, and a personalized, caring and friendly experience.
Before your procedure, I’ll draw marks on your chest as to where the liposuction or breast reduction procedure will be done. You’ll go to the operating room and be given a general anesthesia so that, when you wake up, you’ll be all done, having slept through the entire thing!
If liposuction is the procedure we’ve agreed upon, small incisions will be made in the chest and a sterile tumescent fluid (salt water mixed with a local anesthetic) will be injected into the chest to make for easy removal of the extra fat. Using a suctioning machine, the extra tissues will be removed, and the small incisions will be closed with steri-strips and/or maybe a suture or two. I’ll place you in a compression garment, which is like a tight, short “shirt,” which you’ll wear home and for several weeks afterwards. If I think it’s necessary, I will put a drain in each treated area to evacuate any fluid that otherwise would accumulate, so the chest heals as flat as possible.
If we have decided that a breast reduction is the best path, I will make incisions around the areola (nipple complex) and in the natural crease at the bottom of the breast. After I remove the excess tissue, I’ll confirm that both breasts look as equal as possible. Some patients benefit from tightening of the skin on the chest wall and, if you’re one of them, I will perform that as well. Tiny sutures are put in place “under the skin” to achieve the best scar possible. If necessary, a temporary drain will be put in each side. A compression garment is applied as well. After recuperating in the recovery area, you’re free to go home, with a friend or family member as your driver.
Most of my Southwest Michigan gynecomastia patients do have some swelling and soreness after the procedure, whether they have had liposuction and/or surgical removal of their extra breast tissue. Ice packs are very effective, and few men require anything stronger than Tylenol. You’ll want to avoid exercise for the first few weeks and, if you have drains, those will be removed when no more fluid is coming out of them. You may have some bruising, which is normal, and disappears in a week or two. Most male breast reduction patients return to work or school after a couple of days at home. If you have surgical breast reduction, you may want to take a week off. You’ll see me in my Southwestern Michigan plastic surgery office within a couple days of your procedure. I’ll let you know how long you should wear the compression garment and when you can return to more vigorous activity.
Male breast reduction as a gynecomastia treatment will make you proud again of your masculine chest, and make you feel more confident in your appearance. Here at Southwest Michigan Plastic Surgery, we are committed to complete patient satisfaction through our professional and caring approach to each individual patient.