Gynecomastia, or excessive male breast tissue, is a common condition among men. Even though many men experience this issue at some point, they often grow out of it. However, some men do not, and it can be a source of embarrassment or self-consciousness. This is especially true in situations associated with removing your shirt, such as hanging out at the beach or the pool, or being around your romantic partner. Gynecomastia surgery, or male breast reduction, can help refine the male chest and remove excessive tissue that causes male breasts.

What Causes Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia often occurs around puberty. In most instances, adolescent men who develop this condition during puberty find that it resolves on its own as they enter adulthood. However, there are some situations where gynecomastia will persist into adulthood.

Some potential causes of adult gynecomastia include:

  • Hormone fluctuations
  • Obesity
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Anabolic steroid use
  • Drug use, particularly marijuana or heroin
  • Dietary supplements
  • Estrogen-producing tumors
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Graves’ disease
  • Liver disease

Before considering male breast reduction surgery, you should consult your physician to make sure your gynecomastia is not being caused by the use of certain medications or one of the above-mentioned health conditions. In these situations, gynecomastia may go away by discontinuing the use of these medications or by treating the underlying health issue.

Am I a Candidate for Gynecomastia Surgery?

Most men experiencing excess breast tissue are candidates for gynecomastia surgery. The best results are typically achieved by men with firm, elastic skin. If you are overweight, your first step should be improving your diet and exercise regimen before considering surgery. If you are still unhappy with your appearance once you have reached your target weight, Dr. Ali and Dr. Tamir can discuss your surgical options during a consultation.

In addition, ideal male breast reduction candidates:

  • Are in good overall health
  • Have realistic expectations for the outcome of their procedure
  • Do not smoke or are willing to quit smoking prior to surgery and throughout the recovery period

Your Customized Gynecomastia Procedure

There are two different techniques that can be used to surgically correct gynecomastia. The right option for you depends on a few different factors.

Liposuction

Sometimes, gynecomastia is caused by excess fatty tissue. If this is the case, then liposuction is an effective option for reducing the breasts. During liposuction, a tiny incision is made through which a cannula and surgical vacuum can break up and remove fat. The best candidates for this technique have good skin elasticity.

Surgical Excision

If gynecomastia is caused by enlarged breast tissue, then liposuction will not be effective. In this case, surgical excision performed by our plastic surgeons is recommended. This can usually benefit men who require more extensive reduction as well as tightening and repositioning of the skin and nipples.

Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery

There will be some mild bruising and swelling after either type of surgery. This will subside gradually during the first few weeks of your recovery. Dr. Ali and Dr. Tamir will instruct you to wear a compression garment for the first few weeks after the procedure in order to facilitate healing and ensure the best possible results.

Typically, you should be able to return to work within about a week. Liposuction will require a shorter recovery period, and our plastic surgeons will ensure you know what to expect from your recovery.

Why Choose Mosharrafa Plastic Surgery?

Dr. Ali and Dr. Tamir are board-certified plastic surgeons with over 20 years of experience in helping men achieve their cosmetic goals. Our plastic surgeons can walk you through each step to ensure you feel comfortable and informed about your customized procedure in Phoenix. To get started, contact Mosharrafa Plastic Surgery by calling our office or filling out our online form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can guys develop breasts?

Yes. Gynecomastia or excess breast tissue in males is actually quite common. In most cases, it occurs in late teens or early 20’s and resolves without treatment.

Can gynecomastia be cured without surgery?

There are some external contributors to gynecomastia such as steroid use and regular marijuana use. Stopping the use of these substances may result in resolution of the gynecomastia. In some cases, gynecomastia is the result of a hormonal imbalance. In those cases, an endocrinologist can make adjustments to hormone levels and gynecomastia may be corrected without surgery. Weight loss may also be effective in reducing the size of male breasts.

Can gynecomastia grow back after surgery?

Yes. Particularly if it is related to use of steroids or marijuana or hormonal imbalances that are not corrected after surgery. Significant weight gain after surgery can also lead to recurrent gynecomastia. In most cases, however, gynecomastia does not return after surgery.

Can thyroid problems cause gynecomastia?

Yes. Any medical condition that affects hormone levels can cause gyneomastia. Gynecomastia is often a manifestation of thyrotoxicosis, occurring in as many as 40% of cases.

Does gynecomastia come after surgery?

This is not commonly seen. However, since gynecomastia is hormone-related, it certainly could be seen following an endocrine surgery that affects hormone levels.

Does gynecomastia go away with weight loss?

In some cases yes. weight loss can significantly change the amount of fatty tissue in the breast and can also affect estrogen levels, which may reduce gynecomastia as well.

Does gynecomastia surgery leave scars?

Yes, but if it is treated with liposuction alone, the scars are hardly visible. More severe cases of gynecomastia may require that skin be removed, resulting in more scarring.

How can gynecomastia be prevented?

Avoiding the use of substances that cause gynecomastia such as steroids and marijuana may prevent gynecomastia in some cases.

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

3 to 6 weeks

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

Most normal activities can be resumed in 2 weeks. Confirm with your surgeon before resuming heavy exercise.

How long till swelling goes down after gynecomastia surgery?

Swelling usually resolves by 4 to 6 weeks.

How many cup sizes can you go down with breast reduction?

In cases of male gynecomastia surgery, the end result is a masculine chest without any cup size.

When should I start massaging after gynecomastia surgery?

Post-operative massage should be discussed with your surgeon.

Can you get rid of gynecomastia without surgery?

There are some external contributors to gynecomastia such as steroid use and regular marijuana use. Stopping the use of these substances may result in resolution of the gynecomastia. In some cases, gynecomastia is the result of a hormonal imbalance. In those cases, an endocrinologist can make adjustments to hormone levels and gynecomastia may be corrected without surgery. Weight loss may also be effective in reducing the size of male breasts.

Can you reduce breast size without surgery?

There are some external contributors to gynecomastia such as steroid use and regular marijuana use. Stopping the use of these substances may result in resolution of the gynecomastia. In some cases, gynecomastia is the result of a hormonal imbalance. In those cases, an endocrinologist can make adjustments to hormone levels and gynecomastia may be corrected without surgery. Weight loss may also be effective in reducing the size of male breasts.

Do you lose weight after breast reduction?

Yes. For every 454 grams of tissue removed, you will lose 1 lb.

Does a breast reduction make you look thinner?

In most cases, yes. Particularly in patients with very large breasts.

How can you tell the difference between gynecomastia and Pseudogynecomastia?

Pseudo gynecomastia is excess pre-pectoral fat as opposed to gynecomastia, which is excess glandular breast tissue. In most cases, your plastic surgeon will be able to distinguish the two with a physical exam. However, a mammogram or MRI may be necessary to make a definitive determination. In most cases of true gynecomastia, a firm rubbery mass can be felt behind the nipple, whereas no such mass is typically felt in cases of pseudogynecomastia.

How do I know if I have gynecomastia?

If you feel your breasts appear larger than a typical man’s breast, or if you are self conscious about how your chest looks, then an appointment with your family doctor or a plastic surgeon that specializes in male breast surgery is appropriate.

How do I know if I need a breast reduction?

The choice between liposuction and a breast reduction to treat gynecomastia is based on the size and shape of the breast. Large male breasts that are saggy and have a feminine breast appearance may require a reduction to achieve the best result.

How do you shower after gynecomastia surgery?

Your surgeon will let you know when you are allowed to remove your compression garment and shower following your surgery.

Is gynaecomastia surgery painful?

In general, gynecomastia surgery is not particularly painful. Most patients will use prescription pain medication only for a few days.

Is it worth getting a breast reduction?

Yes. In severe cases of gynecomastia, the improvement in the appearance of the male chest is well worth the scarring.

What causes gynecomastia in males?

Gynecomastia is very common and can have many causes, including hormone imbalance, steroid use, regular marijuana use, aging and obesity. In most cases, however, no cause can be identified. Many young boys will experience gynecomasta during puberty and most of these cases will resolve spontaneously.

What is the best treatment for gynecomastia?

Depending on its cause and severity, treatment ranges from watchful waiting, to medication changes to liposuction or breast reduction surgery. A consult with a board certified plastic surgeon specializing in gynecomastia surgery will help determine which treatment is best.