Breast Reduction for Men

(Correction of Gynecomastia)

What It Does

Overly developed or enlarged breasts in men is a condition known as gynecomastia, and may be present in males of any age. Whether caused by hormonal changes, heredity, disease, or the use of certain drugs (such as marijuana or steroids), gynecomastia can become not only a physical impairment but also an emotional one. Surgical treatment for gynecomastia may include the removal of fat, glandular tissue, and/or excess skin. The goal of the surgery is to create a more masculine contoured upper body, often giving the patient improved self-confidence to engage in a more active lifestyle.

Procedure Basics

The most successful candidates for corrective breast reduction surgery are men of relatively normal weight whose breast development has stabilized (usually post-adolescent). Enlarged breasts in obese men are not generally categorized as gynecomastia but are often due to being overweight.

Male breast reduction requires surgery, including general anesthesia and either in-hospital care or post out-patient care at home. Your surgeon will explain the details of the procedure and incision options based on your desired outcome. Generally, small incisions are made to allow for fat removal through liposuction techniques, or for excision of excess glandular material, or both. Other incisions may be made to reduce the size of areolas or reposition the nipple to a more masculine location.


Post-operative care may include dressings and bandages, including an elastic bandage or support garment to help minimize swelling and support the new chest contour. A small plastic tube, or drain, may be temporarily placed under the skin to allow excess blood and fluids to drain. Patients may experience some amount of swelling and pain which may be controlled with medication.

The success of any plastic surgery will be improved by following the instructions of your surgeon, including the use of any medications, follow up visits, and activity schedules. Patients often return to work within a few days to a week after surgery, although it will be important to avoid any heavy lifting or vigorous activity for several weeks to allow healing of the new chest contour.

Additional Information

Although incision lines are positioned to be as invisible as possible and may fade over time, they are permanent. Risks of male breast reduction include temporary or permanent changes in breast sensation, poor healing, uneven contours or loose skin, irregular pigmentation, as well as other risks associated with any surgery.

The results of male breast reduction are permanent, however, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding possible causes of gynecomastia such as alcohol, street drugs, and certain prescription medications will be a key to enjoying the benefits of surgery for years to come.

Male gynecomastia may be considered a medical problem, treatment of which might be covered by medical insurance. Pre-certification is always required for reconstructive cases, which are determined on a case-by-case basis. Most insurance companies, however, consider gynecomastia surgery cosmetic in nature.

Additional Resources

For additional information on gynecomastia corrective surgery, visit the Web site of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (www.plasticsurgery.org) ; click on “Cosmetic” and choose from the list of procedures. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Inc. (www.surgery.org) also provides in-depth information; choose “Procedures” for a list of topics.

To schedule a consultation to discuss gynecomastia corrective surgery with Dr. Christine Kelley, please call 317/575-0330.