Procedure – Male breast reduction surgery is performed to remove excess male breast tissue, or gynecomastia. Gynecomastia can range from an enlarged nipple and areola to pronounced breasts with excess skin. There are a number of ways to reduce breast tissue in men, depending on the degree of gynecomastia. Ultrasonic liposuction is one method to remove a slight enlargement of the breast tissue. Men with no excess skin and only enlarged nipple-areola regions may be candidates for liposuction to remove tissue through a small incision on the border of the areola. Large breasts will require removal of excess skin as well as the underlying breast tissue, resulting in scars around and under the areola.
The surgery and the incisions – The surgery usually takes 1-2 hours to complete. The type of incision Dr. Brown will make is determined by how large and droopy (ptotic) your breasts are. Breasts that are moderately large and slightly droopy can be reduced using liposuction and an additional incision that goes partially around the circumference of the areola. Large, breasts will require additional incisions.
Dr. Brown performs most male breast reductions in an outpatient setting or the in the office operating suite, under twilight or general anesthesia depending on your needs. He will discuss all options that are right for you during your consultation.
Initial consultation – In your initial consultation, Dr. Brown will begin by evaluating your health. Be sure to tell him if you smoke, and if you’re taking any medications, vitamins, or other drugs. Some drugs, such as marijuana and anabolic steroids, can cause enlargement of the breasts. Be sure to tell your surgeon how your chest has changed over time-both in terms of size and shape. Dr. Brown will talk to you about the various options available to you, and together you will decide how to proceed.
Preparing for surgery – You will be told which medications to stop and which to take before surgery. If you smoke, you will be asked to quit for a minimum of 4 weeks prior to surgery as well as 4 weeks after surgery. If you get sick or have any health issues in the days before surgery, please notify the office at once in case we have to postpone your operation.
After Surgery Care
What about swelling and bruising? – Swelling and bruising are normal signs of the healing process. They occur after any surgery to varying degrees. Swelling peaks at about 48 hours, and then rapidly decreases. By the end of the first few weeks, 50% of the swelling is gone. During this early period, your breasts will appear larger than their final size due to the swelling. By 6-8 weeks, a majority of the swelling has diminished. By six months, almost all the swelling is gone. Any remaining swelling is almost not perceptible.
What restrictions are there? – Generally, you can shower in 1-2 days after surgery, but you should not submerge incisions in the bath, hot-tub, or swimming pool for 2-3 weeks. The first day after surgery is usually spent lying in bed or sitting in a chair. Most patients then begin walking around the house the day after surgery. By the end of the first week, you will probably be ready to leave the house for short trips and light walks. Vigorous activities should not be performed until 6 weeks after surgery. Also, you shouldn’t do any heavy lifting (over 10 pounds) during these 6 weeks.
These are only general guidelines, and Dr. Brown will give you more specific instructions at your consultation.
When can I travel? – Traveling after surgery (air travel, long distance car trips, train rides, etc) should not be done before you have had your first postoperative visit. Typically, this occurs 5-7 days after surgery for suture removal. Patients who are at high risk for developing a blood clot should not travel until instructed by their surgeon. Short car trips under 60 minutes can be done before the first visit. A good rule of thumb is when you are off the stronger pain medication and can get up without assistance you are ready to go for a short drive. You should not drive the car yourself, until Dr. Brown gives you clearance for this.
What if I have a problem? – When should I call the office? We always welcome calls from patients. If you have any concerns at any time, please feel free to contact our office. If it is an emergency, the answering service is available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays.