Although rarely discussed, enlargement of the male breasts is a common condition. Gynecomastia affects approximately 40 to 60 percent of men to some extent. This most commonly is related to changes at puberty, weight gain, various drug reactions or, rarely, a specific medical condition. The specific enlargement can be unilateral or bilateral. It can involve fat enlargement only, breast tissue enlargement or, usually, a combination of both. Dr. Robert T. Buchanan’s Highlands practice also serves patients in Asheville, NC and the surrounding areas.
Reducing enlarged breasts generally restores your self-confidence. If you have been avoiding situations where you would take off your shirt, such as going to the pool, this could restore your confidence. By removing the enlarged glandular mass under your nipples, along with pockets of fat, Dr. Buchanan can slim the contours of your chest and make you happy to take your shirt off on a hot summer day. After having this procedure, Dr. Buchanan often has patients confide that they now feel comfortable going shirtless for the first time in years.
If you think your breast enlargement may be due to weight gain, the first step is to lose the weight and see if the condition persists. If it does, this surgery could help. Any other cause needs to also be considered. Frequently this arises in the late teen years and then persists. If this is the case, the problem is just part of growing up. However, if these are not the cause, there are multiple other causes, including drugs, medical conditions and even tumors that should be eliminated before surgery. To determine this may require an evaluation by your family doctor or an endocrinologist.
Men who feel self-conscious about their appearance are helped with breast reduction surgery. The procedure removes fat and/or glandular tissue from the breasts, and in extreme cases, excess skin, resulting in a contoured chest that is flatter and firmer. The technique depends on the amounts of breast tissue and extra skin present. Liposuction occasionally can correct the problem by itself if the skin is elastic and the problem is almost entirely fatty. Usually, however, it is done as part of removing the excess breast tissue and, if necessary, skin to assure that the remaining tissue is smooth everywhere. An examination and discussion is the only way to know exactly what you need.
The time depends on exactly what needs to be done to accomplish your goals. Simple excision of the breast tissue takes about 1-1.5 hours. Occasionally liposuction alone is sufficient. This is quite quick. If the breast tissue needs removal and the surrounding tissue liposuctioned, the procedure takes longer.
Yes, Dr. Buchanan uses locally injected anesthesia for these surgeries. If desired, you can use something to reduce your anxiousness.
This is a low-risk procedure. It is surgery, so there are the usual risks of bruising, excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, infection, loss of part or all of the nipple/areola, and the like, but these are rare. The main risk is some loss of nipple sensation, but this is usually a temporary change and feeling returns as the tissues recover.
This is not an extensive surgery, and it doesn’t involve a difficult recovery. You will have some swelling and discomfort that can last up to two weeks, but this diminishes relatively quickly. Dr Buchanan will require you to wear a compression shirt or vest to reduce swelling and to help your chest conform to its new contour. You should avoid strenuous activities for several days to reduce the risk of bleeding or bruising. Most of our patients can resume normal activities within one week after surgery, though decreased energy may persist for a month or two. Dr. Buchanan will discuss the details of your recovery with you during your consultation prior to surgery.
“The personal service as well as the total professional experienced doctor gave me peace of mind to proceed with this service!”
Your results are immediate, as the glandular tissue and excess fat are gone for good. You will have some swelling, but if you’re diligent wearing your compression shirt it should be mostly resolved after the first month. After about 3-4 months, your firmer, flatter chest should be fully realized.
Scarring is minimal with this surgery, as Dr. Buchanan is usually able to make the incisions on each breast around the areola. This incision is virtually invisible once it heals. Usually there are also very short liposuction entry incisions below and medial and lateral to the nipple.
Your chest will be sore for a few days to a week, but the pain is not usually acute. Dr. Buchanan will prescribe pain medication, but most of our patients don’t require anything more than over-the-counter pain medication.
There is usually some initial numbness and loss of sensation, but this is temporary in just about all cases. By a year, your nipple sensation should be near what it was before your surgery.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons provides more general information.
If you are interested in learning more about our Gynecomastia treatments, please call us at (828) 526-3783 to schedule a consultation. Center for Plastic Surgery is proud to serve Highlands, NC and the surrounding areas.