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Gynecomastia Surgery

Male breast development, or fullness in the breasts, is also known as gynecomastia. This is a condition that affects many men and can be quite bothersome. Male breast development can be due to hormonal imbalance, weight gain, or genetics. About 30-40% of teenage boys develop some breast development around the time of puberty—called “pubertal gynecomastia”—which usually resolves after one to two years. When it has been there more than two years after puberty, it is medically referred to as gynecomastia. Male athletes that may have used anabolic steroids are also more predisposed to developing gynecomastia.

There are a number of factors that may lead to the development of gynecomastia, and the condition is actually quite common. Fortunately, our board-certified plastic surgeon, James F. Boynton, MD, offers advanced male breast reduction procedures that can effectively address gynecomastia with successful results. Male breast reduction techniques can reduce excess fat and/or glandular tissue that is causing an enlarged breast appearance, ultimately giving the chest a flatter appearance and helping men feel more confident about the way they look.

Dr. James F. Boynton – Gynecomastia Surgery Services
Dr. Boynton offers some of the latest advances in gynecomastia surgery techniques for both true gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia conditions. These include liposuction with minimally-invasive tissue excision, the pedicled chest lift for pseudogynecomastia after weight loss, free nipple grafting, and other state-of-the-art options.

Dr. Boynton has been successfully performing gynecomastia surgery for many years and sees numerous gynecomastia patients each year. He is committed to helping patients achieve effective results and minimal scarring.

Gynecomastia Surgery

Do I Have Gynecomastia?

The most common symptoms of gynecomastia include a collection of excess fat or excess glandular tissue in the breasts. Other symptoms such as swelling or protrusion affecting the nipples, an asymmetrical appearance between the breasts, and/or tenderness in the breasts may also be present.

In medical terminology, there are actually two types of gynecomastia. True gynecomastia is the term used to indicate gynecomastia that is due to excess breast tissue or glandular tissue, while pseudogynecomastia describes gynecomastia that is primarily caused by excess fat in the breast areas. In some cases, men may be affected by both conditions.

Male gynecomastia patients typically feel very self-conscious about wearing certain shirts, such as golf shirts, or removing their shirts at the pool or in other social situations. Some men do not really notice this condition until their mid to late 20s and 30s—especially muscular-framed, athletic men who put on some weight with metabolic slowdown and lifestyle changes.

When you come in for your initial, confidential consultation, Dr. Boynton will examine the areas of concern and determine which type of gynecomastia you have. Once he has evaluated your needs and talked with you about your goals, Dr. Boynton will create a customized treatment plan designed to meet your expectations.

Did You Know?
Gynecomastia surgery is commonly referred to by many names, including:

  • Gyneco
  • Gyno
  • Male Breast Reduction
  • “Man Boobs Treatment”

Are There Any Gynecomastia Exercises That Can Help?

Some types of exercise may help reduce the effects of gynecomastia; however, this is only true for patients who are suffering from pseudogynecomastia (excess fat in the breasts rather than excess glandular tissue). In those cases, exercise techniques such as bench presses, pushups, butterfly curls, and others that focus on the chest may be useful for reducing fat and building muscle in the pectoral region. Combined with regular aerobics and a healthy diet, individuals may be able to acquire a more toned chest appearance.

In cases of true gynecomastia, where glandular tissue is the primary cause of enlarged breasts, even extreme working out will not fully eradicate this condition. Typically, the most effective way to significantly address true gynecomastia for a majority of patients is with male breast reduction surgery, which can remove the excess tissue (and fat, if a combination of the two conditions is present) and improve the appearance of the chest.

What Are My Gynecomastia Surgery Options?

Dr. Boynton is experienced with many of the latest surgical techniques for gynecomastia, including:

Liposuction with Minimally-Invasive Tissue Excision

Dr. Boynton utilizes a specialized minimally-invasive technique to remove the tissue causing gynecomastia and reshape the chest area, restoring its masculine form. This minimally-invasive treatment for gynecomastia involves two 2 mm “puncture” incisions. The chest wall and armpit area are lipo-contoured and sculpted using special cannulas designed for more “fibrous” tissue, as is typical in the male chest. After liposuction is completed throughout the chest and armpit area, a “pull-through” excisional component of the procedure is performed to actually remove the fibrous breast tissue from underneath the areola and nipple complex.

Sometimes male patients feel they have “puffy” nipples, and the male breast reduction procedure eradicates and flattens the chest in essentially a “scar-free” way. The surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis and avoids the large, open incisions and scars—including free nipple grafting scars—that are typical of the traditional techniques. Most patients notice significant flattening of the chest as well as a “shrinkage” of the often-dilated size of the areola.

Nipple Reduction

Sometimes, men are concerned with the nipples showing through shirts due to large or over-projecting nipples. These cases, in addition to “puffy” nipples, can be corrected in a simple, in-office procedure that can be performed under local anesthesia in approximately 20-30 minutes.

“Full Male Breast Reduction” Surgery (Pedicled Chest Lift) After Weight Loss for Pseudogynecomastia

Many individuals who have lost a lot of weight experience excessive amounts of loose skin in the breast area and have pseudogynecomastia. A “full” male breast reduction may be the right option to address this concern. Dr. Boynton often utilizes a pedicled gynecomastia surgery technique, also known as a “pedicled chest lift,” to perform this treatment, which can preserve the blood supply to the nipple, along with an IMF incision (crease incision) and a full periareolar incision (around the nipple). This is typically the best procedure for patients with significant weight loss and loose skin; however, some patients may opt for less invasive treatment. Dr. Boynton can talk with you about your concerns and help you determine the procedure that is ideal for your needs.

Free Nipple Grafting

The free nipple grafting technique is another commonly performed option for patients who have lost large amounts of weight and have pseudogynecomastia. Free nipple grafting allows Dr. Boynton to place incisions around the areolas and in areas that should yield less conspicuous scarring when compared with techniques such as anchor lift gynecomastia surgery. The free nipple grafting method can be ideal for patients with particularly severe gynecomastia after major weight loss, helping to address the condition successfully while dramatically reducing the potential for prominent scars.

Teenagers up to middle-aged men enjoy the improvements they can obtain from gynecomastia surgery, as well as their improved appearance both in and out of clothing. If you are suffering from gynecomastia, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our practice to learn more about your options.

What Is Recovery from Gynecomastia Surgery Like?

Special compression vests are utilized along with post-lymphatic massage therapy while recovering from gynecomastia surgery. Patients generally need only a day off of work and can typically resume full working out and exercise in two weeks. Final results usually take up to six months to see; however, significant effects of the surgery should be noticeable not long after the procedure. You can find more information about what to expect during recovery from male breast reduction surgery in the frequently asked questions section below, and we encourage you to contact us with any additional questions you may have. Dr. Boynton and his medical team will also provide you with detailed information about post-operative recovery and instructions that can help you heal as safely and quickly as possible.

Will I Have Scars from Gynecomastia Surgery?

Since Dr. Boynton uses a special surgical technique for most gynecomastia surgeries, many patients experience less noticeable scarring when compared to more traditional techniques. The scars from gynecomastia surgery should be quite small and challenging for others to see as the incisions are typically placed in locations that are inconspicuous. Dr. Boynton will talk more with you about what you can expect in terms of scarring from the male breast reduction procedure and the steps we take to minimize the visibility of residual scars.

How Much Does Male Breast Reduction for Gynecomastia Cost?

The cost of male breast reduction to treat gynecomastia at our practice typically falls in the $7,000 range; however, since the treatment is customized, the price varies based on each individual patient’s needs, the techniques utilized, and other factors. If the patient is undergoing revision gynecomastia treatment, the cost could be more, depending on the technique necessary for successful revision surgery. During the initial consultation, a member of our team will produce a total cost estimate based on your custom treatment plan and go over it with you. Our practice accepts a number of convenient payment methods, and we work with CareCredit®, which offers qualified applicants a variety of plastic surgery financing options that can help make the treatment as affordable as possible.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Gynecomastia and Male Breast Reduction

How long until I see the results in the chest area?

About 60 percent of the results are seen after the first month, 80 percent after three months, and final results are typically seen at six months.

How do you remove the tissue through such a small incision?

Historically, liposuction alone does not achieve flat results in the male chest, and some component of excision needs to be performed to remove the fibrous gynecomastia tissue (typically located behind the areola/nipple complex) that causes many male patients to have “puffy” nipples. The tissue is removed in “strips” using specialized surgical instruments that enable it to be removed without having to utilize a traditional “crescent” or “half-moon” shaped incision that goes around the bottom half of the areola.

How much swelling and bruising will there be?

Pain is typically mild to moderate. The procedure is done as an outpatient treatment, and most patients are able to resume their activities of daily living (such as showering, going out to dinner, getting around, etc.) the following day. Most patients will take one or two days off of work at most. A small minority of patients will take a week off of work, but that is rarely necessary. Men bruise more substantially than women do in general, so the bruising is to be expected. Men often want to get back in the gym and work out, but that is something that needs to wait at least two weeks.

Will I need to do any massaging?

Massaging is an important adjunct to chest wall sculpting and gynecomastia treatment. All patients get variable degrees of scar tissue formation after the procedure, and formal post-lymphatic treatments and massages are very important. With some patients, we start this process one week after the procedure; with others, we wait until two weeks following treatment.

What are the dressings/garments like?

Men wear a “compression vest” that fits easily and inconspicuously under their clothes. The material is breathable and comfortable, and patients are able to do this in all seasons. Sometimes, we add a special foam inside of the garments to achieve targeting compression in specific areas. Many male patients decide to do their abdomen and “love handles” at the same time as the chest, and the garment is the same regardless, so that is something they enjoy.

Will the incisions drain?

Chest liposuction areas typically do not drain as much as the abdomen and love handle areas, but there is a possibility of some mild drainage in the first two days. The specialized garment is designed to wick away fluid and helps in this regard.

When can I resume exercise and lifting weights?

Typically two weeks after the surgery. Dr. Boynton will provide more specific recommendations for you once you have been examined at the initial consultation.

If you are considering treatment for gynecomastia, Dr. Boynton can help. Please contact our practice to schedule a confidential consultation with Dr. Boynton, and he will be happy to answer your questions and discuss all aspects of this procedure with you. If you are also interested in other plastic surgery options for men, our practice can provide you with more information on treatments that may be right for your goals.