Excess breast tissue in men is a common condition, occurring in up to 60 percent of completely healthy males. It results in significant social embarrassment and loss of confidence. The condition is called “gynaecomastia” which literally means “male breasts” (sometimes also called “man boobs”). The plastic surgery to correct this condition is called a male breast reduction.
Gynaecomastia most commonly becomes evident in puberty. Up to 90% of adolescent boys will develop some male breast enlargement, which resolves in the majority as they grow into adulthood. The most common cause of problematic gynaecomastia is residual breast tissue that does not go away through puberty. Less commonly, certain drugs (prescription and “recreational”) and hormonal medical problems can cause gynaecomastia. In the vast majority of cases there is no identifiable cause, and non-surgical treatments have no role in the treatment.The objective in the surgical treatment of gynaecomastia is to make the chest proportional to the rest of the torso. If a man is significantly overweight, it would look odd to make the chest totally flat; if a man is very thin, then the chest should be quite flat.
Excess breast tissue in men is usually a combination of true breast glandular tissue, as well as fatty excess, depending on the age of the patient and the underlying cause. In severe cases there can also be excess skin resulting in droopy breasts.
Male breast reduction is a plastic surgery procedure that removes excess fat and glandular tissue from the breasts. In some cases, excess skin may also need to be removed. The surgery results in a chest that is flatter, firmer, and better contoured. The aim is also to create minimal and virtually invisible scarring. The surgery is usually done with a combination of liposuction, to remove the excess fat, and excision (“cutting out”) to remove the excess breast tissue. The scars are minimised and hidden at the lower border of the areolar. The surgery is done under a general anaesthetic, can be done as day surgery, or with a one-night hospital stay.
You will be given detailed written instructions about preparing for your surgery by the hospital. This will include the timing for admission, how long you should fast for before surgery.
As male breast reduction is performed under general anaesthesia, you won’t be able to eat or drink for about six hours before the operation
We will generally provide a pressure garment for you. Robert will have discussed this with you.
Robert works exclusively in the very best UK establishments. Unlike many smaller clinics, general anaesthetic is always available and should always be considered as the optimal method. In very limited cases, it may be reasonable to consider local anaesthetic or sedation.
The length of the surgery is very variable and often depends upon the amount of skin that needs to be removed.
We take all the necessary precautions to minimise the risks associated with surgery and in the majority of cases patients recover with no complications. However, no surgery is completely risk-free. The principle risk associated with the procedure are bleeding. Minor asymmetry, over or under correction are the other commonly recorded problems. Robert has considerable experience in this area of surgery and will explain all aspects of surgery with you in a frank and honest manner. He will also be delighted if you wish to contact previous patients.
Male breast reduction (gynaecomastia) is performed under general anaesthesia and therefore you won’t be able to eat or drink for about six hours before the operation. Detailed instructions will be provided by the hospital on exactly what you should and should not do before surgery. The procedure usually takes around 2 hours and depending on the time of the operation and overnight stay.
In terms of follow up, the following guidelines are generalised and I will often vary these to match your individual needs.
- Hospital stay is generally one night but it may be a day case procedure
- Most patients who have gynaecomastia surgery are back to work within a week
- You will need to avoid rigorous exercise for six weeks after surgery
- You will need to wear a supportive garment for two weeks
- You can expect to be able to drive within one week
“Hardly any scarring. Really pleased.”
“I have done my background research and so when I met Robert I knew what to expect. He was straight talking and gave me the confidence to proceed. I am very pleased with the surgery and there is a great improvement in my chest with very little scarring.“