Though rarely discussed, an estimated 40 to 60 percent of the adult male population is afflicted with “women-like breasts" to at least some degree. This condition may affect one or both breasts, and is most noticeable at a beach or pool or in a locker room. For those who are self-conscious about their condition, known as gynecomastia (the Greek word for women-like breasts), a plastic surgeon can perform breast-reduction surgery.
Similar in many ways to the procedure for women, gynecomastia removes fat and/or some glandular tissue from the breasts and, in extreme cases, excess skin as well. The result: a firmer, flatter, better-contoured and more masculine chest.
According to the ASPS, over 26,000 male breast reduction procedures were performed in 2017. Plastic surgery among men continues to grow in popularity and gynecomastia treatment is one of the top most sought after procedures. Dr. Kapoor is trusted by patient for his ability to deliver beautiful results.
Candidates for male breast reduction include physically healthy men who are looking to improve breasts that are more feminine than masculine in appearance. The best results are often achieved on those with firm, elastic skin. Surgery is not advised for individuals who drink or smoke heavily or take steroids until these habits have been stopped. Surgery is also not recommended for obese men or overweight men who have not yet tried to improve their breast appearance through exercise and weight loss. An initial consultation with Dr. Kapoor in his Beverly Hills office will help to determine if male breast reduction is right for you.
Dr. Kapoor may perform the male breast reduction surgery onsite at the Beverly Hills Wellness Surgery Center, a state-of-the-art AAAHC-certified facility. While surgical times will vary, the typical male breast reduction procedure takes about two hours to perform. Local anesthesia combined with a mild sedative may be used or general anesthesia may be used.
The incisions for male breast reduction are typically located in the armpit area or on the edge of the areola. If the gynecomastia is caused by excess glandular tissue, Dr. Kapoor will remove this surgically. Excess skin will also be trimmed and excess fat will be removed with liposuction. If the gynecomastia is caused primarily by excess fatty tissue, smaller incisions are made and ultrasound or power-assisted liposuction is used to remove the excess fat. The incisions are then closed and a surgical dressing is applied to the chest. A small drain may be inserted at the incision sites and these will remain in place for a day or two.
Patients may experience some discomfort after surgery which can be controlled with prescribed medication. Bruising and swelling are common during the first few weeks after surgery. An elastic pressure garment will need to be worn around the clock for the first two weeks and then only at night for several weeks more. The stitches are removed within one to two weeks.
Patients are often able to return to work within just a few days after surgery. However, strenuous activities will need to be avoided for a minimum of three weeks. It’s also advised that sex be postponed for one to two weeks. The scars should be protected from sun exposure for at least six months.
Q. Who are good candidates for this procedure?
You are, if you’re a man in good health but your breasts look more feminine than masculine. It helps to have firm, elastic skin that can be easily reshaped to a better-looking contour. However, if you’re a heavy smoker or drinker, or you take steroids (which may cause gynecomastia), forget about it, unless and until you stop those habits. Men who are obese (and who often have feminine-looking breasts) are not good candidates for this procedure either. Nor are overweight-but not yet obese-men who first haven’t tried to correct their breast problem via weight loss and exercise programs.
Q. What are the risks?
When the procedure is performed by a highly qualified cosmetic surgeon such as Dr. Kapoor, complications are rare and usually minor. However, as with any surgery, potential risks include infection, excessive bleeding, injury to the skin, adverse reaction to the anesthesia, excessive fluid loss, or fluid accumulation. In addition, the procedure may cause noticeable scars, permanent pigment change in the breast area, or slightly mismatched breasts or nipples (though the latter problem may be corrected by having a second operation to remove more tissue). Temporarily-up to a year or so-there may be a loss of sensation or numbness in the breast.
Q. What’s the first step?
Arrange for a consultation at Dr. Kapoor’s medical office. Bring along a copy of your medical records, so the doctor can look for any health conditions that may affect the surgery or its results. He will examine your breasts as well. Your records and/or the exam may reveal why your breasts became enlarged. It might be an impaired liver function or some other health problem. Or it may be due to your taking anabolic steroids or estrogen-containing medications. In extreme cases, a mammogram is taken, to help determine if there’s any cancer, and to see how much fat and glandular tissue are present