Houston Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia Surgery)
When a male has excess glandular tissue in his breasts, he may have a medical condition known as gynecomastia. The reason a male develops gynecomastia determines whether one or both of his breasts become enlarged. Since the signs of gynecomastia frequently begin during adolescence, this condition can cause a male teen to have a low self-confidence level and poor self-esteem. A teen who has gynecomastia may refrain from swimming shirtless and playing sports. In addition, males with enlarged breasts tend to avoid wearing form-fitting shirts. Furthermore, many males with gynecomastia find it difficult to become intimate with their partner. Nonetheless, males who would like their chest to be firmer, flatter and more masculine can have a male breast reduction (aka gynecomastia surgery) in Houston to reduce the amount of glandular tissue in their breasts. During gynecomastia surgery, plastic surgeons also remove excess fat in the breasts. If a man just has excess fat in his breast, he may also be a good candidate for a male breast reduction.
What Are the Benefits of Male Breast Reduction Surgery in Houston?
The amount of glandular tissue and fat in the breasts varies from one person to the next. Men who have gynecomastia have too much glandular tissue and may have excess fat in their breasts, both of which the plastic surgeon addresses during a male breast reduction in Houston. While performing male breast reduction surgery, the plastic surgeon reduces the amount of glandular tissue in the patient’s breasts, removes excess fat and then tightens the skin.
A male breast reduction in Houston does more than improve the shape and proportion of the patient’s body; a more masculine chest can elevate his self-esteem and increase his confidence level.
What Causes Gynecomastia?
Although males can develop larger breasts due to weight gain, it is a misconception that this additional weight is the cause of gynecomastia because this condition occurs when there is an overproduction of glandular tissue. It is evident that weight gain in and of itself does not cause gynecomastia because even men who have slimmer figures can develop this condition. These men can improve the appearance of their chest with a male breast reduction in Houston.
The main reasons for the development of excess fat and glandular tissue in the male breast include:
- Hormonal shifts or imbalances.
- Certain diseases.
- The frequent consumption of alcoholic beverages.
- A genetic predisposition to develop gynecomastia.
- Marijuana use.
- The use of certain medications and herbal supplements.
- Carrying excess weight.
Hormonal Shifts and Imbalances
When a man’s sex hormones shift or are out of balance, he may develop gynecomastia. While it is natural for men and women to have both sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone, women typically have more estrogen and men more testosterone. Estrogen causes breast tissue to grow, and testosterone stops the production of estrogen so that the breast tissue does not increase. Therefore, a low testosterone level can lead to the development of gynecomastia.
Newborn males and young boys may experience gynecomastia due to the hormonal fluctuations that occur as they develop. However, these instances of the condition usually resolve on their own.
During adolescence, many males develop some degree of gynecomastia. At this time, these breast changes result from the changing hormone levels that occur during puberty. Nonetheless, once puberty is over, the gynecomastia often subsides. However, there are males who continue to experience the signs and symptoms of this condition into adulthood.
As men age, their testosterone levels drop, which could lead to the development of gynecomastia.
An overweight man can develop this condition because having excess fat can cause the body to increase its production of estrogen.
Is It Just Excess Fat, or Is It Gynecomastia?
Although surgeons remove excess fat from the breast while performing a male breast reduction, the term gynecomastia actually refers to the growth of additional glandular tissue, rather than a mere increase in the amount of fat in a male’s breast.
Certain Medications and Herbal Supplements Can Cause Excess Glandular Tissue to Develop
Some men develop gynecomastia due to their use of certain medications and herbs.
These medications include:
- Antibiotics (e.g., ketoconazole, isoniazid).
- Anabolic steroids (e.g., oxymetholone [Anadrol]).
- Chemotherapy medications (e.g., alkylating agents, methotrexate).
- Certain HIV medications (e.g., efavirenz).
- Medications to treat ulcers (e.g., omeprazole, ranitidine).
- Anxiety medications (e.g., diazepam [Valium]).
- Tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., sertraline [Zoloft]).
- Anti-androgens (e.g., flutamide, Cyproterone).
- Some cardiac disease medications (e.g., calcium channel blockers).
- Prostate cancer medications (e.g., bicalutamide [Casodex]).
Herbal supplements that can increase a male’s breast size include:
- Red clover.
- Saw palmetto.
- Black cohosh.
Signs and Symptoms of Gynecomastia That Can Be Alleviated With a Male Breast Reduction in Houston
Typically, gynecomastia is not a serious medical problem. However, dealing with the signs and symptoms associated with this condition can be difficult.
The potential signs and symptoms of gynecomastia include:
Initially, the individual may notice the development of a lump beneath the skin around the nipple. These lumps usually develop unevenly.
Inflammation and tenderness in the glandular tissue of the breasts. These symptoms can affect one or both of the breasts.
Males who notice that their breast (or breasts):
- Swells persistently.
- Has a nipple discharge.
- Causes them pain.
Whether an individual is experiencing just one of these symptoms, or a combination of the three, before considering a male breast reduction, Dr. Truong and Dr. Patel recommend that he seek medical treatment from an experienced general practitioner.
Diagnosing Gynecomastia for Men Considering a Male Breast Reduction in Houston
During the initial consultation, the surgeon asks questions about the symptoms the patient is experiencing. In addition, Drs. Patel and Truong must have details related to the patient’s medical history, herbal supplement use and medications (i.e., both over-the-counter and prescription). Furthermore, the surgeon asks about the patient’s lifestyle choices (e.g., the patient’s use of products that contain nicotine, how frequently he consumes alcohol and whether he participates in recreational drug use).
The Physical Examination
Once the plastic surgeon reviews the patient’s information, the surgeon performs a physical examination. Dr. Truong or Dr. Patel physically examines the patient’s breast tissue. In addition, the surgeon may examine the patient’s abdomen and genitals. If the surgeon believes that the patient’s excess glandular tissue growth is due to a hormonal imbalance, a male breast reduction in Houston may not be necessary. These imbalances often resolve themselves. Nonetheless, if the patient has an abnormally large, tender lump or a lump that only affects one breast, the surgeon may order a blood test or breast biopsy to rule out breast cancer.
Here Are Some of the Other Reasons a Man May Develop Gynecomastia and Require a Male Breast Reduction
To determine the reason a patient has enlarged breasts, Dr. Tuan Truong or Dr. Shitel Patel may need to order additional testing. The goal of these additional tests is to rule out the other issues that can cause a man to develop enlarged breasts.
Some of the other reasons a male’s breast size increases include:
- A non-cancerous tumor (e.g., hamartoma or lipoma).
- An abscess.
- A cyst.
- Swelling of the breast tissue (i.e., mastitis).
- A furuncle (aka a boil).
- Damaged fatty tissue in the breast resulting in fat necrosis, which leads to the development of a firm, round lump.
- A solid inflammation of clotted blood (i.e., a hematoma).
- Cancer from another area in the body that has spread to the breast (i.e., metastasis).
If Dr. Truong or Dr. Patel suspects that the patient’s breasts have become enlarged due to an issue listed above, the surgeon may order imaging tests.
Potential imaging tests to rule out the issues listed above include:
- A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan.
- An ultrasound of the breasts.
- A chest X-ray.
- An ultrasound of the testicles.
- A mammogram.
Is a Male Breast Reduction to Treat Gynecomastia a Painful Procedure?
Following any surgical procedure, patients should expect to experience some pain. However, the pain associated with a male breast reduction is usually mild.
Patients may experience soreness and bruising in the treatment areas. As long as the patient follows the post-surgical instructions he receives from his surgeon, the patient can expect a quick and uneventful recovery.
A Male Breast Reduction in Houston for the Treatment of Gynecomastia
At Lift Plastic Surgery, patients receive personalized treatment plans. By taking the time to create each of their patients a custom plan, Drs. Patel and Truong know that they will be sure to address each patient’s specific needs and desires.
A male breast reduction is an outpatient procedure, which means the patient returns home after he spends some time in recovery. Since the patient receives general anesthesia or twilight sedation during a male breast reduction, he must arrive with a driver on the day of surgery. The use of for-hire or public transportation following any procedure that requires twilight sedation or general anesthesia puts the patient at risk, therefore, Lift Plastic Surgery’s patients are unable to use these services at these times.
Choosing a Driver
Dr. Shitel Patel and Dr. Tuan Truong recommend that patients choose someone they trust to bring them to surgery and take them home afterwards. In addition, patients must have someone remain with them for several nights following their breast reduction surgery to serve as a caregiver. Since sedation and anesthesia slow the reflexes, for safety’s sake, anyone who receives twilight sedation or general anesthesia must refrain from driving for at least 24 hours.
A Male Breast Reduction: Excising Glandular Tissue
During a male breast reduction to treat gynecomastia, the surgeon needs to remove excess glandular tissue. To accomplish this, Dr. Patel or Dr. Truong creates an incision that follows the base of the patient’s nipple areola complex. Creating the incision in this area allows the darker skin to camouflage the resulting scar. After creating the incision, the plastic surgeon carefully excises the glandular tissue that is causing the patient’s overly large breasts. During a male breast reduction to treat gynecomastia, the surgeon can also use liposuction to remove excess breast fat.
The Liposuction Procedure as Part of a Male Breast Reduction
Lift Plastic Surgery’s surgeons perform liposuction as part of a male breast reduction to address gynecomastia, as well as for men who just have excess fat in their breasts.
The surgeon creates several small puncture-like incisions on the patient’s chest. These incisions provide a way for Dr. Patel or Dr. Truong to perform the liposuction procedure. The good news is that once these incisions heal, they are usually barely visible.
After incision creation, the surgeon may inject tumescent fluid through the puncture-like incisions. This fluid helps the plastic surgeon break up the excess fat, which allows for easier removal. By slowly moving the hollow tube (i.e., cannula) back and forth, the liposuction vacuum removes the loosened fat. Sometimes, if there is a minimal amount of fat, the vacuum is not necessary and the surgeon can use a syringe to remove the fat manually.
Tightening the Skin
Once the surgeon removes the excess glandular tissue and fat, the patient may have excess skin on his chest. The plastic surgeon must remove this excess skin. An experienced surgeon knows how much of the skin to remove to provide the patient with optimal results. Removing too little skin may result in a nipple areola complex that sags, removing too much skin can result in open wounds that require skin grafts. For this reason, choosing a highly experienced plastic surgeon to perform gynecomastia surgery in Houston is vital to reducing the likelihood of experiencing this type of complication.
Some Patients Require a More Extensive Breast Reduction Procedure
When a patient has extra tissue, a nipple that sags and a substantial amount of excess skin, to achieve his goals, the plastic surgeon may need to perform a more extensive breast reduction procedure. However, this more extensive procedure usually leaves some visible scarring on the patient’s chest. Nonetheless, most of Lift Plastic Surgery’s male breast reduction patients accept these scars in exchange for a flatter, firmer chest that looks and feels great beneath their clothing. Furthermore, once healing is complete, Dr. Patel and Dr. Truong can help the patient reduce any visible scarring.
The surgeon closes the patient’s incisions using absorbable sutures, skin glue and surgical tape.
Dr. Patel or Dr. Truong wraps the patient’s chest with a compression garment. It is imperative that the patient wear the compression garment properly and follow his surgeon’s instructions in relation to how long he should keep the garment on. Disregarding these instructions could lead to the patient experiencing suboptimal results.
After spending some time in the recovery area, Dr. Patel or Dr. Truong usually visits the patient to answer any questions he has before releasing the patient to his driver. Patients also receive information outlining how to care for themselves, what activities to avoid and restrictions, as well as when to return to Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston for their follow-up appointment. The patient must take any medications he receives after surgery as prescribed.
Recovering After Gynecomastia Surgery in Houston
The patient should expect his chest to be inflamed and bruised. In addition, he will experience some discomfort. However, the compression garment helps with reducing inflammation, which also decreases the amount of discomfort a patient feels. Patients wear their compression garment for 6 weeks. To ensure optimal results, this compression garment must be worn continuously. The only time the patient should remove his garment is while showering.
Some patients experience sensation changes in their breasts, including numbness. These changes typically subside within several months.
For the initial 4 to 6-week period following their breast reduction procedure, patients must refrain from participating in strenuous activities, exercising vigorously or lifting their arms above their head.
Most patients need about 6 weeks to fully recover and return to their usual routine.
It takes a few months for post-surgical inflammation to subside, at which point patients can see the shape of their new chest.
The results of this breast reduction procedure are permanent.
What Makes Someone a Good Candidate for a Male Breast Reduction in Houston?
A good candidate for gynecomastia surgery is a healthy male who is at least 18 years old. He has excess glandular tissue and fat in his chest that he would like an experienced plastic surgeon to remove.
He must have fully mature breasts and be at a stable weight.
The possibility of his excessive breast tissue resulting from a treatable medical cause must be ruled out by his treating physician.
If the patient has masses in his breasts, cancer must be ruled out before he is eligible for breast reduction surgery in Houston.
Once a patient meets these requirements, his treatment options depend on the problems he is experiencing.
Preparing for Gynecomastia Surgery in Houston
Patients must stop smoking and discontinue drinking alcoholic beverages for at least 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after surgery to decrease the size of their breasts.
The patient has to discontinue taking medications (e.g., blood thinners, aspirin, NSAIDs), herbs (e.g., St. John’s Wort) and vitamins (e.g., vitamin E) that may cause excessive bleeding for at least 10 days before and 10 days after his breast reduction procedure in Houston. If a patient needs to take pain medication during this 10-day timeframe before his male breast reduction surgery, it is safe for him to take acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol).
Ask someone to drive him to and from surgery. Patients also need a caregiver to remain with them for several nights after their breast reduction procedure. The individual a patient chooses must have the strength to lift him in case he needs assistance walking.
Some of the items patients need after their male breast reduction procedure include:
- Hand sanitizer.
- Supplies to care for their surgical incisions.
- Loose, comfortable clothing.
- Tops that zip or button up and do not require that the patient lift his arms over his head.
- Extra pillows and comfortable blankets.
- Healthy snacks.
- Entertainment (e.g., a streaming service, game apps).
Are There Any Risks Associated With a Male Breast Reduction Procedure?
Although complications are rare, as with all medical procedures and treatments, gynecomastia surgery has some risks and potential complications for patients to consider.
Some of the risks and potential complications of gynecomastia surgery include:
- A negative reaction to the medications or products the plastic surgeon uses during surgery.
- Undesirable results (e.g., breasts are asymmetrical, the contouring or shape looks unnatural).
- A hematoma.
- Tissue death (i.e., skin necrosis) at the location where the incisions meet.
- A Seroma.
- Impaired blood flow to the nipple areola complex, resulting in necrosis, which requires removal of the dead tissue.
- Fat necrosis, which results in the development of small, hard lumps under the skin.
- Changes in breast or nipple sensations. This could be temporary or may be permanent.
- Deep vein thrombosis.
- Undesirable scarring.
- Uneven contouring of the chest.
- Skin discoloration.
General anesthesia can cause a patient to experience:
- Dry mouth.
- Difficulty urinating.
- Blood clot formation.
- Serious complications resulting in organ failure.
How Much Will Gynecomastia Surgery Cost?
Whether an individual is having gynecomastia surgery to address excess glandular tissue or a breast reduction to remove excess fat, or to address both of these issues, the only way to determine how much a procedure costs is with an initial consultation at Lift Plastic Surgery.
Does Health Insurance Cover Male Breast Reduction Procedures?
Since health insurance companies usually consider gynecomastia surgery to be a cosmetic procedure, they usually will not cover this type of breast reduction procedure. Nonetheless, patients should always contact their health insurance company to find out before scheduling an appointment with a plastic surgeon.
If you are a male residing in, or visiting, the Houston area, and you have gynecomastia or excess breast fat that you would like an experienced plastic surgeon to address, consider scheduling an initial consultation at Lift Plastic Surgery.
Drs. Patel and Truong dedicate themselves to providing every patient with personalized treatment of the highest quality, with results that appear natural. If you are interested in learning more about male breast reductions, and you are in the Houston area, consider contacting Lift Plastic Surgery at (832) 835-1131 to schedule an initial consultation with one of the top plastic surgeons in the Houston Area.
Male Breast Reduction FAQ
WHAT CAUSES GYNECOMASTIA?
Hormones, medication, weight and even cancer. Depending on the cause, one or both breasts may be enlarged. This can often be a source of embarrassment or shame, especially when the problem begins in adolescence, making it hard to play sports, go to the beach, or be intimate with a partner.
IS MALE BREAST REDUCTION (GYNECOMASTIA SURGERY) RIGHT FOR ME?
Before considering surgery, it is important to make sure that the breast growth has been stable, weight is controlled, all treatable medical causes have been ruled out by your primary care physician, and any masses have been appropriately evaluated to rule out cancer. When deemed appropriate for surgery, options depend on the particular problem.
If there is extra fatty tissue but little to no extra skin, liposuction alone tends to provide good results. If a firmer disc of tissue is also present behind the nipple, liposuction can be combined with direct excision of this tissue through a small incision. If there is extra tissue as well as a significant amount of extra skin and a sagging nipple, this will often require a more extensive procedure, like a small breast reduction. You should realize that, if more than liposuction is required, there will be visible scars on the chest. However, most men are happily willing to accept scars for a flat chest that looks great in clothes. If you’re interested in Gynecomastia in Houston, Lift Plastic Surgery is the best choice.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING MALE BREAST REDUCTION?
During surgery, if liposuction is required, several small puncture marks are made on the chest, and the extra fatty tissue is removed with a cannula. These incisions are generally barely visible once healed. If direct excision is required, a small curved incision is made at the bottom half of the areola and the extra firm tissue is directly removed and the incision is closed with absorbable sutures.
The scar is usually well hidden. If the areola is enlarged, it can also be made smaller at the same time. If a breast reduction technique is used, an ellipse of extra skin and tissue is removed. The nipple and areola remain attached to a thin piece of tissue which is still attached to a blood supply, while as much of the remaining extra breast tissue as possible is removed. The incision is closed, and the nipple/areola is brought out through a new hole. This creates a scar around the areola that is well hidden, as well as a linear scar in the crease under the breast. Absorbable sutures are used as well as tape and skin glue and your chest will be wrapped. You are able to go home the same day.
WHAT WILL MY RECOVERY FROM MALE BREAST REDUCTION BE LIKE?
Postoperatively, you will have some discomfort, swelling and bruising. You will be able to shower the day after surgery. You must wear a compression shirt or vest at all times (other than showering) for 6 weeks to optimize your results.
No vigorous exercise or activity is allowed for the first 4-6 weeks after surgery and you should limit lifting your arms above your head. Expect that swelling will gradually decrease over the next few months before you see the final shape of your new chest. Once your incisions are healed we will discuss scar management tips. After surgery, you may have numbness or changes in sensation of the breast. This is generally not permanent, but may take several months to resolve.