Male breast reduction surgery – what it is, how it works and side-effects
Male breast reduction surgery is an invasive procedure to treat enlarged male breasts, also known as gynecomastia, and it now accounts for almost 40 per cent of global breast reduction operations.
So, is the treatment right for you?
In this article:
Duration of results
Back to work
Full recovery time
1 month to 6 weeks
Starts at 10,200 SAR
What is male breast reduction surgery?
Male breast reduction surgery is an operation that reduces the size or shape of male breasts.
It is suitable for any man who is unhappy with the way their breasts look.
There are several reasons for the breast tissue or fatty tissue around the breast to enlarge.
An imbalance of oestrogen and testosterone might occur during puberty when hormones are more unstable, or with age when testosterone production wanes.
Obesity can also make the male body create more oestrogen, causing breast tissue to swell and lead to gynecomastia, while weight gain can also cause pseudogynecomastia, where fat deposits increase the size of your breasts.
Genetics may also play a part, but this is rarer. Medication side-effects are also less common and can usually be treated with a change of prescription rather than surgical intervention.
The main difference between male and female breast reduction surgery is the goal of the procedure. Breasts play no role in a male’s anatomy and therefore the aim is to remove the breasts entirely, rather than merely reduce the volume as is the aim of most female reductions.
How does male breast reduction surgery work?
The science behind it
During breast reduction surgery, excess fat is removed from under the skin, either using a scalpel or through liposuction, where fat is sucked away using a cannula and suction device.
The optimum result is a completely flat chest.
Before the treatment
During a consultation, the best course of treatment will be decided. You may be prescribed medication to take to reduce the chance of bleeding. Following a healthy, balanced diet and staying hydrated will ensure your body has the smoothest recovery.
During the treatment
General anaesthetic is most common for male breast reduction surgery but on occasion a local can be used with extra sedation.
Firstly, a clinician will make a series of incisions around the nipple. Then, using a scalpel, or a liposuction tube, fat and glandular cells are removed from the target are, before your wounds are dressed, and you are prepared for recovery.
It’s usual to stay in overnight after breast reduction surgery, and you are likely to feel some discomfort in the days after your treatment.
- Ask your clinician for prescribed painkillers to help with any pain.
- Use an ice vest to reduce bruising and swelling.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, as the wounds may leak blood and fatty liquid in the few days after the procedure.
Full recovery usually takes around a month to six weeks. You should be able to return to most of your daily activities after around three weeks, although heavy lifting and exercise is best avoided for the first month. It’s safe to drive again once you feel comfortable to wear a seatbelt. It might take around six months to see the full results of your surgery.
Most men will be left with a scar around their nipples.
What are the side-effects of male breast reduction surgery? Plus, everything else you need to know
What are the side-effects of male breast reduction surgery?
There may be some temporary side-effects of male breast reduction surgery:
- Swelling and bruising.
- Bleeding and leaking.
In rare cases, there may be the potential for:
- Loss of sensitivity in the nipple and pectoral area.
How much does male breast reduction surgery cost?
Costs for male breast reduction surgery usually start at SR10,200.
How can I find male breast reduction surgery near me?
Use our local listings tool to find a clinic offering breast reduction surgery.
If you’d like to change the appearance of your breasts and don’t want surgical treatment, there are alternatives you can try – although none are thought to be as successful as surgery.
- Medication. Some medication, like clomiphene, can be used to treat male breast conditions. A course of treatment can take up to six months and may reduce the size of male breasts in some cases.
- Diet and exercise. In some cases, losing excess weight can help to reduce the appearance of your breasts, however this won’t help if your breasts are the result of a hormonal imbalance.
- Changing medication. Some medication, including anabolic steroids, medication for heart disease or infections in the testicles can cause breast tissue to grow. Stopping or changing these can help.
Male breast reduction surgery facts
- The word ‘gynecomastia’, the condition of a man having breasts, comes from the Greek words ‘gynae’ for woman and ‘mastos’ for breast.
- Gynecomastia occurs in up to 90 per cent of boys going through puberty. Most never need breast reduction surgery.
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