There is good news for men frustrated by flabby-looking “man breasts.” This condition, which is called gynecomastia and is characterized by the growth of glandular breast tissue in men, can usually be addressed through male breast reduction.
However, some candidates for male breast reduction are concerned about scarring. Here, the experienced surgeons of The Plastic Surgery Center discuss gynecomastia and whether scarring is an issue with this procedure.
How Gynecomastia Is Addressed
Gynecomastia is normal in infants, pubescent adolescents and elderly men. For some men, the condition may persist beyond adolescence or occur as the result of certain medications, steroid use, low testosterone, tumors, obesity or kidney disease.
For qualified candidates — generally, post-pubescent men with excess tissue around the breast — male breast reduction is an effective solution for gynecomastia. Results are immediately visible after the procedure, with the final outcome evident within three to six months of surgery.
Male breast reduction involves the removal of up to three different tissue types: adipose (fat) tissue, breast tissue and cutaneous (skin) tissue. The more tissue that must be removed, the larger the incisions that must be made.
Adipose tissue removal is accomplished using liposuction around the chest area. The plastic surgeon will make a small incision in the targeted area where a small, hollow tube, called a cannula, will be inserted. The cannula is attached to a vacuum machine that allows manipulation of the deep fatty layers under the skin. This process breaks up the fat and suctions it out. Prior to the procedure, fluids are passed into the tissue to improve and enhance the fat removal.
Breast tissue removal is a primary objective in the treatment of gynecomastia. To extract excess breast tissue, the surgeon will make a U-shaped incision at the edge of the areola. The size of the incision is dependent on the amount of breast tissue that must be removed.
Cutaneous tissue removal is required if there is loose or excess skin after the breast and/or adipose tissues are removed. The removal of cutaneous tissue is necessary in patients who have lost a significant amount of weight or who had to have a high quantity of tissue removed during the procedure. This final step ensures a flat, smooth chest, but does require a larger inverted “T” shaped incision beneath the nipple to re-center the nipple-areolar complex (nipple and dark area surrounding it).
Is There Scarring?
Minor post-surgical swelling and incision lines will be evident following the procedure. The swelling will be reduced within a few months, but incision lines are permanent. Our plastic surgeons take great care to conceal the incision lines within the natural contours of the breast. This technique helps reduce the visibility of lines or scarring. However, the nature and extent of your gynecomastia influences the results and is a factor in the appearance of scarring.
With proper post-surgical care, swelling will completely resolve within six months. The first year after surgery, most patients report a reduction in the evidence of scarring and continued fading as time goes on.
To request more information about the effectiveness of male breast reduction to treat gynecomastia, please request a consultation at The Plastic Surgery Center today. We invite you to schedule an appointment in our Sacramento or Granite Bay office with one of our experienced surgeons.