The appearance of “man boobs” can be embarrassing for men of any age, and particularly has a negative psychological impact on teenage boys. Whether due to genetics, weight gain or hormone fluctuation, male breast development (gynecomastia) is an extremely common condition among men that can occur at virtually any phase of life. Male breast reduction can restore more streamlined, masculine lines to the chest again so you never have to dread taking your shirt off.
Recognized as a male breast reduction specialist and one of the top cosmetic surgeons in the Mobile-Pensacola metro area, Dr. James Koehler is a board certified cosmetic surgeon serving patients from Gulfport to Gulf Shores and beyond. In addition to gynecomastia surgery, Dr. Koehler offers a wide range of cosmetic surgery procedures for both men and women, and is known for his caring commitment to a patient-first approach.
Are You a Candidate?
If you feel self-conscious about having “man boobs,” have noticed an overall softening throughout the chest area or simply want to achieve a more muscular look through your torso, you may be a candidate for gynecomastia surgery. The ideal candidates should also be at or near their target weight and enjoy good general physical and mental health overall. It’s also important to have realistic expectations about your results.
About Male Breast Reduction
The male chest is associated with a firm, muscular profile, so any appearance of softness that disguises these lines can be detrimental to your self-image. There are really two concerns that fall under the umbrella term of gynecomastia:
- True gynecomastia is the abnormal development of glandular breast tissue, and may appear in one or both sides of the chest. Although most often associated with hormone fluctuations such as those seen in newborns or during adolescence, gynecomastia can develop at any age due to genetics, steroid use and other factors.
- Pseudogynecomastia is the growth of fatty tissue throughout the chest, and is commonly seen in men who are overweight. While the “man boob” look may, to the outside observer, seem like exactly the same issue, the problem is related to excess fat storage than actual breast tissue.
In either case, gynecomastia surgery can remove excess skin and tissue throughout the chest to reveal firm musculature and strong lines again.
What to Expect
The first step in resolving gynecomastia is scheduling a consultation with Dr. Koehler. During this time, you can explain your goals for gynecomastia surgery, and Dr. Koehler can conduct a physical evaluation in order to ensure your candidacy.
Depending on the nature of your gynecomastia, Dr. Koehler may use one of two approaches during surgery:
- If glandular breast tissue is present, surgical excision is necessary. Typically, this begins with a small incision that follows the curve of the areola (the pigmented area around the nipple), through which Dr. Koehler can remove the breast tissue. Any excess skin is also removed for a smooth, firm look.
- In men with fatty chest deposits rather than glandular breast tissue, liposuction alone may be sufficient to accomplish a significant amount of breast reduction. Liposuction can also be included with surgical excision to further refine chest contours.
Dr. Koehler will discuss both of these options at your consultation, as well as give you a recommendation about which approach he feels will work best for you. Gynecomastia surgery can also be combined with other cosmetic procedures at the same time, such as including male breast reduction as part of post-weight loss body contouring.
Male Breast reduction FAQs
How can I pay for gynecomastia surgery?
Our practice accepts cash, check and credit card payments. If you are unable to afford the cost of surgery outright, we can help you access financing options. We partner with CareCredit, allowing you to get the treatment you need now and steadily pay for it after. You can also pay part of the cost up front and use financing for the rest.
How long does male breast reduction surgery take?
Every person is different, and so are their surgeries. In most cases, the procedure itself takes around two hours, excluding surgery prep and the recovery period. More complex surgeries can take longer than this, while those that are more straightforward may take less. Dr. Koehler will provide you with an estimate before your surgery.
Is male breast reduction an inpatient or outpatient surgery?
In most cases, gynecomastia surgery is outpatient. You will arrive at the surgical center the day of the procedure, remain for some time after to be monitored and then go home the same day. On rare occasions, Dr. Koehler may opt for inpatient surgery if there are health concerns that require more monitoring. In either case, make sure you have support at home that will be with you for at least 24 hours after discharge.
What will my gynecomastia surgery scars look like?
Because everyone heals differently, we cannot guarantee what your scars will look like after surgery. In most cases, we can hide them in the armpit and around the areola, making them difficult, if not impossible, for others to see. If your scars tend to remain raised and red long term, you can expect the same with this surgery.
Will getting male breast reduction improve my overall health?
For the majority of men with gynecomastia, the condition doesn’t directly cause physical health problems. However, it can have an indirect impact on your overall health. For example, lower self-esteem can cause depression, which can then lead to problems in various body systems. If your chest makes you avoid exercising due to embarrassment or discomfort, you may become overweight and out of shape. This procedure can be the boost some men need to get healthier as a whole.
What should I look for in a gynecomastia cosmetic surgeon?
The biggest thing to look for is someone with experience in male breast reduction. Many cosmetic surgeons offer breast reduction surgery but almost exclusively work with female patients. Because the approach and desired results are vastly different, you want a surgeon who has experience with breast reduction in men. Ask for before and after photos to verify their experience and results.
Are the results of gynecomastia surgery permanent?
They can be, but this depends on a few factors. First, if your gynecomastia was caused by an underlying health condition, this must be addressed. Secondly, if it was the result of an unhealthy lifestyle, you must make changes. Otherwise, the breast tissue will grow again.
What are the key benefits of male breast reduction surgery?
The biggest benefits gynecomastia surgery offers are:
- A masculine physique
- Greater confidence
- An easier time buying and wearing clothes
- Elimination of skin folds that cause irritation
What should I do before my gynecomastia surgery?
Dr. Koehler will provide you with a list of things you should do and a timeline for doing them prior to surgery. Expect to be asked to stop medications that can lead to complications, fast for eight hours before surgery and eliminate certain bad habits.
Risks and Complications
Male breast reduction is generally considered a low-risk procedure. However, because any surgery carries a chance of complications, Dr. Koehler will go over all the risks and benefits with you before your procedure so you’re fully informed about what to expect. Possible side effects include a negative reaction to anesthesia, unfavorable scarring or irregular contours, although these concerns are rare.
Your New Look
Male breast reduction offers the advantage of almost immediate gratification, as you should notice a difference in your appearance right away after your surgery. Dr. Koehler will ask you to wear a compression vest for the first several days, followed by a compression undershirt for 3 to 4 weeks.
Most men are able to resume their normal routines within 1 to 2 weeks, and other physical activity in 4 to 6 weeks. Results can be long-term as long as your current weight is maintained, although the aging process may impact the appearance of your chest along with the rest of your body as time passes. In addition to the physical changes, men often notice a significant improvement in their self-confidence following gynecomastia surgery.