Gynecomastia In Men

Gynecomastia is when a male has overdeveloped or enlarged breasts, this can occur at any age. This can be caused by hormonal changes, genetics, obesity, or the use of certain drugs. Gynecomastia is usually characterized by excess localized fat, excess tissue development, or excess breast skin that can occur unilaterally (one side) or bilaterally (both sides).

Am I a good Candidate?

As most surgical procedures are, this procedure is highly individualized to the patient. Men who cannot correct their condition through alternative medical treatments, are generally healthy, non-smokers/ drug users, have specific goals in mind but with realistic expectations, and has stabilized breast development may be good candidates. Young men also can benefit from surgery, but may need a secondary procedure in the future if breast tissue continues to develop. About 50%-60% of young men have gynecomastia due to puberty, and an estimated 65% of men ages 27- 92 have some degree of gynecomastia present.

The Procedure.

Liposuction Only
In most cases liposuction is the primary surgical technique used to remove excess tissue from a patient's breasts. Several small incisions are made to insert the cannula, a thin hollow tube, and is moved back and forth in a controlled motion to loosen the excess fat.

An excision technique may also be used if breast tissue or excess skin must be removed to correct gynecomastia. Excision may also be used if the areola needs to be reduced, or the nipple/areola need to be repositioned to a more natural anatomic position. Incision pattern will depend on a patient's specific needs and surgeons preference.

A combination of liposuction and excision techniques may be used together to treat gynecomastia.


After surgery dressings/ bandages will be applied to all incisions, and a support garment to minimize swelling may be used. A drain may be placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect depending on the extent of the patient's surgery. Specific instructions will be given that should be followed to assure a smooth recovery. The final results of gynecomastia surgery are permanent in most cases, but can reappear if the condition was caused by a medication, drugs, or weight gain. Final results may take 6 months or more to achieve, due to necessary recovery.


Any surgical procedure has risks and potential complications. Anyone deciding to undergo this procedure will have to decide if the risks/ complications are acceptable to them.

Unfavorable Scaring: After the skin has healed unsatisfactory scarring may be present. This includes scarring such as a keloid ( a type of raised scar). After surgery scar treatment/ revision may be available through your surgeon to decrease the chance of visible unsatisfactory scars.
Fat Necrosis/ Skin Necrosis: This typically appears when a person experiences damage to the fat tissue/ skin, the damaged cells die and the body replaces them with scar tissue.
Loss or Change in Nipple Sensation: After undergoing surgery some patients feel more sensation, but there is also a number that feel decreased sensation in the nipple or breast.
Breast Asymmetry: In most people one breast is larger than the other. Despite best efforts asymmetry may be present after surgery - no surgeon can promise "perfect symmetry".



James J. Chao MD, FACS

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