What is gynecomastia reduction?

A male breast reduction (also known as gynecomastia reduction) removes the excess breast tissue to create a smooth, flat, muscular chest. Gynecomastia (breast growth in men) is a common problem, but rarely discussed. If you feel embarrassed or self-conscious about the appearance of your chest, you are not alone. Some men may also experience tenderness or pain around the nipples as a result.

What causes gynecomastia?

In most cases, there is no clear, identifiable cause for the growth of breast tissue seen in gynecomastia. In these situations, once the gynecomastia is removed it usually does not come back. It is important, however, that other causes be ruled out to ensure that the gynecomastia is secondary to another issue. Problems that can cause gynecomastia include hormone imbalances, certain medications, anabolic steroids, marijuana, and obesity to name a few. Dr. Sailon will review your medical history and perform a thorough examination to see if further workup is needed.

How do I know if I have gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is simply the enlargement or growth of breast tissue in men. This can occur on one side of your chest, or both. The common signs include:

  • The appearance of breast tissue
  • Increased size of the areola (the pigmented skin around the nipple)
  • Breast tenderness or pain


If you have gynecomastia that has been present for at least one year without changing, you are likely a good candidate for surgery. During your consultation, Dr. Sailon will evaluate you to see if there are any identifiable causes of the gynecomastia that can be addressed. If you smoke, it is imperative that you quit one month before surgery.

How is the procedure done?

As with any plastic surgery procedure, a male breast reduction must be carefully tailored to the individual’s needs.

Liposuction only – recommended for those with elastic skin and mild gynecomastia. A 1/4” incision is placed in the crease of the pectoralis muscle to allow Dr. Sailon to surgically remove the breast tissue.

Subareolar incision – a small incision is made along the bottom half of the areola. This procedure is well-suited for those with moderate gynecomastia and can be combined with liposuction to further smooth out the chest and highlight the pectoralis muscles.

Periareolar incision – reserved for moderate to severe breast tissue and excess loose skin. A “donut” type incision is made around the areola, allowing Dr. Sailon to remove both skin and breast tissue. As with the subareolar incision, this is frequently combined with liposuction.

Circumvertical or free nipple grafts – used in rare instances where patients have severely loose skin. These techniques involve extra incisions to recontour the chest. Dr. Sailon will review the pro’s and con’s of each technique to determine what is appropriate for you.

What can I expect on the day of surgery?

Dr. Sailon believes in a safety-first approach for all patients. Male breast reduction surgery or Gynecomastia is performed only in fully-accredited operating rooms. Depending on the procedure selected, you may be a candidate for local anesthesia only (numbing medicine placed in the chest but you are fully awake), IV sedation (an anesthesiologist provides medicine to make you relaxed), or general anesthesia (you go to sleep). The decision of which is best will, of course, be in large part up to you. Dr. Sailon will review these various techniques in greater detail during your consultation.

What is the recovery from surgery like?

You will go home shortly after surgery, accompanied by a friend or relative. An elastic pressure garment is to be worn nearly continuously the first 2 weeks to help reduce swelling and optimize your results. You may be prescribed medication in case there is any significant discomfort in the chest. Most can return to school or work after about 5 days. Light aerobic exercise can begin 10 days after surgery with full participation in athletics at 4 weeks.

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