Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia Surgery) in Savannah, GA
The symptoms of gynecomastia can be difficult to overcome. Savannah Plastic Surgery offers male breast reduction to eliminate these symptoms once and for all, producing a sculpted, masculine appearance in the chest. We welcome patients from Savannah and the surrounding areas of Chatham County, GA and Bluffton, SC.
Gynecomastia, or male breast growth, is a condition in which a man develops enlarged breasts. It can develop in one or both breasts, and it’s due to swelling of glandular breast tissue in the chest area.
This condition can occur at any age and affects as many as 1 in 2 men. The common root cause of gynecomastia is typically an imbalance between two hormones:
Typically, men produce mostly testosterone along with a small amount of estrogen. If this balance is disrupted by overproduction of estrogen, it can result in gynecomastia.
Some health conditions and medications can trigger gynecomastia:
- Medical conditions such as testicular or adrenal tumors, liver disease, and hyperthyroidism
- Being overweight – Fatty tissue secretes excess estrogen. If this upsets your hormonal balance significantly, it can result in gynecomastia.
- Medications, including certain hormone-based medications, some drugs prescribed for angina and hypertension, and anabolic steroids
- Amphetamines, marijuana, opioids, and alcohol
The male breast reduction procedure is similar to breast reduction surgery for women, but it’s designed specifically to address gynecomastia with your male body in mind. In gynecomastia surgery, the excess glandular breast tissue is removed, along with any excess skin or fat that may be present. This helps contour the chest and restores a more masculine appearance.
Why Have Male Breast Reduction?
Gynecomastia isn’t a life-threatening condition and doesn’t lead to other health problems, but swollen breast tissue is often tender and painful. And although gynecomastia is not a threat to physical health, it can have a significant negative impact on mental health. Boys and men with gynecomastia are often embarrassed by having breasts and try to avoid situations where they might have to expose their chest. This could include being in locker rooms, going swimming, and even physical intimacy with others. Having gynecomastia can cause stress and anxiety and may lead to depression.
If you have gynecomastia, you may feel as though your body doesn’t look “right” anymore. This can affect you in many ways: changing your self-image, reducing your confidence, and even resulting in a loss of libido.
If gynecomastia has negatively affected you, having corrective surgery may be the solution. Removing your excess breast tissue can restore the masculine contours of your chest and help you feel comfortable in your body again.
Are There Non-Surgical Alternatives for Reducing Male Breast Size?
Whether or not there are non-surgical alternative treatments for gynecomastia depends on the cause of the condition:
- Gynecomastia is often caused by normal life changes. For instance, most boys develop enlarged breasts when they go through puberty, and this is usually a temporary change that resolves within six months to two years. However, for men who develop gynecomastia in middle age, the changes may be permanent.
- If gynecomastia is due to being overweight, then losing the excess weight may resolve the issue. In cases where weight loss is difficult or where excess skin tissue remains after weight loss, then surgery may still be a desirable option.
- If you have gynecomastia caused by a medication, ceasing the medication should mean a return to normal. Ask your doctor if there are alternative medications you can take or if there are other options that might allow you to stop taking it altogether.
Unfortunately, gynecomastia is often an issue that can’t be solved with lifestyle changes. For cases of long-lasting gynecomastia that aren’t caused by weight, medication, or a treatable health problem, surgery may be the only option.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Male Breast Reduction?
Gynecomastia surgery is a procedure designed for men who have excess breast tissue development. You may be a good candidate for this surgery if you’re a man who meets some or all of the following criteria:
- You have excessive tissue that doesn’t respond to any non-surgical treatments.
- You suffer from pain due to gynecomastia or the appearance of your chest has had a negative impact on your well-being.
- Your breast development is stable, and your breasts are not getting larger.
- You’re in good physical health, and your weight is stable.
- You have realistic expectations about what surgery can achieve.
Because it’s common for boys to experience temporary gynecomastia when they enter puberty, doctors often take a “wait and see” approach when it comes to treatment. Since it typically resolves itself, there is usually no need for surgery. However, surgery may be recommended if gynecomastia is severe or persists for longer than usual.
What Happens at a Breast Reduction Consultation?
When you have a consultation for gynecomastia surgery, you’ll spend most of the time in discussion with your surgeon. There are several important details to talk about before the procedure, both to help you prepare for surgery and to provide your surgeon the information they need to perform it. These include:
- Your goals and expectations: What do you hope that surgery can do for you? Is male breast reduction surgery the best way to achieve your goal?
- Your medical health and history: Details such as your current medical health and medications you’re taking may affect how suitable you are as a surgical candidate, as well as the results you can expect to achieve.
- Your questions and concerns: Having surgery is a big decision. To make the choice that’s best for you, it’s important to be well-informed. Don’t hold back when it comes to asking questions!
- How your surgery will be performed: Everyone has different treatment needs. Some may have excess breast skin that must be removed along with the breast tissue. Some may have extra fat, which can be removed via liposuction. Your surgeon will assess what’s needed to achieve your goals and base your treatment on their assessment.
How Should I Prepare for Male Breast Reduction Surgery?
If you’re in good general health, are not a smoker, and don’t take any medications, you may not need to take any extra steps to get ready for having surgery. However, many people do have to make some temporary lifestyle changes to prepare.
Some medications can affect surgical risk. These include blood thinners, including both prescription blood thinners and over-the-counter drugs such as Aspirin. If you take any of these medications your surgeon may advise you to stop for a period of time prior to surgery.
If you’re a smoker, your surgeon will also advise you to stop smoking for several weeks prior to and after surgery. This is important because smoking reduces your blood oxygen level, which makes surgery riskier. It can also slow down your rate of recovery after surgery.
What Is Gynecomastia Surgery Like?
The male breast reduction procedure is performed in our surgicenter. Once you have been given general anesthesia, the surgeon begins by making surgical incisions, either on the edge of the areola of the nipple or beneath your arm in the armpit. These locations are chosen because they leave minimal scarring.
Through these incisions, the surgeon removes excess breast tissue and fatty tissue. If there’s any excess skin, this is also removed to reshape the chest. Depending on your treatment needs, liposuction may also be used to remove excess fat.
The average gynecomastia surgery takes around two hours. Once it’s complete and the incisions are closed, your chest is wrapped to help encourage healing.
Male Breast Reduction Recovery and Aftercare
After a male breast reduction, you can expect to experience bruising, soreness, and fatigue for several days. You’ll need to arrange for someone drive you home from surgery and help you around the home for a few days.
We'll give you a post-operative compression garment to wear for several weeks after your procedure. This will help reduce swelling and aid in the healing process.
Most patients take a few days off work and other activities, but you should be able to return within a week of treatment. However, exercise, heavy lifting, and other strenuous activities should be avoided for at least a month after your procedure. This is important because these kinds of activities may put stress on your incisions and increase swelling in your chest.
Make sure to follow your surgeon’s recommendations closely during your recovery period. This will both aid your recovery and reduce your risk of infection and other complications.
Risks and Complications of Gynecomastia Surgery
Male Breast Reduction Risks
Every surgical procedure has some risks associated with it. These issues are rare but are a risk with any kind of surgery you have.
General anesthesia: Between 1 in 5,000 and 1 in 10,000 people are allergic or sensitive to anesthesia. If you’ve had anesthesia before with no issues, it’s unlikely you’ll have an allergic or sensitivity reaction to anesthesia in the future.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): After surgery, the risk of developing a blood clot or DVT is temporarily increased. Smoking and inactivity also contribute to this risk. To minimize your risk after surgery, it’s important to get back on your feet as soon as it’s safe to do so.
Surgical outcome: Your surgery may go off without a hitch, but there is still a risk that the outcome isn’t what you hoped for. Choosing a reputable, experienced surgeon is important for this reason—not just because you want a skilled surgeon to perform your procedure but also because they’ll help you set realistic and achievable treatment goals.
Male Breast Reduction Complications
While it’s not possible to completely eliminate any chance of complications occurring, you can reduce your risk after surgery by following your surgeon’s aftercare and recovery recommendations as closely as possible.
Some possible complications of gynecomastia surgery include:
- Fluid build-up in the chest
- Severe bruising or hematoma
- Slow wound healing
- Scarring more visible than expected
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation, either temporarily or permanently
- Breast asymmetry
Your surgeon will discuss the risks and complications of surgery with you at your consultation. Even though most people go through surgery without experiencing any major problems, it’s still important to know so you can make an informed decision.
What Male Breast Reduction Results Can I Expect?
You’ll notice immediately after surgery that your chest has changed shape, especially if you had pronounced breast growth, but it will take a few weeks or months for all swelling to subside and full results to become visible. For most people, it takes three to six months to see the final results.
The incisions made for removal of breast tissue will leave permanent scars, as this is a consequence of surgery that can’t be avoided. However, the scars will continue to fade over time.
The results of gynecomastia surgery are permanent, but future body changes, such as hormone fluctuations or weight gain, may affect your results. We encourage patients to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine and avoid medications or habits that may trigger gynecomastia.
How Much Does Male Breast Reduction Cost?
The cost of a male breast reduction at Savannah Plastic Surgery can range from $6,000 to $7,000. The exact cost of your treatment will depend on several variables like your treatment goals and the extent of the surgery needed to achieve those goals.
We’ll discuss these factors during your consultation and develop a treatment plan for you, with details about the exact cost of your surgery and care. At the same time, we’ll also be able to determine if you’re eligible for health insurance coverage.
To learn more about our insurance policies or your payment options, please refer to our financing and insurance page.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of a Male Breast Reduction Procedure?
Insurance companies typically view gynecomastia surgery as an elective cosmetic surgery. This means that under most circumstances, male breast reduction is not covered by insurance.
In cases where the surgery is reconstructive, it may be possible to have the procedure partially or fully covered by insurance. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has written a position paper on this subject, defining the criteria for reconstructive surgery. If your gynecomastia surgery is reconstructive, you can ask your physician or surgeon for a copy of the paper that you can submit to your insurer.
Financing Options for Male Breast Reduction Surgery at Savannah Plastic Surgery
We offer a range of different payment options, including cash, checks, and all credit cards. In addition, we accept payment via Alpheon® and Care Credit® financing. To learn more about payment options, please visit our financing and insurance page.
If you are located in Savannah, Brunswick, Hinesville, Bluffton, or the surrounding areas of Chatham County, contact us today to schedule your consultation at Savannah Plastic Surgery. We look forward to discussing your treatment goals and helping you achieve your ideal physique.