Male Breast Reduction Surgery – 10 Things Men Need to Know

Published: June 10, 2021
Category: Dr. Michael Philbin, Breast Reconstruction, Gynecomastia

According to recent National Institute of Health (NIH) statistics, more than 70% of boys in early to mid-puberty experience enlarged breasts, or gynecomastia, due to natural hormonal fluctuations. Yet, for over 65% of men middle-aged and older, gynecomastia remains an embarrassing and continuous condition. As more men come forward and speak openly to their physicians about their concerns, Male Breast Reduction surgery continues to grow in popularity as one of the most effective treatments for gynecomastia.

male breast reduction quote

“Gynecomastia is far more common than you may think,” says Dr. Michael Philbin, a board-certified plastic surgeon with Edina Plastic Surgery and a seven-year in a row Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine ‘Top Doc.’ “Although we most commonly associate it with adolescence and puberty, gynecomastia can develop later in life,” he continues. “In most cases, there is no apparent cause for the development of male breast tissue, but it can occur as a side effect of significant weight gain, certain medical conditions, and some medications.”

Two types of surgery work best for the treatment of gynecomastia – liposuction and direct excision. In many cases, these surgeries are performed together to achieve the best results for a man.

“If a man’s breasts are predominately comprised of soft, fatty tissue, liposuction alone may be his best option,” explains Dr. Philbin. “This procedure can be performed through small incisions along the lower edge of the areola and/or the lower chest and scarring if very discreet. If a man’s excess breast tissue is dense and glandular, excision is required. In this case, incisions are made along the lower half of the areola. In both cases, any scarring usually fades very well and is barely noticeable. Where we may see more noticeable scarring is when a man has loose overlying skin that needs to be removed and tightened.”

Gynecomastia Process

Regardless of how surgery for gynecomastia is performed, here are ten things every man should know about Male Breast Reduction surgery:

#1 – Dropping extra pounds before surgery will enhance your results.

“If you are currently obese, your surgeon will recommend that you lose weight before your Breast Reduction,” explains Dr. Philbin. “This is because we don’t want to mistake fatty tissue for glandular tissue, and we want to have a good idea of how much loose skin may remain after weight loss, as this may need to be removed for best results.”

#2 – You’ll have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight after surgery.

Not all men who suffer from gynecomastia are overweight. Men who would normally fall within their ideal weight range may find it challenging to maintain due to the extra adipose and glandular tissue in their breasts. In addition, exercise may be uncomfortable and even painful because of their enlarged breasts. Breast Reduction surgery eases discomfort while exercising, but it may also make men feel more confident in engaging in healthy activities that help them achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

#3 – Breast reduction surgery may alleviate your back pain.

“Just like women with larger breasts, men can experience chronic back pain from gynecomastia,” says Dr. Philbin. “If a man has excess weight in his chest area and doesn’t have strong enough back muscles to support it, he can suffer significant discomfort throughout his entire back. Breast Reduction surgery can immediately improve this.”

#4 – A more masculine physique can be achieved with Breast Reduction surgery.

Societal norms tell us that the traditional female form has hips and a bust that are proportionate to each other and a smaller waistline. The male form is associated with being broad and flat through the shoulders and chest and comes down to a tapered waist. Gynecomastia throws these proportions off in a man and can make his body appear more feminine. Breast Reduction surgery can restore a more masculine balance to the proportions of a man’s body.

#5 – Breast Reduction surgery may be quicker than you think.

Breast Reduction surgery for gynecomastia generally takes one and a half to two hours to perform,” shares Dr. Philbin. “An incision is usually made around the nipple to remove glandular and fatty tissue from the breast. Your surgeon may incorporate liposuction depending on how much fat is present. If so, this is performed through the same incision. If needed, excess skin will be removed and then tightened. It is a faster procedure than many men anticipate.”

#6 – Recovery after your surgery may also be quicker than you think!

Most men return to their normal activities about four weeks after a Breast Reduction. For the first 72 hours after surgery, rest and pain medication will help alleviate any discomfort. Your surgeon will advise you to take a week off of work to devote yourself to rest and recovery. A compression garment worn for at least two weeks after surgery will also help reduce swelling and speed up the recovery process.

#7 – Your wardrobe options will expand after Breast Reduction surgery.

“A lot of men try and hide their gynecomastia with bulky, oversized clothing,” says Dr. Philbin. “After Breast Reduction surgery, that type of clothing will feel like wearing a tent! Most men feel an immediate swell of self-confidence after surgery which prompts them to expand their wardrobes into more form-fitting clothing to show off their more masculine chest.”

#8 – Male Breast Reduction results are long-lasting.

Male breast reduction results are generally considered permanent. Once fat cells are removed, they cannot grow back, but depending on a man’s genetics and his propensity to gain weight, the remaining fat cells in his breast may grow larger over time.  

maintain results


“Four things can help ensure that a man’s results from Breast Reduction surgery remain long-lasting,” advises Dr. Philbin.

  • A correct diagnosis was initially made to determine whether a man’s gynecomastia resulted from excess fatty tissue or a glandular issue.
  • A man maintains a healthy weight after surgery
  • A man abstains from smoking marijuana and drinking excess alcohol after surgery.
  • A man does not use anabolic steroids after surgery.

#9 – Your self-confidence will skyrocket after Male Breast Reduction surgery.

“Many men who suffer from gynecomastia also suffer from poor body image, social anxiety, and even depression as a result,” says Dr. Philbin. “The impact this condition can have on a man’s self-esteem should not be understated. In fact, many men don’t even realize how much their enlarged breasts affected their mental health until after their surgery. A surgery like this can help a man regain control over his life and reclaim the confidence he may have lost due to his gynecomastia. Life really is too short not to feel comfortable in the body you’re in!”

Are you a man who is concerned about the appearance of your chest or the size of your breasts? You are not alone! Schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss Male Breast Reduction surgery with an Edina Plastic Surgery plastic surgeon today. Call (612) 688-3177 or CLICK HERE.


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