Cosmetic Surgery For Men
What are the treatment options for male breast enlargement?

Leesburg | Loudoun | Ashburn | Virginia

Male breast enlargement is a common problem that can affect children, teenagers, and adults alike.  The condition can be significantly distressing, particularly in in young adults who are beginning to recognize and struggle with self-image, socialization, and dating.

Primary care physicians and textbooks will often and unfortunately emphasize the medical conditions that can cause male breast enlargement.  The reality is that the majority of male breast enlargement patients have no specific reason for the problem.    Although you will you and your primary physician need to consider the possibility of pituitary tumors, hormone irregularities, or drugs, the majority of patients have not specific reason for their male breast enlargement.  

Fortunately, if addressed early, many patients can be treated with simple liposuction without the need for more complicated procedures.  

The medical name for male breast enlargement is gynecomastia or macromastia.

Treatment options for male breast enlargement depend on the amount of breast enlargement and the amount of associated excess skin.  The breast is generally composed of fat, breast tissue, and skin.  The degree of enlargement and excess of each of these structures will determine the surgical option that is appropriate for you.  

Patients with minimal yet distressing breast enlargement can be treated by simple liposuction.  

Simple Liposuction

Simple liposuction can be performed under general anesthesia or under local anesthesia in the office setting.  The procedure involves a small 2-3 mm incision in each breast through which small suction cannulas are introduced.  The cannulas are used to remove the fat from the breast. 

There is often a small to moderate amount of harder breast glandular tissue located directly beneath the nipple complex.  This tissue cannot be removed by liposuction and may require the surgical excision of this tissue.

Liposuction with periareolar excision of breast tissue under the areola

See the answer above for simple liposuction.  Actual breast tissue is a harder substance that does not resemble the fat component of the breast.  The fat content can be treated by liposuction.  The harder breast tissue of the breast that is usually located directly beneath the nipple complex cannot be sucked out by liposuction.  

If there is a visible or conspicuous amounts of breast tissue as opposed to fat, the breast tissue will need to be removed by surgical excision.  This is generally performed by a small incision located along the bottom margin of the nipple areola complex.

Surgical breast reduction with excision of excess skin and breast tissue

As the breast tissue enlarges, the fat and breast tissue can begin to stretch the surrounding skin.  The skin of the breast can cause sagging of the breast tissue similar to that found in women.  

Surgical excision of the extra skin will be required if the breast has enlarged to this degree.  The approach at this point is similar to that taken for female breast enlargement and will depend on the amount of extra skin and the degree a sagging.  Surgical scars may be required around the areola for simple cases are may even require an anchor pattern if very large degrees of sagging tissue.

The decision to treat gynecomastia by liposuction or by surgical excision depends on the amount of breast enlargement and if the enlargement has stretched the surrounding skin enough to cause sagging of skin and breast tissue.  

  • Patients with skin excess that is sagging will require surgical excision of the skin to properly tailor the skin tissue.  

  • Patients with visible breast tissue under the nipple complex may need surgical excision of the breast tissue

  • Patients with only extra fat in the breast without significant skin excess may be treated by simple liposuction.

Male breast enlargement is mostly of random origin without a known medical cause.  Some causes that need to be ruled out in some patients include:

  • obesity
  • pituitary tumors 
  • adrenal gland dysfunction
  • marijuana

 

Liposuction for male breast enlargement is similar to liposuction anywhere on the body.  Simple cases can be performed under awake local anesthesia.  Larger cases are performed at INOVA Loudoun Surgery Center in Leesburg, Virginia. 

Either way, the procedure is performed in the same way.  

The procedure involves making a small 2-3 mm incision in each breast through which small suction cannulas are introduced.  The cannulas are used to remove the fat from the breast. 

There is often a small to moderate amount of harder breast glandular tissue located directly beneath the nipple complex.  This tissue cannot be removed by liposuction and may require the surgical excision of this tissue.

  • Patients will often return to work in 2-3 days
  • Patients may return to rigorous exercising in 2-3 weeks
  • Final visible results requires a minimum of 3-6 months.

 

Surgical options are reserved for patients who have:

A visible or significant amount of hard breast tissue under the nipple areola complex.  This tissue is different from the surrounding fat of the breast and cannot be sucked out by liposuction.  

Extra skin and sagging caused by the stretch on skin created by the enlargement of the breast tissue.  Skin will need to be treated by removing the extra tissue and tailoring of the tissue.

  • Patients will often return to work in 7-10 days
  • Patients may return to rigorous exercising in 3-4 weeks
  • Final visible results requires a minimum of 6-18 months.

Depending on the degree of male breast enlargement, the treatment options can be very similar to that for women.  The main difference is the goals for the end-result.  

  • The goal for women is to create a naturally shaped female breast with a  tear-drop shape.  

  • The goal for men is to create a flat breast with the nipple complex centered on the breast.  

For liposuction

Most patients treated by simple liposuction will return to work in 3-5 days.

You will, however remain sore and will be wearing surgical compression garments at this time.

For surgical options

Most patients treated by simple liposuction will return to work in 7-10 days.

You will, however remain sore and will be wearing surgical compression garments at this time.

 

A lay term for male breast enlargement is MOOBS, which stands for Male Boobs.  

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