Kevin Bridge, MD
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

(325) 670-5320
950 North 19th St., Suite 200 | Abilene, Texas

Kevin Bridge, MD
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

Gynecomastia

What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a condition of enlargement of the male breast and is characterized by excess glandular tissue development, excess localized fat and, sometimes, excess breast skin. It can present on one side or both. There are multiple causes including obesity, hormonal changes, genetics, and certain medication or drug use. Gynecomastia can cause emotional, psychological and physical stress, and some men will avoid certain activities in order to hide their condition.

Who is a good candidate for this procedure?

Men who feel that their breasts are too large and are bothered or anxious about this feeling may be candidates for surgery to reduce the size of the breasts. Generally men who are physically healthy, of relatively normal weight, non-smokers and non-drug users are good candidates. Patients should see their primary care physician or endocrinologist to rule out any other causes of this condition that might be correctable through alternative medical treatments (i.e. hormonal imbalance, side effects of medication or herbal supplements, breast cancer, etc).

Key Points

There are multiple surgical options for treating gynecomastia and treatment will depend on your physical exam. During your consultation, your surgeon will determine the composition of your breast tissue, the nipple-areolar complex shape and position, and whether there is significant excess skin. Surgery may involve liposuction, direct excision of breast tissue, nipple relocation, removal of excess skin, or any combination of these procedures.

Additional incisions may be required around the areola, vertically down the bottom of the breast and along the crease if there is excess skin. Scars are permanent but will being to fade over the next few months and continue to improve over the course of a year.

Before Your Surgery


  • Get lab testing and medical evaluation from your primary care as needed to undergo general anesthesia.
  • Get a baseline mammogram before surgery, and another six months after surgery to help detect future breast changes.
  • Stop smoking at least 4 weeks prior to your surgery (and four weeks after).
  • Avoid taking anything that can cause thinning of the blood if its okay with your prescribing physician (if you are unable to, please inform your surgeon). These may include aspirin, anti-inflammatories, certain herbal supplements, fish oil, and prescription blood thinners.
  • Review your handout for postoperative expectations and instructions which will be provided during your consultation.

Surgery Day

Male breast reduction surgery is performed as an outpatient surgery and you will be able to go home the same day. Do not eat or drink anything starting at midnight the night before surgery.

The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and usually takes a couple hours, depending on the extent of reduction required. Your surgeon will meet in you in the preoperative area to perform your markings and answer any last minute questions you may have. Liposuction will be performed thru small access incisions at the border of the breast and if necessary, direct excision of any tissue not amenable to liposuction will be performed thru an incision next to the areola. Assessment will be made to confirm need for any excision of excess skin or nipple-areolar complex repositioning. Incisions will then be sutured closed and final evaluation made to ensure a desirable outcome. Final dressings are then applied along with a compression bandage/garment.

After Your Surgery

You will spend a couple of hours in the recovery room after surgery before you go home. You will need someone to pick you up and stay with you at home to assist around the house the first 24 hours. You may feel up to going for a walk later that evening and this will help decrease the risk of blood clots. Over the next week to two weeks, the bruising and swelling will improve and you will feel better and better and slowly resume your usual activities. However, it could be a full 6 weeks before you feel completely recovered from your surgery. Please refer to the handout provided to you during your consultation for specific postoperative instructions and activity limitations.

Things to Consider

Gynecomastia surgery is generally not covered by insurance but this may vary, so be sure to check with your individual policy.

Good results can be expected from your gynecomastia surgery, but it may not be possible to achieve optimal results in a single procedure. Additional procedures may be necessary to perform additional tightening of the skin or treat any complications that may occur.

Risks

As with any surgery, there is a possibility of experiencing a complication. These include bleeding after surgery (hematoma), infection, wound healing complications, poor scarring, asymmetry, incomplete symptom relief, recurrence, changes or loss in breast/nipple sensitivity, re-operation and others. It is important to discuss these in detail with your surgeon prior to undergoing surgery.


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