Male breast reduction is a surgery that is performed in order to correct gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is the development of large mammary glands in males.
The male breast reduction surgery is called “mammaplasty.” Mammaplasty reduces the size of the breasts and in some cases may include a surgical improvement to the areola, the dark skin surrounding the nipples.
Mammaplasty is always performed by a surgeon, though the location of the surgery can vary. Sometimes the surgery is performed in an office-based location and sometimes it is performed in a hospital. Mammaplasty is usual carried out on an outpatient basis with follow-up scheduled for the days and weeks following the surgery.
Prior to the mammaplasty procedure, the patient is given anesthesia. The patient and doctor will discuss beforehand whether intravenous sedation or general anesthesia is best. Either will cause the patient to be unconscious while the surgery is performed.
Surgeons will often use the term “excision” when referring to mammaplasty. Excision is the removal of part of the human body, a term that is used in a variety of surgeries. When it relates to mammaplasty, excision is the removal of glandular breast tissue and/or excess skin. The specific pattern of surgery should be explained to the patient in extreme detail prior to the procedure. It is most common for surgeons to either create an incision along the underside of the breast, called the inferior pedicle technique, or to perform an incision from the nipple area to the base of the breast, which is called the verticle scar technique.
If the gynecomastia is caused by excess fatty tissue, the surgeon will likely choose to use liposuction to reduce the size of the breasts. Liposuction occurs by inserting a thin tube called a cannula into the body through small incisions. Once the cannula is inserted, it becomes a type of vacuum, removing fat tissue using suction. Mammaplasty will sometimes include both liposuction and excision surgeries.
Post surgery, dressings will be applied to the incisions. In some cases, a temporary tube may be positioned under the skin in order to drain blood or fluid. An elastic bandage may be applied as well. These bandages are helpful in reducing swelling and may aid in supporting the shape of the chest. The surgeon will provide the patient with instructions on surgical care and may prescribe antibiotics to help fight possible infections or pain alleviating medications. The patient will also be scheduled for follow-up visits. In the subsequent visits, the surgical dressing will be removed and the patient will be re-assessed. In some instances, a second surgery may be required to achieve the best results. That procedure would be scheduled during a follow-up visit.