Male Breast Reduction Surgery in Houston
Male breast reduction surgery is a permanent solution for men struggling with gynecomastia. This condition causes excess growth of breast tissue in males, obscuring the natural masculine chest wall contours and pectoral borders typically present in healthy fit males.
Dr. Scott Reis is among few Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons in the Houston area who specialize in male plastic surgery. He understands the unique goals and motivations of men who seek cosmetic surgery, and can help men enhance both their appearance and their self-confidence.
What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is characterized by an excess of breast gland tissue in boys or men. This causes what may be perceived as the appearance of female breasts, and can affect one side of the chest or both. While generally not associated with any health problems, gynecomastia can have serious emotional, social, and psychological consequences for men and boys who feel as though their masculinity is not properly reflected by their physical appearance.
In some cases, gynecomastia is a temporary effect of hormonal changes during puberty and will abate naturally. Gynecomastia resulting from hormonal fluctuations is also common among middle-aged and older men between the ages of 50 and 69. Other causes of gynecomastia may require surgical treatment to restore a male’s chest to a flatter, more masculine silhouette.1
Causes of Gynecomastia
It’s important to note that gynecomastia is a medical term referring to excess breast gland tissue, not the appearance of “man boobs” caused by weight gain that can be reversed with lifestyle changes. True gynecomastia causes the appearance of breasts in males regardless of their overall weight or body composition, since true gynecomastia exists when the natural breast tissue (yes guys, we have this as well!) is genetically over-responsive to hormone levels and grows disproportionately as a result.
The most common cause of gynecomastia is hormone changes attributed to puberty, which often balance out in early adulthood. Hormonal fluctuations in late middle age may also lead to increased breast tissue in men. Additional cause of gynecomastia include:2
– Glandular disorders, such as hypogonadism, hyperthyroidism, Klinefelter syndrome, or pituitary insufficiency
– Liver failure and cirrhosis
– Kidney failure
– Medications, including some antidepressants, prostate medications, steroids, AIDS medications, anxiety medications, cancer drugs, and heart medications
– Drugs such as marijuana, amphetamines, methadone, and heroin
It’s important for males affected by gynecomastia to seek a proper diagnosis of the cause of their condition and possible medical treatment before exploring male breast reduction surgery options. When you meet with Dr. Reis to discuss male breast reduction surgery, he will discuss this in detail. The first priority will be ruling out any other causes (see above) of gynecomastia that need additional or alternate treatment before cosmetic correction.
Is Gynecomastia Common?
Males with an excess of breast tissue often feel as though they are alone in their situation, but the truth is that gynecomastia is very common amongst certain age groups. In fact, research shows that adolescent gynecomastia (during puberty) affects up to 70% of males, and up to 65% of men experience gynecomastia during or after middle age.3
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast reduction or gynecomastia surgery is among the most commonly-performed male plastic surgeries in the United States, with nearly 25,000 men undergoing this procedure in 2018.4
Male Breast Reduction Procedures
Before performing gynecomastia surgery, Dr. Reis conducts an in-depth consultation with each patient at his Houston office. Not only will he wish to rule out any medical issues that may be causing excess breast tissue growth, but Dr. Reis needs to gain a thorough understanding of patients’ unique frustrations, goals, and motivations in order to provide the most impactful plastic surgery results.
The two most common surgical treatments for gynecomastia are liposuction and excision of the glandular tissue. The excisional procedure is done through a small incision at the lower border of the areola, which heals invisibly This is complemented by liposuction, which allows Dr. Reis to contour the area and avoid a crater-type deformity after excision of the glandular tissue, which could vary in size from that of a golf ball to a tennis ball.
Dr. Reis will create one or more small incisions through which he will insert a cannula, which is used to remove excess fat and breast tissue. Liposuction may also be used in conjunction with glandular excision to achieve optimal contouring of the male chest.
Male Glandular Excision
When liposuction is not sufficient to treat gynecomastia, a traditional glandular excision procedure (similar but distinct from a mastectomy procedure in women) can help patients achieve their desired results. This procedure is performed under intravenous anesthesia. Dr. Reis will make an incision below the areola (the area surrounding the nipple), through which he will remove excess tissue and skin. At this time, liposuction may be employed and the nipple may be repositioned to create the most natural-looking contours. Once satisfied, Dr. Reis will use mostly internal stitches to close the incision, resulting in reduced scarring.
After Gynecomastia Surgery
Immediately following your male breast reduction surgery, you’ll need a family member or friend to drive you home and make sure you are comfortably settled. During gynecomastia surgery recovery, a small drain may be placed under the skin to help drain excess fluid, and the incision site will be covered with dressings. Dr. Reis will instruct you to restrict physical activity and exercise for the first month following your procedure to ensure proper healing, and you will be fitted with a compression garment to help keep swelling down.5
As a skilled plastic surgeon, Dr. Reis carefully places and closes all incisions to reduce visible scarring from gynecomastia surgery. He also offers fractional CO2 laser treatment and a number of topical scar optimizing options to help reduce the appearance of surgical scars.
Preventing & Treating Surgical Scars After Gynecomastia Surgery
As a skilled plastic surgeon, Dr. Reis carefully places and closes all incisions to reduce visible scarring from gynecomastia surgery. However, scarring is a natural part of the healing process, and how a patient scars can have more to do with their genetic makeup than a surgeon’s skill in the operating room. With that in mind, Dr. Reis offers fractional CO2 Laser Treatments as well as a number of topical treatments in highly effective pre- and post-operative scar skincare regimens to further reduce the appearance of surgical scars. Learn more about scar prevention and treatment following Gynecomastia surgery here.
Is Gynecomastia Surgery Right for You?
If you are troubled by the way excess breast tissue affects your appearance and are otherwise in good overall health, male breast reduction surgery may help you achieve flatter and more traditionally masculine chest wall and pectoral contours. To learn more about your gynecomastia treatment options in Houston, contact us to schedule an informative and confidential consultation with Dr. Scott Reis.
1 Mayo Clinic. Enlarged breasts in men (gynecomastia). Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gynecomastia/symptoms-causes/syc-20351793. Accessed April 6, 2020.
2 The Cleveland Clinic. Enlarged Male Breast Tissue (Gynecomastia). Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16227-enlarged-male-breast-tissue-gynecomastia. Accessed April 6, 2020.
3 Glenn D Braunstein, MDBradley D Anawalt, MD. Patient education: Gynecomastia (breast enlargement in men) (Beyond the Basics) Available: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/gynecomastia-breast-enlargement-in-men-beyond-the-basics. Accessed JApril 6, 2020.
4 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2018 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report. Available: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2018/plastic-surgery-statistics-full-report-2018.pdf. Accessed April 6, 2020.
5 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery. Available: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/gynecomastia-surgery/recovery. Accessed April 6, 2020.