What Is Gynecomastia Surgery?
Male Breast Reduction Surgery, or Gynecomastia Surgery, is a surgical procedure to reduce the breast size in men.
Gynecomastia is fairly common. Gynecomastia can be an aesthetic problem for men.
Several different factors can cause this condition including;
- Hormonal changes
- Chronic kidney or liver disease
- Even, the use of certain medications can cause gynecomastia
- But, the most common cause is obesity.
A medical exam should be performed to determine whether the breast enlargement is caused by fat alone (pseudo gynecomastia) or a glandular component (gynecomastia).
An increase in male breast size can occur on one or both sides of the chest area.
The symptoms are mostly subjective and include; an increase in the diameter of the breast of 2cm and more, difficulties in moving, increased sensitivity of the nipples, and chest tightness.
Am I a Suitable Candidate for Gynecomastia Surgery?
In order to assess whether you can be a candidate for Gynecomastia Surgery, it is necessary to perform a general examination and consultation.
You may be a candidate for Male Breast Reduction Surgery, if you are:
- In good overall health
- 18+ years old
- Non-smoker or a smoker willing to quit
- Someone looking to change overall body proportions
- with realistic expectations
- and an understanding of the risks and potential complications
Several surgeons may offer this procedure, but it’s recommended to choose a qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon who has the training and credentials to perform the procedure skillfully.
Reasons for Gynecomastia Surgery
The goal of Gynecomastia Surgery is to reduce the breast size.
Surgery can help reduce the appearance of larger male breasts, producing a flatter chest by reducing breast size and the look of the nipple area.
Gynecomastia surgery generally provides long lasting results. With proper diet and exercise, patients can maintain the results for many years.
Gynecomastia Surgery Before and After Photos
Due to the recent updates in guidelines by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), our website is currently undergoing substantial revisions. As a result, we have had to remove the majority of our Before and After photos to comply with these new regulations. Our utmost priority is to maintain the accuracy and compliance of our content, and we are actively working to reintroduce a more extensive collection of before and after photos in the near future. You can view additional Before and After photos of Dr Briggs’ patients, during an in-person consultation at our clinic.
Visit the clinic to see the Before and After Male Breast Reduction Surgery photographs representing some of the results our patients get. Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly.
The photos on this website and in our office are for informational purposes. The images demonstrate the potential outcomes of procedures. Individual results will vary, and effects cannot be guaranteed. The photos do not promise or guarantee specific results. They are meant to help visualise potential outcomes.
Each patient is unique, and many factors affect surgical results.
In consultations, Dr. Briggs evaluates each patient and discusses realistic expectations.
Gynecomastia Surgical Procedure
Gynecomastia surgery can take between one and four hours, depending on the patient and the method the surgeon uses.
Some patients will have to stay in the hospital overnight, but most are able to go home a few hours after their procedure.
It is important to determine the cause of enlarged breasts to choose the correct method for your surgery. Less complex cases with a predominance of fat tissue can be altered with liposuction. This is commonly the first method of choice in the treatment of gynecomastia.
During this procedure, a cannula (thin tube) is put through two small incisions to remove excess fat tissue.
For patients who have predominantly excess glandular tissue, it is necessary to surgically remove it for a flatter chest appearance. This operation is performed through small incisions in the lower half of the nipple.
Sometimes a combination of both these methods is used.
Complications and Risks of Gynecomastia
Like any other surgical procedure, Male Breast Reduction Surgery comes with certain risks and complications. Patients are presented with all the risks as well as the mandatory adherence to the given instructions by your Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
Some of the possible complications are:
- Bad reaction to anesthesia
- Breast asymmetry
- Infection and bleeding
- Changes in the skin senses
- Unsatisfactory results that may require additional procedures
The results of Male Breast Reduction Surgery are permanent, assuming your weight is stable. However, if Gynecomastia is caused by the use of drugs or anabolic steroids, further use can lead to a pre-operation state.
To reduce the chance of a revision and additional surgery, you should:
- Maintain a stable weight
- Keep a healthy diet
- Stay physically active
visit our dedicated Risks page for more information.
Download a free guide
Take advantage of our FREE GUIDE TO YOUR PROCEDURE that includes resources for plastic surgery patients. They’ll assist with your journey from thinking about having plastic surgery to aftercare and recovery.
If you’d like more information about a particular surgery, please call our surgical support team on (03) 8849 1400 between 9 am – 5 pm on weekdays.
Recovery after Gynecomastia Surgery
Most patients return to their physical activities 2 to 4 weeks after the surgery, depending on the extent of the procedure.
However, the first week after surgery you should avoid exercising, swimming, and other intense physical activities.
In the second week of your recovery, you will have a follow-up examination and removal of the sutures will occur. Furthermore, patients will need to wear compression garments for 4-5 weeks post-surgery. This is to help reduce swelling and other possible complications.
It should be noted that bruising and swelling are present during the early recovery stages but will gradually diminish. You will likely feel a degree of pain in the days following surgery. But this can be managed with a prescription for pain relief that you will be given to you by your surgeon.
Minimising Scars after Gynecomastia Surgery
It is important to remember that all surgical procedures leave scars, including ‘so-called’ scarless methods.
Experienced plastic surgeons are careful about scar placement, with surgical scars generally fading over time, usually after 12 months.
We will arrange post-op appointments with our nursing team after your procedure to ensure everything is healing well and to monitor your progress.
You will see your surgeon and/or nurse and/or dermal team about six to eight weeks later for a scar consultation and organise scar treatments.
The Coco Ruby dermal team conducts a series of follow-up scar treatments using a customised selection of Skin Needling, Healite II LED and massaging with oils, Fraxel Laser, V-Laser, Silicone strips & gels and Steroids can also help manage scars. Ask the Coco Ruby Team!
Note – The length of your recovery period will depend on your procedure and your health and lifestyle factors. Recovery times can vary from person to person.
Please avoid subjecting your incision to abrasion or excessive stresses during the recovery period.
Can breast tissue grow back after Gynecomastia Surgery?
- Anabolic steroids, some medications, and weight gain can cause Gynecomastia to reoccur in patients that have undergone Male Breast Reduction Surgery.
Can Gynecomastia disappear with exercise?
- Gynecomastia, is the development of glandular breast tissue in males, it is typically not caused by excess weight or lack of exercise, so exercise alone is usually not effective in eliminating it.
- However, in some cases, weight loss and exercise may help reduce the appearance of gynecomastia if it is caused by excess fat tissue rather than glandular tissue.
How can I find out if my gynecomastia is caused by fat or breast tissue?
- The best way to find out what is causing your gynecomastia is to have a professional medical check-up.
- However, an enlarged breast due to the increase of fat tissue is usually softer to touch.
How long do I have to wear a compression garment?
- Usually, patients wear it for 4-5 weeks.
- Your surgeon will instruct you on the duration you will need to wear the compression garment for in your specific case.
Will I have to wear drains after Male Breast Reduction Surgery (Gynecomastia).
- Depending on the surgical method, your Specialist Plastic Surgeon may recommend the usage of drains.
- However, your surgeon will discuss this with you before your surgery. If you are going to have drains you will know before the surgery takes place.
Gynecomastia Surgery Cost
Every patient is different, therefore the prices vary. You will be given a price quote after your first consultation.
Furthermore, we try to be as transparent as possible with our patients. So, your Male Breast Reduction Surgery quote will include a cost breakdown, clearly outlining your surgeon’s fee, anesthetist’s fee, surgical assistant fee, the hospital fees and other costs.
Paying for surgery
Patients can pay for surgery through various methods. These methods include:
- Payment in full at the time of the procedure using accepted payment methods such as credit cards (such as Visa, Mastercard), buy now, pay-later products (such as Afterpay, Openpay, Zip Pay).
- Non-commercial payment arrangements between the medical practitioner and patient, where the payment is made in instalments.
- Medicare rebates, if the surgery is considered medically necessary. (this will not cover the total cost and patients will still have out of pocket costs)
- Private health insurance, if the patient has an appropriate level of cover. (This is unlikely to cover the total cost and patients may still have out of pocket costs)
It is important to note that we do not encourage patients to take on debt or access their superannuation to pay for cosmetic surgery. Additionally, we do not offer or recommend financing schemes to patients, such as loans or commercial payment plans.
Some Male Breast Reduction procedures may be eligible for Medicare.
Purely cosmetic Male Breast Reduction procedures are usually NOT covered by Medicare or private health insurance so you must fund the cost of the surgery yourself.
How to find a Gynecomastia surgeon in Melbourne
Your surgical results will depend heavily on the surgeon you choose. Since male breast reduction is a major procedure, you’ll need a qualified plastic surgeon.
In Australia, a plastic surgeon must have the following qualifications:
- An undergraduate degree in medicine, typically a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree.
- A minimum of two years of general medical training as a junior hospital doctor.
- Completion of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) surgical education and training program, which includes at least five years of accredited surgical training, with at least two years in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
- Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Plastic surgeons in Australia must also be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and adhere to the standards and guidelines set forth by the Medical Board of Australia.
You also want to ensure the surgeon you choose has:
- Extensive experience in different types of male breast reduction procedures.
- Available before and after photos
- Empathy and caring with recovery and aftercare.
- A great support team with long term follow up.
Your Gynecomastia Surgery Journey
During the consultation, our Specialist Plastic Surgeon will talk to you about your health issues, allergic reactions, previous surgeries, medication, etc. You will undergo a thorough health check-up and basic laboratory tests to assess potential underlying illnesses causing the issue.
Male Breast Reduction Surgery is performed under general anesthesia. The surgery duration depends on the size and technique used for the reduction.
Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon will provide you with recovery instructions regarding taking antibiotics, analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and a check-up appointment.
It is important to follow your doctors instructions to ease the recovery period for the results of the surgery.
Further Reading – Medical References about Gyno
- Male Breast Reduction Guide | ABCS
- Gynecomastia Surgery Before and After Photos | ASPS
- Cosmetic procedures – Breast reduction in males – NHS
- Why some men are asking for breast-reduction surgery – The Washington Post
- Why More Men Are Getting Breast Reduction Surgery for Gynecomastia – Allure
- Enlarged breasts in men (gynecomastia) – Mayo Clinic
- Plastic Surgery for Gynecomastia – Medscape
- Male Breast Reduction – Gyno in Melbourne – Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery
Dr Patrick Briggs Melbourne
Dr Patrick Briggs FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon.
Both he and his team are dedicated to patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.
Want more information about your Procedure?
What to Bring to Your Consultation
- If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
- Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
- You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.
The information provided in this article is for educational and informational proposes. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article. The author and publisher of this article make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, or completeness of the content of this article. The information contained in this article is strictly at your own risk.