Gynecomastia, or large male breasts, is a condition that exists, in varying degrees, in almost half of all men. While the surgery may be performed on men of any age, it is discouraged for those who suffer from obesity, as well as for men who drink alcohol excessively and/or smoke marijuana. Surgery for gynecomastia extracts excess fat and tissue from the breast to produce a flatter, more masculine shaped chest.
A surgeon may perform the procedure using a scalpel, liposuction, or a combination of the two. In the first technique, an incision is made, typically around the areola or tan area around the nipple. The surgeon then removes excess breast tissue, fat, and skin from the chest region and stitches the incision. If, however, the gynecomastia is to remove mostly fatty tissue, then the surgeon may opt for liposuction. This technique involves a slim hollow tube (a cannula) that sweeps through the layers of the chest, breaking up the fat and suctioning it away. Once the fat and tissue is removed, the surgeon stitches up the incision. These procedures last one to two hours and are typically performed on an outpatient basis.
After the Surgery
Following surgery, the incisions are dressed and the chest is wrapped in an elastic bandage. A small tube is sometimes used to drain away excess fluids. The surgeon generally removes the stitches in seven to fourteen days, while the bandage stays on for up to a month. Patients can generally return to work in two weeks time.