Male Breast Reduction
When Should I Consider a Male Breast Reduction or Gynecomastia Correction?
- Enlarged breasts following puberty.
- Excessive breast size, which may decrease self-confidence.
- Restores the normal male contour to the male chest.
- Reduction of breast tissue; flat contour in proportion with the male anatomy.
- Improvement in psychological and social well being.
Dr. Kimberly Short, a board certified plastic surgeon, has been selected as a speaker at the national plastic surgery meeting highlighting her breast reduction technique, the SPAIR technique as compared to previous, older breast reduction techniques. Dr. Kimberly Short is a premier breast surgeon and her most recent presentation was a presentation on “Incorporating the SPAIR Mammoplasty into Your Practice”. Dr. Short was able to personally train with the inventor & founder of the SPAIR technique in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As a female plastic surgeon, Dr. Short understands the importance of achieving the optimal, correction of breast fullness and enlargement to the male anatomy. Dr. Short performs two male breast reduction techniques, the most common approach is using her revolutionary ultrasound assisted liposuction (UAL) technique for reduction in male breast glandular and fatty tissue. The second approach would be a direct excision of the breast tissue through an incision confined to the areolar border (pigmented circular border around the nipple).
Scarless Breast Reduction: Liposuction of the Breasts
Dr. Short can perform a liposuction only breast reduction, often called the scarless breast reduction, through two small 1.0 cm incisions at the areolar border and chest crease. Because the breast tissue is composed primarily of fatty tissue, liposuction can be used to remove this fatty tissue component and promote skin contraction after surgery. This is an ideal option for most male patients to provide permanent reduction in the breast tissue and fullness, promote skin contraction post operative, and minimize the incisions. On average, Dr. Short is able to remove 500-1000 cc from each breast. The results are permanent. Liposuction typically does not interfere with nipple sensation. The patients have a more limited recovery but are required to wear a compression garment for 6 weeks following surgery. The patient are also recommended to perform external ultrasound massage to the breasts following surgery to decrease the areas of firmness and to reduce the swelling. The recovery period is 7-10 days with restrictions to minimize lifting and arm movements for 2 weeks.
Male Breast Reduction: Excision of Tissue
For male patients, it may be recommended to combine the liposuction technique with direct excision of any residual fibrous breast tissue through an incision confined to the areola. In patients with significant weight loss, this approach is required to address the excess skin and stretch marks to the chest area as well as reduction of the breast tissue. This technique allows Dr. Short to remove fibrous breast tissue that may not be amendable to liposuction and the ability to tighten the skin envelope for an improved contour. The areolar complex can be decreased in size and re-positioned in a more central position on the chest. Dr. Short can utilize a permanent suture around the areola, a pursestring suture, to maintain the diameter long term. The breast reduction surgery is able to preserve nipple sensation. The recovery period is 1-2 weeks with lifting restrictions and arm movements less than 10 lbs for the first 2 weeks. Patients are required to wear a compression device for 6 weeks following surgery.
Patient who smoke are required to stop smoking a minimum of 6 months prior to surgery involving a direct excision of the breast tissue to ensure adequate healing and decrease the risk of complications related to decreased blood flow to the incisions after surgery. Smoking has been shown in the literature to reduce the blood flow to the incisions by at least 30%, significantly contributing to complications.
Planning the Surgery:
Time off Work:
7-14 days with lifting restrictions for the first 2-3weeks depending on the approach and amount of tissue removed.
You will need someone to take care of you for the first 24-48 hours following surgery. You are required to have a driver for the first 1 week post operative.
The Day of Surgery:
The procedure is performed as an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. The breast reduction procedure takes approximately 1.5-3.5 hours, depending on the approach or combination of approaches.
You will go home with light dressings over the incision sites with Topifoam pads under a compression chest vest for 2 weeks, 24 hours a day. You may shower after 72 hours or 3 days if no drains are placed. If drains are placed, then you are not able to shower until the drains are removed in the office. Typically, drains are removed after 5-7 days. Skin glue adhesive or steri-strips are applied to the incisions. Scar treatment options are available at your two week appointment. Extensive taping to the breast incisions is recommended for the first 6-8 weeks to improve scarring for the direct excision approach. The scars will fade over time. Light activities can be resumed after 2 weeks and all activities are resumed at 6 weeks. The compression male vest is required for 6 weeks.
This is a procedure that may be covered by your insurance company. Each insurance company has certain standards or criteria that must be documented in order to receive approval. The insurance company will require documentation from your primary care physician for treatment and diagnosis. Following the consult, Dr. Short can supply you with preoperative pictures, a letter stating it is medically necessary, measurements of the chest, and support from the examination that a male breast reduction will improve symptoms. You can then submit this information to your insurance company. Dr. Short is out of network with all insurance companies so we do recommend checking into your out of network benefits prior to surgery. With out of network benefits, the Gillian Institute does require full payment prior to surgery. After you submit the appropriate documentation to your insurance company, you will receive reimbursement from the insurance company at a later date if they agree the procedure is medically necessary . Also, please keep in mind, our office and surgery center are not able to bill the insurance company for these services since we do not have the appropriate insurance billing computer software or forms; but we are happy to provide you with the documentation for you to submit for reimbursement on your own.
Note: It is important to address any concerns with Dr. Short at the time of your consultation. There is some risk, as with any surgical procedure. Minor complications that do not affect the final outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are unusual. Dr. Short can explain the procedure and potential complications to you in detail, and she can assist you in determining if a breast reduction is right for you.