Male Breast Reduction - Cosmetic Surgery Guide


Gynaecomastia is an enlargement of the breasts in males due to an abnormal increase in the glandular tissue. It affects around 40% of men to varying degrees and for those who feel self-conscious about their appearance breast reduction surgery can help.

The Procedure

Long before you undergo the operation your surgeon will tell you the best ways to prepare for it. Smoking can increase the risk of infection and disrupt the normal healing process and, as such you will be advised to quit at least a month before having the procedure and you'll be asked not to eat or drink anything for around six hours before surgery.

Male breast reductions are typically done using general anaesthetic, meaning you will be unconscious throughout the operation. The breast reduction procedure takes around two to four hours to complete and it's often followed by an overnight stay in hospital.

After the anesthetic takes effect the surgeon will usually make an incision around the areola, which is the dark bit of skin around your nipple, and in other sites around the chest. Liposuction will remove excess fat, skin and if needed, glandular tissue. This is performed by using a small metal tube called a cannula. The incisions will be sutured using either dissolvable stitches or non-dissolvables that will need to be removed about a week later. The surgery takes around three hours and immediately afterwards drainage tubes will be inserted into the chest area to drain any fluids which accumulate in the treated zone. Once the swelling and bruising subsides you should notice a firmer, well-contoured and flatter chest area.

Recovery and Aftercare

Following surgery its usual to be prescribed painkillers, to help with any discomfort, and antibiotics to help protect against infection. You will be given advice about how to care for your surgical wounds and may be required to wear a support garment made of lycra for a couple of days afterwards. It's usual to experience bruising and you will feel sore following the procedure but this will reduce as the chest area begins to heal. It's typically recommended that you avoid any strenuous activity for a few weeks and a full recovery should take around a month.

The Risks

Although male breast reduction surgery is common and the vast majority of operations are performed safely, as with all surgical procedures, it's not without risk. In addition to the usual side-effects of the surgery such as nausea as a result of the anaesthetic used and tenderness, there are several complications that may occur.

In some rare cases there can be an adverse reaction to anesthetic and there can be a danger of developing a blood clot. Fluid may build up inside the treated area and can require further surgery to correct. Similarly infection may develop and this can require antibiotic treatments or another surgery to correct. Changes in sensation can occur and the breast area may increase or decrease in sensitivity and in some cases there is a temporary loss of sensation. You can help promote healing by maintaining a healthy diet, taking any prescribed medication and carefully following any aftercare instructions.