Male breast reduction surgery is a cosmetic procedure for the treatment of man boobs or “moobs”. It can help give a flatter appearance to the chest
Male breast reduction or moob surgery is a procedure used to treat men with enlarged breasts. Enlargement of male breasts is medically known as gynaecomastia. Gynaecomastia is common, and in most men affected there is no underlying problem. Male chest reduction is one of the most frequently requested cosmetic surgery procedures amongst men.
What are my treatment options?
The main options for treating gynecomastia are:
- surgical removal of firm breast tissue
- surgical removal of loose skin
- a combination of the above
The choice of treatment depends on the nature of the enlargement (firmness of the glandular tissue/ presence of excess skin). A good cosmetic outcome is very much dependent on surgical technique. The main risks of surgery include removing too much or too little tissue and unevenness. It is essential that patients are aware of the scars when surgical excision is performed.
What is our approach to male breast reduction?
As experienced plastic surgeons, we have a great deal of knowledge treating patients with gynaecomastia. We will listen carefully to your concerns and make sure that there are no reversible causes for your gynaecomastia. Once we have examined you, we will be able to discuss your options in full. Our approach is to avoid putting large scars on your chest, and so we try not to remove skin if we can avoid it. We perform very aggressive liposuction in all patients taking care not to remove too much or too little of the excess fatty tissue. For some patients, liposuction will be enough. In others, we make a small semi-circular cut around the bottom half of your nipple, and through this, we remove any firm breast tissue that has been left.
If you have a lot of loose skin (common after weight loss), a breast reduction procedure may be required that removes skin. This leaves more obvious scars on the chest.
Questions and answers about gynaecomastia
What are the features of gynaecomastia?
Signs vary from a small amount of extra tissue around the nipples to more prominent breasts. It can affect one or both breasts but usually affects both. The breast tissue may be tender or painful, but this isn’t always the case.
What are the causes of gynaecomastia?
Gynaecomastia can have several causes. As mentioned above, the majority of cases are physiological (hormonal).
Gynaecomastia can be caused by an imbalance between the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen. Oestrogen is the hormone that causes breast tissue to grow. All men have some degree of oestrogen production, but they usually have much higher levels of testosterone, which counteracts the effects of oestrogen. When the balance of oestrogen and testosterone changes, it can cause a man’s breasts to grow. In most cases, the cause of this imbalance is unknown. Losing weight or doing more exercise will often not improve things as the condition is not caused by excess fat, but rather excess breast tissue.
During puberty, boys’ hormone levels vary. Many teenage boys have some degree of breast enlargement. Gynecomastia at puberty usually clears up as boys get older and their hormone levels become more stable.
As men get older, they produce less testosterone. Also, older men tend to have more body fat, and this can cause more oestrogen to be produced. These changes in hormone levels can lead to excess breast tissue growth.
There are some rare causes of male breast enlargement (such as testicular tumours, liver failure or certain medications) and sometimes a medical examination and blood tests may be needed.
How do I know if liposuction alone will correct my breast enlargement?
Liposuction works very well when the quality of your skin is good (as it is in most younger men) and your skin has not been stretched significantly from previous weight gain and loss.
Having said this, the main factor influencing whether liposuction will work alone without surgery is related to how firm the breast tissue is underneath the nipple. In some men, the breast tissue is so tough that liposuction may not work and a small cut is required in the lower half of the nipple to remove the breast tissue surgically.
What are the risks?
Gynaecomastia surgery complications
Gynaecomastia surgery usually carries a high satisfaction rate.
The procedure has the following risks associated:
Bleeding is infrequent if liposuction is used alone. Bleeding is more common when excision of breast tissue under the nipple is required. Bleeding may need a return to the operating theatre to stop bleeding and remove any blood which has collected. This risk of this happening is less than 5%.
Bruising and swelling are usual side effects. Most bruising usually disappears by ten days after surgery. Swelling varies significantly between patients. It may take a few weeks before it has completely settled.
Infection is relatively uncommon and may require treatment with antibiotics.
Scars – Tiny scars 5-6mm from the liposuction access points. Semi-circular scar at the lower half of the nipple when excision of tissue is required. Scars may be red during the first few months and will continue to improve for up to 18 months after surgery.
Under correction may occur by not removing enough breast tissue.
Over correction – Removing too much tissue leaving a contour defect – uncommon
You will have minor degrees of asymmetry – this is normal.
A small number of patients (approx. 5%) may require further surgery to correct residual problems.
Recurrence – Very rarely new breast tissue may develop. This can be due to underlying medical problems, significant weight gain or certain medications/ drugs.
How much does it cost?
Male breast reduction £3600
All inclusive costs for one year following surgery