How Can Surgery Reduce "Man Boobs" or Gynecomastia?

As summer approaches, it’s safe to say we all want to feel secure in our own skin. For men, having the confidence to wear any shirt you want, feeling confident in your body and even being able to take off your shirt in the warmer months can all be very difficult if you’re uncomfortable with the appearance of your chest. 

For many men, having a chest that doesn’t look exactly the way you want it to can be a concern. A build-up of breast tissue is known as gynecomastia, and can cause a loss of pectoral definition for men. A common complaint, gynecomastia is not medically harmful but it can impact the sufferer’s confidence. If this is the case, a simple procedure like male breast reduction surgery can help you restore confidence in your appearance and feel good about yourself once again.

What are the causes of gynecomastia? 

Gynecomastia often starts early in life, when boys hit their late teens. Adolescence can bring on gynecomastia, or a swelling behind one or both nipples, with or without some tenderness. For many boys in their teens, this might only last a short time - from a few months to several years at most. However, some men may experience the condition for the duration of their adult lives. Use of bodybuilding steroids, cannabis or excess weight gain can also cause or exacerbate gynecomastia. 

Generally, patients experience a swelling behind the nipple on one or both breasts. Many men, understandably, try to combat this apparent fat buildup by going to the gym and working out. However, unfortunately, they find that this physical exercise-first approach doesn’t solve the problem. In fact, with increased exercise and weight loss, the swelling can even become more noticeable for patients. Gynecomastia is not painful in most patients, but it may begin to impact self-confidence, body image, and the patient’s quality of life.

How To Get Rid Of Gynecomastia

Regardless of its cause, gynecomastia cannot be treated effectively for the long-term with diet and exercise. To treat gynecomastia effectively, surgical treatment is required. Depending on the severity of the patient’s case, the surgical treatment method can include either liposuction alone or a combination of liposuction, gland excision, and reduction mammoplasty. Whichever method you choose, rest assured that you are in the capable hands of our expert surgeons - who’ll do everything in their power to give you a simple, straightforward surgery. 

To assess whether  male breast reduction surgery is the right path to treat your gynecomastia, you will require a consultation with our specialist surgeon, Dr James Murphy. In your one-to-one no obligation consultation, Dr Murphy will examine the affected area to determine which combination of treatments will work best for you. Using 3D imaging software to view the chest, areas of excess breast tissue can be identified and measured, allowing us to make an accurate and honest recommendation about your treatment and the results you can expect.

If your case is minor, we can perform your treatment under local anaesthetic in as little as 30 minutes to an hour. Our expert surgeon makes  a small incision following the curve of the nipple, where we then insert our liposuction cannula. Our preferred liposuction technique, BodyJet, uses a high-pressured water cannula to break down the fatty tissue. This works to target the tissue, causing it to emulsify before it is sucked out by the same device, leading to a more targeted and gentle treatment that causes less bruising and better results. In these cases, you can expect to return home on the same day as your treatment, though you will need to prepare to have a week at home doing as little as possible to rest and recover.

For those with more pronounced cases of gynecomastia, we perform a combined approach. Using the liposuction technique explained above, we use our high-pressured water cannula to break down the fatty tissue. We then make a semi-circular incision under the nipple where it will surgically remove the firm glandular element. This 2-step approach will be carried out under general anaesthetic and can take up to two hours, occasionally requiring an overnight stay in a private suite here at our clinic at Spire Hospital Manchester.


The Recovery

Following treatment, a small wound will remain that will require a pressure dressing and, in some cases, a drain. 

As you leave the hospital, our excellent aftercare team will prescribe you any medication necessary for your healing and give you advice on your next steps. No matter the severity of your treatment, you will be required to spend a week at home to rest, taking time away from work and your daily responsibilities. 

We will meet with you after one week for a ‘wound check’ to ensure you’re healing as smoothly as you should be. After this appointment, we will continue to support you through the healing process. Our general guide is you should be back to normal activities and even able to return to the gym within one month of your treatment. 

In the majority of cases, you will have minimal scarring following the line beneath your nipple. This will be well-hidden, and becomes almost unnoticeable in the long term.


Here To Help

If you’re feeling self-conscious about the appearance or size of your chest and think you may be affected by gynecomastia, then please get in touch with our experts. Simply complete the form below for a free consultation, where our expert surgeons will examine your case and give you their honest advice on your next steps. 


If you would like to learn more about this procedure or are interested in a consultation, fill out the form below or call us on 0800 015 0622