The ideal gynecomastia surgery techniques (male breast reduction) will depend on the underlying cause of the woman-like breasts. It is important to note that some patients will need an excision-based approach, others will benefit more from liposuction, or even a combination of these two.
Leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley says a good number of patients can benefit from excision-based surgery combined with liposuction. With this approach, he can remove the excess tissue, which is mostly behind the nipple area, and then further sculpt the breast (or even the surrounding area) by removing the excess fat.
Dr. Smiley prefers microcannula liposuction technique when dealing with the very dense or fibrous fat found in the male breasts. This involves the use of thin hollowed tube (less than 2.5 mm) to sculpt the breast and/ or its adjacent area by removing some of the excess fat.
Some patients can also benefit from liposuction of the flanks (in addition to the adjacent area of the breasts) so they will not deviate from the more masculine-looking chest.
While liposuction can serve as a stand-alone procedure, only patients with pseudo gynecomastia (the enlargement is only caused by the excess fat, as opposed to the excess breast tissue) can benefit from it.
Male breast liposuction typically uses 1-2 small incisions that are placed near the armpit and/or at the border of the areola for optimal scar concealment.
- Excision-based surgery
Patients with “real” gynecomastia (puffy nipple area due to the excess tissue) can only achieve good results from excision-based surgery. Oftentimes, it involves a small incision placed precisely at the lower border of the areola so when the scar heals it is almost invisible.
However, patients with substantial enlargement and/or significant amount of redundant skin—which typically happens after massive weight loss—will need a more extensive excision-based surgery, which of course results in additional scarring.
For patients who need substantial correction, they may have to accept the appearance of breast fold scar or even a vertical scar from the areola down to the breast crease. This rather extensive technique is reserved for massive weight loss patients.
- Two-staged gynecomastia surgery techniques
Some patients can benefit from a two-staged gynecomastia surgery. This is particularly true for young men (they typically have good skin shrinkage) who want to try first liposuction and wait a few months to decide if they need an excision-based surgery.
Some moderately overweight men and massive weight loss patients could also benefit from a two-staged gynecomastia surgery.