Male breast reduction is a practice that is only growing in popularity — it topped the list of plastic surgery procedures at Aesthetic Surgery for Men, and more than 40% of breast reductions in America last year were for men. There is still significant (and unwarranted) stigma surrounding removal of breast tissue from males. Gynecomastia can cause emotional trauma and may affect a man’s self-confidence, leading him to avoid intimacy or physical activity. However, there are a couple of key points to be aware of when considering surgery.
When to get it done
Despite the impact gynecomastia can have on teenage boys, reduction surgery is best performed when the breasts are fully developed. If not, secondary procedures are often required to compensate for any body shape changes. Before taking any medical steps, it is important to speak with a medical professional to ascertain whether reduction can be achieved naturally with healthy eating or exercise plans. While every well-meaning person in your life may have told you the same thing, it is important to make sure you aren’t spending money you don’t have to. If you currently smoke and are serious about a surgery, now might be the time to quit — smokers have an increased risk of complications.
Who to talk to
The best person to talk to is usually your doctor or a specialist. That way, you know you have the medical advice you need to approach the procedure with confidence. Picking a surgeon with many years of experience in carrying out similar procedures is ideal; they should also allow a friend or family member to come to the consultation with you to help with the decision if that’s something you want. Look into whether your Medicare can cover some of the cost as well — some breast augmentation procedures are partially covered, and if it is for a medical rather than cosmetic reason, your chances of being approved greatly increase.
What to be prepared for
You will feel sore and stiff after the surgery, and the skin will likely bruise for a week or so, as the procedure will involve liposuction, excision (surgical removal), or both. Wherever possible, surgeons try to hide scars in the natural contours of the body or around the nipple, but your scars may be visible. The area under and around your nipple may also depress slightly due to the tissue movement, though all possible steps are taken to avoid that. Mostly importantly, certain lifestyle changes can reverse the effects of surgery, so avoid excessive weight gain, hormonal imbalances, or certain drugs such as anabolic steroids or marijuana.
A personal decision like breast reduction is best to be an informed one, so doing further research on health sites and consulting plastic surgeons is a great place to start. For the boost of confidence and security it provides men who are uncomfortable in their own skin, the procedure is both medically and emotionally healthy.