The popularity of male breast reduction, called gynecomastia, at our Portland plastic surgery practice increased sharply during the past few years. And our practice isn’t alone. Statistics show male breast reduction procedures rose 30% during the past five years as men come to view plastic surgery as a legitimate solution to their physical concerns.
Getting the sculpted, well-defined chest that most people associate with a masculine appearance through male breast reduction surgery is popular because most patients experience some embarrassment when they go shirtless. This can be especially true for older teens and men in their 20s when they’re either at a beach or pool and others may be snickering about “man boobs.”
There is also a misconception that gynecomastia is only associated with being overweight. Obesity can be a cause, but the condition can also be hereditary, arise from certain medications that affect hormone production, or come with aging.
Lack of Definition — Or Ready for Surgical Intervention?
Not all males who want a more masculine chest are suffering from gynecomastia. A man whose chest simply lacks definition can probably reach his goals by changing his eating habits and signing up for a gym membership. Weight training, resistance exercises, and swimming are all great ways to tone the pectoral muscles and create a more sculpted appearance.
But that’s not the answer for everyone. At a consultation with patients concerned about overly developed breasts, I can recommend a surgical path that addresses their concerns:
- Liposuction: In certain cases, the primary cause of enlarged male breasts is excess localized fat. I may simply perform liposuction, which involves making small incisions and then suctioning fat using a thin tube called a cannula. This type of stubborn fat typically doesn’t respond to exercise or dieting.
- Surgical excision: Gynecomastia that has emerged from over-developed glandular breast tissue requires surgery to remove it. The surgery may also include removing excess skin and reducing the size of the areolas (i.e., the dark skin surrounding the nipples.) It’s fairly common to combine surgical excision and liposuction to sculpt a well-defined, masculine chest. The scars typically fade so that they’re barely perceptible, and any discomfort that patients experience can be managed with pain medication.
Breast Reduction Surgery Deserves Board-Certified Expertise
As more and more men consider male breast reduction surgery, it’s important that they understand the importance of choosing a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). These surgeons, such as myself and colleagues at Portland Plastic Surgery Group, train extensively to earn this certification. We have years of specialized experience that isn’t matched by general or cosmetic surgeons and maintain our certifications throughout our careers.