Gynecomastia Surgery: Cost, Risks, Recovery

Overview

Gynecomastia surgery reduces breast size in men by removing excess fat and glandular tissue to restore a flatter, firmer and more masculine contour of the chest. It is the most effective treatment for enlarged male breasts.

Due to genetics, use of certain medications, or other reasons, some men develop enlarged breasts known as gynecomastia. It is estimated that up to 50% of men in the United States experience some degree of gynecomastia during their lifetime. Teens have enlarged breasts because of changing levels of sex hormones, and 90% of these cases will resolve on its own. However, for adult men, it is more difficult to grapple with enlarged breasts.

In severe cases of gynecomastia, the weight of excess breast tissue may cause the breast to sag and stretch the areola. In these cases, the position and size of the areola can be surgically adjusted and excess skin can be removed.

Candidates

A good candidate for gynecomastia surgery includes:

  • People whose condition cannot be improved by alternative medical treatments
  • Physically healthy and do not have other illnesses that impair the healing
  • Nonsmokers
  • Breast growth has stabilized
  • Bothered by too large breast
  • Non-drug users
  • Have a positive and realistic outlook toward the surgery

Cost

The cost of male breast reduction varies depending on the extent of the surgery. Generally, the cost includes the surgeon’s fee, hospital or surgical facility costs, anesthesia fees and prescriptions for medication and post-surgery garments.

According to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the national average for plastic surgeon fees for gynecomastia surgery is roughly $3,100. This comprises only part of the total cost. You can get a complete estimate before making an appointment of your surgery. Many plastic surgeons can offer financing plans.

In most cases, the cost of male breast reduction surgery is not covered by insurance. Insurance policies vary greatly, so review your policy carefully to determine coverage.

Risks

Although serious male breast reduction risks are rare, the procedure is not risk-free. The risks include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection at the incision points
  • Extreme loss of fluids
  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia

Preparation

In your initial consultation, the surgeon will give you a list of preoperative instructions. This will include lab testing such as routine blood work and a cardiac workup if you have any medical history of heart disease. Your surgeon will also discuss male breast reduction recovery with you to make sure you know what to expect.

He or she will ask you to stop taking certain medications, including aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and blood thinners, because they can increase bleeding risk. Certain herbal remedies may also increase bleeding risk, such as vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, green tea and gingko biloba. Make sure you tell your surgeon about everything that you are taking, even if it seems harmless. Most surgeons recommend that patients quit smoking the month before and the month after surgery.

Surgical steps

Gynecomastia surgery involves the removal of excess fat or muscular tissue from the male breast. The surgery may be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. If your enlarged breasts consist primarily of excessive fatty tissue, your surgeon may use liposuction. If excess glandular tissue is the primary cause, the tissue may be cut out with a scalpel. This excision may be performed alone or in conjunction with liposuction.

Most often, male breast reduction takes place through incisions that are made around the nipple area. The location of the incision can be decided by the patient. It can be located along the edge of the areola or within the armpit. The length of the incision is based on your anatomy. This is followed by liposuction that sucks out excess fat from the breasts. With liposuction assisting the surgery, there are less chances of blood loss, nipple distortion and areola slough that look unappealing.

Surgery typically costs an hour and a half, but a more extensive male breast reduction may take longer.

Recovery

After the gynecomastia surgery, you may feel painful for about 4-7 days. It is partly because of anesthesia. You may also have mild to moderate bruising and swelling following the procedure. The bruising will resolve within a couple of weeks. Certain homeopathic drugs such as arnica may help speed up the process. In most cases, the swelling will resolve within 6 weeks. However, it may take about 3-6 months for all of the swelling to fully subside.

Besides, you can take the following steps to help recover from gynecomastia surgery:

  • Get adequate rest
  • Do not overexert yourself in physical activities
  • Do not start driving until you have complete control of your arms and their movements are no more restricted
  • Avoid exposing the scar to the sun for at least 12 months after the surgery
  • Keep the incision clean and inspect daily for any signs of inspection


Keywords: Gynecomastia surgery.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.