Dr. Leonard W. Gray

450 Sutter Street Suite 2303, San Francisco, CA 94108
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Gynecomastia – Male Breast Reduction Surgery – San Francisco, CA

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Overview

Gynecomastia is the enlargement of the male breasts. It most often occurs with puberty and can sometimes resolve over time. Some drugs, such as steroids, can cause it, and some medical problems that affect a man’s hormone levels can also be the cause of gynecomastia. If drug and medical hormonal abnormalities are ruled out as the cause, and time has been given for the gynecomastia to resolve on its own without improvement, then surgery by board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Leonard Gray, can be considered at Bay Area Plastic Surgery in San Francisco. The surgery has become increasingly popular over the years.

Until recently, there have only been the options of liposuction and direct excision through a relatively large incision at the nipple/areola area. However, Dr. Gray is very excited to bring to his practice an exciting new technique using liposuction and excision of the gland through small liposuction incisions only that are placed laterally on the side of the chest. There is no large scar at the nipple/areola area. The self-consciousness of having large male breasts is not replaced with self-consciousness regarding scarring. Therefore, there is no reason for a man not to take his shirt off following male breast reduction surgery.

Surgical Technique

Before surgery is recommended, the surgeon will perform a variety of tests and possibly prescribe medications to see if any improvement occurs. If the breast enlargement persists, surgery is an option. Mild cases of gynecomastia are corrected with liposuction. Small incisions are made surrounding the areola where suction tubes (cannulas) are inserted to extract fat and breast tissues. When the enlargement is severe, a longer incision is done to excise breast tissues and loose skin. Skin tightening may also be incorporated and the nipples repositioned so that they are proportional to the new chest shape.

During/After Surgery

Male breast reduction surgery uses general anesthesia and is performed in an accredited surgical facility. The operation lasts up to an hour. It is normal to have bruising and swelling around the chest area for the first couple of weeks. A compression garment must be worn for about 2 weeks to help with reshaping and healing. Most patients are able to return to their normal routine after a few days but must avoid any strenuous physical activities, especially ones that will put pressure on the chest. Results are generally satisfactory with patients regaining their confidence in situations where their chests are bared.

Male Breast Reduction FAQs

Is This Gynecomastia?

This condition must not be confused with a false gynecomastia, also known as pseudogynecomastia, in which the enlargement is caused by fat deposits instead of breast tissue development. The plastic surgeon will be able to determine this by physical examinations or lab tests during the initial consultation. If it is a case of excessive fat tissues on the chest, the approach in treatment is the same when removing  excess fat tissues in any part of the body. Proper diet and exercises are initially recommended before considering any surgical treatment. However, if the issue persists, a liposuction – sometimes even combined with a lift – may be performed to reshape the chest.

Will My Pecs Show?

Gynecomastia, unfortunately, hides the normal chest muscles that lie underneath the layers of overdeveloped breast tissue. For those who have severe gynecomastia, it is even possible that the overgrowth of breast tissue has developed into internal scarring. With a breast reduction surgery, all excess fat and breast tissues will be removed and the pectoralis muscles will be spared so that they can become more visible. With proper diet and exercise after the surgery, men will be able to tone and strengthen their chest muscle to regain the chest’s natural form.

Is Lipo A Must?

Liposuction is the primary approach in extracting fat or any soft tissues. Because it uses a small cannula to vacuum the fat out, it is a less invasive approach compared to excising the tissue, which requires longer incisions. There are liposuction options that are even less invasive. These options will be provided with more details prior to the surgical plan so the patient can consider all factors and ultimately decide which technique is preferred.

Will There Be Scars?

If the breast reduction technique uses liposuction, the incisions will be minimal and will be placed around or near the areola. The plastic surgeon will make every effort when it comes to making the incisions and suturing to minimize the effects of scarring. 

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Average Cost  
$7,000 - $9,000
Recovery Time  
6 Weeks
Average Procedure Time  
3-4 hours
Post-op Follow-up  
4 Months
Procedure Recovery Location  
Out-Patient
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* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.