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Gynecomastia Surgery in Virginia Beach

If you’re a man who avoids taking your shirt off or hides under baggy sweatshirts to hide the extra tissue on your chest, or if you simply want a firmer and flatter chest with a more masculine contour, male breast reduction may be right for you. Virginia Beach-based Associates in Plastic Surgery are experts at male breast reduction.

Table of Contents

What is Gynecomastia Surgery?

Gynecomastia surgery, also known as male breast reduction surgery, is a cosmetic procedure designed to address the condition of gynecomastia, which is the development of enlarged breast tissue in males. This condition can occur due to hormonal imbalances, genetics, certain medications, or other factors, leading to a feminine-like appearance of the chest.
During gynecomastia surgery, the surgeon removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin from the chest area to create a flatter, firmer, and more masculine chest contour. The specific technique used for gynecomastia surgery depends on the severity of the condition and the patient’s individual anatomy.

Am I an Ideal Candidate? An Ideal Candidate for Gynecomastia Surgery

  • Good general health
  • Stable weight
  • Healthy lifestyle habits
  • Non-smoker or willing to quit smoking
  • Realistic expectations about surgery outcomes
  • Positive psychological well-being and body image
  • Persistent gynecomastia not responsive to non-surgical treatments
  • Breast development stabilized in adolescent candidates
  • Informed consent and understanding of risks and benefits
  • Seeking surgery to address physical discomfort and restore confidence rather than external pressures

What Happens During a Gynecomastia Surgery?

During gynecomastia surgery, also known as male breast reduction surgery, several steps are typically involved to address enlarged breast tissue in males and create a flatter, firmer, and more masculine chest contour. Here’s an overview of what typically happens during gynecomastia surgery:
  1. Preparation: Before the surgery begins, the patient is typically administered anesthesia to ensure comfort throughout the procedure. The type of anesthesia used (local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia) depends on the extent of the surgery and the patient’s preferences.
  2. Incision Placement: The surgeon carefully plans the location and length of incisions based on the severity of gynecomastia and the desired outcomes. Incisions are typically made around the areola (periareolar incision) or in the natural creases of the chest to minimize visible scarring.
  3. Removal of Glandular Tissue: The surgeon begins by removing excess glandular tissue from the chest. In cases of true gynecomastia, where glandular tissue is present, surgical excision is necessary to address this underlying cause of enlarged breasts. The surgeon carefully dissects and removes the excess glandular tissue while preserving the surrounding structures and maintaining nipple sensation.
  4. Liposuction: In addition to surgical excision, liposuction may be performed to remove excess fatty tissue from the chest area. The surgeon inserts a thin cannula through the incisions and uses suction to remove fat cells, sculpting the chest contours for a smoother and more defined appearance.
  5. Skin Excision (if necessary): In cases where there is significant excess skin present, particularly in patients with massive weight loss or severe gynecomastia, the surgeon may perform skin excision to remove loose or sagging skin. This step helps to achieve a firmer and more contoured chest appearance.
  6. Nipple Repositioning (if necessary): In some cases, the position and size of the nipples may be adjusted to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing result. The surgeon may reposition the nipples higher on the chest and resize them as needed to create a balanced and natural-looking chest contour.
  7. Closure of Incisions: Once the excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin have been addressed, the incisions are meticulously closed with sutures or surgical adhesive. The surgeon takes care to ensure proper wound closure and minimize scarring.
  8. Placement of Dressings and Compression Garment: After surgery, dressings or bandages may be applied to the incision sites to protect the wounds and promote healing. A compression garment or elastic bandage may also be worn around the chest to minimize swelling, support the tissues, and help maintain the new chest contours during the recovery period.
  9. Post-operative Care Instructions: The patient receives detailed post-operative care instructions from the surgical team, including information on wound care, activity restrictions, pain management, and follow-up appointments. It’s essential for patients to follow these instructions closely to optimize healing and achieve the best possible results.
Overall, gynecomastia surgery is a highly individualized procedure tailored to each patient’s unique needs and goals. The specific techniques used may vary depending on factors such as the severity of gynecomastia, the patient’s anatomy, and the surgeon’s expertise. It’s crucial for patients to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced in gynecomastia surgery to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for their specific condition.

Recovery Timeline Following Gynecomastia Surgery

The recovery timeline following gynecomastia surgery can vary from patient to patient, depending on factors such as the extent of the procedure, individual healing abilities, and adherence to post-operative care instructions. While every patient’s recovery experience is unique, the following is a general timeline outlining the typical progression of recovery after gynecomastia surgery:
  1. Immediate Post-Operative Period (Day 1-2):
    • Immediately following surgery, patients may experience grogginess and drowsiness from the effects of anesthesia.
    • Patients may experience mild to moderate discomfort, swelling, and bruising in the chest area. Prescription pain medication or over-the-counter pain relievers may be prescribed to manage discomfort.
    • Patients are advised to rest and avoid strenuous activities during the initial recovery period.
  2. First Week:
    • Swelling and bruising are expected to peak during the first few days after surgery and gradually begin to subside.
    • Patients may wear a compression garment or elastic bandage around the chest to minimize swelling, support the tissues, and help maintain the new chest contours.
    • It’s essential to avoid activities that could strain or put pressure on the chest, including lifting heavy objects or engaging in vigorous exercise.
  3. Weeks 2-3:
    • Swelling continues to decrease, and bruising fades over time, although some residual swelling may persist for several weeks.
    • Patients may gradually resume light activities and return to work, depending on their comfort level and the nature of their job.
    • It’s essential to continue wearing the compression garment as recommended by the surgeon to promote optimal healing and support the chest during the recovery process.
  4. Weeks 4-6:
    • Most swelling and bruising have resolved by this point, and patients typically start to see noticeable improvements in chest appearance and discomfort.
    • Patients may gradually resume more strenuous activities and exercise routines, following clearance from their surgeon.
    • Incisions continue to heal and mature, and any residual discomfort or sensitivity gradually diminishes over time.
  5. Months 3-6:
    • By this stage, the majority of post-operative swelling has resolved, and the chest begins to settle into its final shape and contour.
    • Scars continue to fade and flatten over time, although they may remain pink or slightly raised initially.
    • Patients can expect to see the final results of gynecomastia surgery, including a flatter, firmer, and more masculine chest contour.
  6. Long-Term Recovery:
    • While most of the visible signs of surgery resolve within the first few months, it may take up to a year or more for the chest to fully settle, and the scars to mature.
    • Patients should continue to attend follow-up appointments with their surgeon as scheduled to monitor their progress and address any concerns that may arise during the healing process.
It’s essential for patients to follow their surgeon’s specific post-operative instructions, including proper wound care, medication management, and activity restrictions, to ensure a safe and successful recovery from gynecomastia surgery. If any unusual symptoms or concerns arise during the recovery period, patients should contact their surgeon promptly for guidance and assistance.

Maintaining Results

Maintaining the results of gynecomastia surgery involves several strategies aimed at preserving the improved chest contour achieved through the procedure. Here are some tips for maintaining the results:
  1. Maintain Stable Weight: Significant fluctuations in weight can affect the appearance of the chest. It’s important to maintain a stable weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise to prevent recurrence of excess fat deposition in the chest area.
  2. Follow a Healthy Lifestyle: Adopting healthy lifestyle habits, including regular exercise and a balanced diet, can help maintain overall body composition and prevent the accumulation of excess fat in the chest.
  3. Avoid Anabolic Steroids and Performance-Enhancing Drugs: The use of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs can contribute to gynecomastia. Avoiding these substances can help prevent recurrence of enlarged breast tissue.
  4. Monitor Medications: Certain medications can cause or exacerbate gynecomastia as a side effect. If you are taking medications known to affect hormone levels or breast tissue, consult with your healthcare provider to explore alternative options.
  5. Wear Compression Garments (if recommended): Some surgeons recommend wearing compression garments or elastic bandages during the initial stages of recovery to support the chest tissues and minimize swelling. Following your surgeon’s recommendations regarding garment use can help maintain the results of gynecomastia surgery.
  6. Regular Exercise: Incorporating chest exercises into your regular workout routine can help maintain muscle tone and definition in the chest area. However, it’s important to avoid overtraining or excessive strain on the chest muscles during exercise.
  7. Monitor Changes: Pay attention to any changes in the appearance of your chest, such as swelling, asymmetry, or discomfort. If you notice any concerning changes, contact your surgeon for evaluation and guidance.
  8. Attend Follow-Up Appointments: Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor healing progress and address any concerns or complications promptly.
  9. Be Patient: It’s normal for the chest to undergo changes during the healing process. Scars will continue to fade and flatten over time, and swelling will gradually resolve. Be patient and give your body time to adjust to the results of surgery.
  10. Communication with Your Surgeon: Maintain open communication with your plastic surgeon and discuss any questions or concerns you may have about maintaining the results of gynecomastia surgery. Your surgeon can provide personalized guidance and recommendations based on your individual needs and goals.
By following these tips and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, patients can help ensure long-lasting results and enjoy the benefits of a flatter, more masculine chest contour following gynecomastia surgery.

Possible Complications

While gynecomastia surgery is generally safe and effective, like any surgical procedure, it carries the risk of potential complications. It’s important for patients to be aware of these risks and discuss them with their surgeon before undergoing surgery. Possible complications of gynecomastia surgery may include:
  1. Bleeding: Excessive bleeding during or after surgery can occur, leading to hematoma (collection of blood) in the surgical area. In some cases, additional surgery may be necessary to control bleeding and remove accumulated blood.
  2. Infection: There is a risk of infection at the surgical site, which may manifest as redness, swelling, warmth, or discharge. Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat or prevent infection, but in severe cases, additional treatment may be required.
  3. Changes in Sensation: Temporary or permanent changes in nipple or chest sensation, including numbness, increased sensitivity, or loss of sensation, may occur following surgery. Most patients experience some degree of sensory changes, but it typically improves over time.
  4. Asymmetry: Despite efforts to achieve symmetry, some degree of asymmetry between the breasts may persist or develop after surgery. Revision surgery may be necessary to address significant asymmetry or aesthetic concerns.
  5. Delayed Wound Healing: Some patients may experience delayed wound healing, resulting in wound separation, poor scar formation, or skin necrosis. Proper wound care and follow-up with the surgeon can help mitigate this risk.
  6. Unsatisfactory Results: Despite the surgeon’s best efforts, some patients may be dissatisfied with the results of gynecomastia surgery. It’s important to have realistic expectations about the outcomes of surgery and communicate openly with the surgeon about goals and concerns.
  7. Scarring: While incisions for gynecomastia surgery are typically small and discreetly placed, scarring may occur at the incision sites. Proper wound care and scar management techniques can help minimize the appearance of scars over time.
  8. Seroma: Fluid accumulation in the chest area, known as a seroma, may occur after surgery and may require drainage if it persists or becomes symptomatic.
  9. Anesthesia Risks: Anesthesia carries inherent risks, including allergic reactions, respiratory complications, and adverse reactions to medications. These risks are typically low but should be discussed with the anesthesia team before surgery.
  10. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE): Rarely, blood clots may form in the deep veins of the legs (DVT) and travel to the lungs (PE), causing potentially life-threatening complications. Measures such as early ambulation and compression stockings may be used to reduce the risk of DVT and PE.
It’s essential for patients to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced in gynecomastia surgery and to undergo a thorough evaluation and consultation to assess their candidacy for surgery and discuss potential risks and complications. By understanding and addressing these potential complications, patients can make informed decisions and minimize the risk of adverse outcomes from gynecomastia surgery.

Male Breast Reduction Before & After Photos