Deciding to have male breast reduction surgery is only the first step in achieving a nice contoured chest. Picking just any surgeon who states that they do gynecomastia surgery might be a big mistake. Selecting a board certified plastic surgeon can also be a mistake.
A Gynecomastia Specialist is a Must!
Choosing a board certified plastic surgeon is essential, but you must go further and determine if the surgeon specializes in man boobs. Ask how many male breast reduction surgeries are done each year and view many before and after pictures.
Ask the surgeon if you have breast tissue and fat. This can be determined by a physical exam. If you only have fat, it will feel soft, but if there is breast tissue present, it will feel firm. The majority of men have “true” gynecomastia which is a combination of fat and breast gland.
True Gynecomastia Requires Excision
If you have “true” gynecomastia, ask the surgeon during your consultation, if you will be having liposuction and surgical excision of the breast tissue. If surgical incision is going to be done, ask where the incisions will be. You want to hear that the tiny incisions for the liposuction cannula will be high up in the armpit so that when it heals, it will be undetectable. You also want to hear that the incisions for the surgical removal of the breast tissue will be around the bottom half of the areola. The incision around the areola once healed will be barely visible.
Extreme Gynecomastia, 2 Stage Surgery
There are exceptions to this, and that would be for the man that has extreme gynecomastia and may need his surgery done in two stages. However, with proper planning, the second stage incisions are to be done around the areola, but fully around the areola, removing a donut shape of excess skin, and then closed with purse string sutures. Note at two weeks post op the patient below, when fully healed the incisions will be barely detectable.
If you have “true” gynecomastia and the surgeon tells you that the fat and breast tissue can be removed by liposuction alone, this should be a red flag for you. Dr. Miguel Delgado, M.D.’s gynecomastia practice is at 40% for revision surgery. Most of the revision cases are to correct surgery where only liposuction was done. If the male breast is only fat, it is referred to as “pseudo-gynecomastia” and liposuction alone is a successful procedure.
Horizontal Mastectomy Incision
Some surgeons use a horizontal mastectomy incision for male breast reduction. Dr. Delgado finds this unacceptable, he feels the resulting scars are as bad as the condition that is being corrected.
Having decided to proceed with surgery, do your homework and ask lots of questions of your surgeon. Get more than one opinion if you have any doubts. Revision surgery is expensive and should be unnecessary.
For a consultation with Dr. Delgado, call (415) 898-4161.