Male Breast Liposuction

The breast is one of the four areas on men most commonly treated with liposuction. (The others are the abdomen, flanks, and the facial area comprised of the chin, cheek, and jaw.)

Most healthy men have some fatty tissue and a small amount of glandular tissue in their breasts. The enlargement of male breasts caused by the growth of excessive glandular tissue is known as gynecomastia. It afflicts boys and men of all ages; for example, approximately 60% of teenaged boys develop temporary gynecomastia. Pseudogynecomastia is caused by an excessive amount of fat tissue, but a normal amount of glandular tissue. This combination often occurs as men age or in young men who are obese.

While gynecomastia sometimes goes away on its own, medical treatment is sometimes needed. Liposuction falls into that category as an option for male breast reduction.

As with any liposuction procedure, the goal of male breast liposuction is to improve the patients physical appearance by removing as much subcutaneous fat as possible without damaging the skin or muscles. Liposuction is most effective for pseudogynecomastia because there is more fat to remove than in true gynecomastia, but the latter can be treated by liposuction as well. Otherwise, breast reduction surgery (reduction mammoplasty) is needed to remove the glandular tissue. 

Male breast reduction using liposuction to treat gynecomastia is often performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. Extreme cases, or those involving other medical conditions, may require an overnight hospital stay. The surgery usually takes about an hour and a half to complete.

The liposuction technique used most often for male breast reduction is tumescent, which involves the injection of a large volume of saline containing the local anesthetic lidocaine and the blood vessel constrictor epinephrine into the fat. Tumescent means swollen and firm, which describes the treatment area after the injection. Once it has reached that point, the surgeon inserts a microcannula, which is a tube-like surgical instrument, and manipulates it to break up the fat and tissue and suction it out under vacuum power. 

The small holes left behind by the microcannula (adits) are left open to facilitate drainage, which is absorbed by pads that are held in place by a compression garment. Compression limits movement and thereby helps to prevent swelling and bruising, supports the treatment area as it heals, and increases the patients comfort.  

Patients can usually return to work within a few days (depending on their activity level), but sports and strenuous activities should be avoided for 6 weeks or so. Patients should follow their surgeons postsurgical instructions closely to ensure an optimal outcome.

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