For some men, large breasts or man boobs can be a real problem. It can be hard to find shirts that hide the large breasts. Even worse is the embarrassment when taking off their shirt at the gym, beach, or swimming pool. Some guys may even find that one breast is larger than the other or that they have pain in their breast.
There are several options available to try to get rid of unwanted breast tissue in men. Some men may be interested in trying an anti-estrogen pill, but that can have bad side effects. If the pill is stopped the breast tissue will return. For breasts that are really just fat (pseudo gynecomastia), non-invasive treatments may help.
There are a variety of surgical techniques for reducing the size of male breasts. Some patients may only need liposuction through small incisions. Others may need surgery through a small incision just below the nipple. In cases with a lot of breast tissue (about the size of a women’s B cup), we may have to do a more aggressive breast reduction operation with more scars.
The first thing to look at is whether your breasts are mainly fat (soft) or can you feel a thick glandular component (harder like a walnut). Most of the fatty breasts can be reduced with liposuction alone. Others may need a larger incision. But, Dr. Koneru uses a minimally invasive technique that may allow for the small incisions of liposuction. If the breast is much more firm, then you will likely need one of the gynecomastia procedures that involves larger incisions. The best way to know which procedure is right for you is to come in for a consultation.
For best results, we encourage all patients to get their Body Mass Index (BMI) under 30. Also, you must stop using muscle building supplements, steroids, or marijuana for at least 6 months before surgery. Your doctor may want to order some lab tests to make sure you do not have a medical problem contributing to your large breasts. If all these things are normal, you may be a good candidate for male breast reduction surgery.
Usually, the recovery is quite easy. Downtime after the minimally invasive procedures is short. After surgery, we recommend avoiding work for about a week. You may not want to drive for a little longer depending on how well you can move your arms. The pain is minimal and is usually easily controlled with pills. If you have a low tolerance for pain, ask Dr. Koneru about the use of a long-acting local anesthetic that can give you relief for up to 3 days.
Insurance coverage for male breast reduction surgery varies. After your consultation, we can submit a letter with photos for preauthorization. If you have been treated by your family physician for Gynecomastia, bring letters from your doctor. We like to send supporting information with our letter. Be forewarned, most insurance companies will consider the procedure cosmetic and not covered even when we have submitted all the information.