Is Gynecomastia Surgery Just Breast Liposuction?

Is gynecomastia surgery (male breast reduction) just a version of liposuction for male breasts?

Doctor Answers (45)

Involves excision if necessary

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Male breast reduction can involve liposuction and excision of skin, glandular tissue and fat. Therefore, it can be a more complex procedure than liposuction alone.

Liposuction for Gynecomastia

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Gynecomastia (male breast growth) is an enlargement of normal glandular tissue and fat.  Liposuction is very helpful in tapering the excess fat to create a more male appearance to the chest, but it is not particularly effective for the harder glandular tissue beneath the nipple and areola.  Most of the time, liposuction is combined with incisions at the edge of the pigmented part of the areola in order to remove excess glandular tissue.  When the male breast enlargement has resulted in stretching of the skin it may be necessary to remove extra skin as well.  It is important to plan any incisions in the pattern that hides them best.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Gyecomastia Treatment includes both excision of breast tissue as well as liposuction

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Gynecomastia treatment or male breast reduction includes both liposuction of the chest, as well as excision of male breast gland, which is mostley located under the areola.

S. Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Gynecomastia surgery often improved by liposuction

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Many others have already described this condition that is quite common and is very amenable to correction. A thorough examination and appropriate investigations are needed to look for medically reversible causes of male breast enlargement. In the absence of a medically treatable condition, gynecomastia surgery is the only effective treatment.

In most instances it is very important to be near your ideal weight before considering male breast reduction. Enlargement of the male breast can be primarily fat, primarily glandular tissue or a combination. Glandular tissue must be excised while fat tissue can be effectively reduced with liposuction. Some forms of liposuction, particularly Vaser and SmartLipo may offer some advantages for reducing the excess male breast fat. Although some novel instruments and strategies have been developed to remove glandular tissue through a small scar, most patients with excess glandular tissue require a scar along the edge of the areola for access. Excellent results are common with gynecomastia surgery performed by experienced Plastic Surgeons but recurrence, scar indentations and other complications occur occasionally.

Most patients who have this surgery regret not exploring their options earlier and are very happy with the results from surgery. Enlarged and dilated areolae can also be corrected at the time of this surgery when necessary. Patients are back to work in a few days for liposuction only procedures and 1-2 weeks when excision is required.

Dr. Mosher

Mathew C. Mosher, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Liposuction is One Technique for Male Breast Reduction

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Liposuction is one technique for Gynecomastia removal.  With use of ultrasound or laser to dissolve the breast tissue, liposuction can be very effective by itself.

Sometimes, liposuction may be used in combination with cutting. Some cases of Male Breast Reduction may be done with cutting, alone.

The determination of the best techniques is based upon your surgeon's judgment and experience.

Think of liposuction as a technique or tool used in a procedure, not as an operation, per se.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Gynecomastia can be treated with liposuction or open surgery

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This is a good question, since many men have gynecomastia but do not know that there are surgical options. The treatment really depends on the severity of gynecomastia and the density of the tissue. In many cases, all that is needed is traditional liposuction.

However, if the tissue is dense, then the addition of Smartlipo (laser) or ultrasound-assisted liposuction may help break up the tissues. Is some cases, however, it is necessary to actually cut out the tissue. Additionally, if there is a large amount of excess skin, then more incisions may need to be required to remove the skin.

I hope this is helpful.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Power Asssisted Liposuction Can Be Very Effective in Treating Gynecomastia and Puffy Nipple Patients

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My procedure of choice for the majority of gynecomastia patients is PAL, or Power Assisted Liposuction.  Using the Microaire system, along with special "penetrating cannulas", I am able to remove both breast and fatty tissue and avoid open excision in most of the "puffy nipple" and gynecomastia patients I treat.  Some patients, such as body builders who are extremely lean and have only a rubbery lump under the areola may require open excision of this particularly dense breast tissue.

I hope this answer is helpful.  Good luck!

Slightly different

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It depends on the cause of your gynecomastia. True gynecomastia is the excess growth of breast glands, and this often cannot be addressed with liposuction alone. It requires excision. If the breasts are enlarged due to excess fat only, then liposuction alone can achieve a good improvement (although excision may still be required if loose skin needs to be removed as well).

What Happens During Gynecomastia Surgery & When Liposuction is a Great Option

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It’s important to realize that no two patients with gynecomastia are exactly alike and because of this treatment needs to be individualized. In some cases, patients may have increased amounts of glandular breast tissue, in others there may be increased amounts of fat and finally some patients may have increased amounts of fat and breast tissue.

                  When patients have diffuse fatty gynecomastia, liposuction is an excellent treatment option. However, this represents an exception rather than the rule. The vast majority of patients have a glandular component and surgical excision is necessary. In many patients with gynecomastia, excision of breast tissue can be augmented with liposuction of the surrounding tissue.

                  If you have gynecomastia, consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon will be helpful in determining which option is best for you. 

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.