Is Laser Surgery the Most Effective Form of Male Breast Reduction?

What natural, non-surgical methods that will produce the same results as surgery for male breast reduction?

Doctor Answers 13


The answer is not really.  Gynecomastia does not respond well to medical therapies, and there is no FDA approved medical therapy.  Sometimes the appearance of gynecomastia can be more or less apparent; that is, "camouflaged" by surrounding chest fat or muscle tissue.  Some patients will be more satisfied with their chest shape when they lose or gain weight, develop their pectorals, etc.  This does not really treat their gynecomastia, but may make it less visible.  In most patients with gynecomastia there are both glandular and fat components, and effective treatment addresses both. Dense, firm glandular tissue does not respond well to liposuction alone, whereas fat can be treated nicely with liposuction. If the glandular component is fairly small and the fatty component is larger, liposuction alone can make a worthwhile impact in selected cases. In most patients, both components need to be addressed. Typically this means partial resection of the glandular component combined with liposuction for the fatty component, as well as to feather out the edges of the resection cavity.

Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews


There is currently no recommended, FDA-approved medical (i.e. non-surgical) treatment for gynecomastia. While gynecomastia may spontaneously regress in some instances, in most adolescent and adult males the breast tissue development is a permanent change that must be treated surgically. In the few cases where a definite cause can be identified, such as low testosterone levels or exposure to a particular medication, the gynecomastia almost always persists after the causative factor is corrected or eliminated. Because gynecomastia is so different from person to person, it is absolutely critical that the surgical approach to this problem is carefully individualized.

'Pure glandular' gynecomastia ('puffy nipples') in most cases can be treated by direct tissue excision alone. There is no fatty tissue excess and no significant skin excess. The glandular breast tissue enlargement is located immediately behind the nipple and areola, and is removed through an incision placed at the inferior border of the areola. The incision can be limited, in most cases, from about the 4 o'clock to the 8 o'clock position of the areola. The color difference between areolar skin and chest skin serves to conceal this incision quite nicely for most patients. In many cases the scar is completely invisible after just a few weeks or months of healing.

The most common form of gynecomastia ('mixed glandular / adipose') requires ultrasonic liposuction and in some cases direct breast tissue excision as well. Ultrasonic liposuction involves the use of ultrasonic energy to emulsify fat (turn it from solid to liquid) after the infiltration of tumescent solution and before the aspiration of fat. The ultrasonic energy is delivered using a solid probe that is extremely effective at breaking up the dense, fibrous breast tissue behind the nipple-areola complex. In some cases it is effective enough to eliminate the need to make an incision at the areolar border to directly remove breast tissue following ultrasonic liposuction. This practice employs the VASER® ultrasonic liposuction system developed by Sound Surgical Technologies, Inc. A specialized VASER® probe designed specifically for gynecomastia has made the device even more effective for this particular procedure.


Whenever possible, it is preferable to avoid skin excision and the scars that result from it. If the surgery leaves obvious scars and the patient is very self-conscious about them, then the patient has merely traded one reason to never take off their shirt ("man-boobs") for another (scars that show you had surgery for your "man boobs'). In some cases this requires a staged surgical approach. In the first procedure, breast tissue is removed by ultrasonic liposuction with or without direct tissue removal - but only up to the point where a deflated or 'saggier' breast appearance is not produced. Several months are allowed to pass so that the final liposuction result can be evaluated. During this time, the skin tends to retract for two reasons: a significant portion of the distending breast and adipose tissue has been removed, and the energy produced by the ultrasonic liposuction device has stimulated further tissue and skin retraction.


Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Gynecomastia Surgical Techniques

There are three types of surgical treatment options available that treat gynecomastia. The doctor will recommend the one that is best suited to each individual case.

The excision technique is used on cases of #gynecomastia where excess skin and glandular breast tissue must be removed and the areola or nipple needs reduction and repositioning to create a natural looking appearance. The incision patterns are determined by the specific condition of the patient. The doctor will recommend this procedure which combines the liposuction technique and excision technique to create a natural look. Patients are given specific instructions for the recovery period.

Men who suffer from large #areolas may notice that after breast surgery, the skin of the chest muscles will tighten, causing the areolas to tighten and diminish in size. This is a result of the removal of glandular and/or adipose tissue.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Keep It Simple!

Traditional tumescent power assisted liposuction (PAL) has been
very effective in my hands in the treatment of gynecomastia, especially when
combined with a “Stealth” excision.  Addition
of a laser to the liposuction protocol certainly makes it more "high tech", but also adds extra expense and increased the
risk of complications such as inadvertent burns.  In surgery, as in most other aspects of life,”
keep it simple” is a good rule of thumb.

David F. Pratt, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Your options

I know of no FDA approved non surgical/non invasive treatment for gynecomastia. If you are seeking non surgical options for mild gynecomastia, I think that Vanquish which uses RF energy, or UltraShape that uses ultrasound rather than Cool Sculpt would be the best option though all are off FDA usage. Surgery is the best option for the vast majority of patients with gynecomastia.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Non-Surgical Gynecomastia Treatment?


Unfortunately there is no non-surgical treatment for gynecomastia.  Gynecomastia is due to excess breast tissue and only surgery can effectively and predictably remove it. Excess fatty tissue that can give the chest a more feminine look can be treat non-surgically with diet and exercise. However, breast tissue excess needs to be surgically removed.

Dr. Dadvand

Babak Dadvand, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Exercise an diet

Exercising and dieting can firm up the area by reducing the amount of fat, however if the problem is excess glandular tissue or loose skin, then surgery is your best option.

Michael Constantin Gartner, DO
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

Is Laser Surgery the Most Effective Form of Male Breast Reduction?

There are no effective non-surgical treatments for gynecomastia.  Best that you consult with a board certified plastic surgeon for your evaluation.  Good luck and be safe.

John T. Nguyen, MD, FACS, FICS
Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

John Nguyen, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Laser surgery not for gynecomastia

A laser is either a cutting tool, substituting for a scalpel, or a method for skin resurfacing. Gynecomastia requires either skin and glandular resection, liposuction, or both. At this time, there are no pharmacological substitutes for surgery.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Male breast reduction - surgery the only answer

Unfortunately, surgery is the only treatment for male breast enlargement or gynecomastia.  Most of the time this can be done with liposuction and my patients go back to the gym in 5 days.  I would advise you to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon so you can review your options and hopefully avoid wasting money on the advertised nonsurgical techniques that won't work in my opinion.  As an aside, laser is not a magic wand but a tool.  it is not better than standard liposuction but does have increased risks.

Steven Schuster, MD, FACS
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

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.