How Successful Are Fitness Programs over Liposuction for Male Breast Reduction?

Doctor Answers 10

Fitness programs over surgery...

Exercise is very important for a healthy lifestyle, and is a good thing to do before having any type of body contouring surgery.  There are, however, certain areas of the body that will not change with exercise, and that is where surgery can help.  Enlarged male breasts are made up of both fatty tissue and glandular tissue.  While exercise can help reduce the fatty tissue, the glandular tissue needs to excised surgically.  Usually this involves a combination procedure of some liposuction along with direct excision of the excess tissue.  Utilizing the fitness program before the surgery will ultimately make the surgery a little easier and give you the best chance at a great result. 

Edison Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Fitness alone can not fix gynecomastia

Prior to considering any elective surgery it is wise to see what you can achieve on your own with a disciplined approach to nutrition and exercise. Male breast enlargement contains variable amounts of fat and glandular tissue. By lowering your percentage of body fat (not by doing a lot of chest exercise), you can reduce some of the fat volume in the chest. The remaining tissue will need to be removed surgically.

After a complete physical exam and consultation, I prefer to use either VASER or SmartLipo Triplex to address the fat and when necessary this is combined with direct excision for the best aesthetic results. An Ultrasound can sometimes help to determine how much glandular tissue compared to fat tissue is present.

Paradoxically, many patients with gynecomastia find that the prominence of their breast tissue becomes worse as they develop a larger and thicker chest musculature.

Dr. Mosher

Mathew C. Mosher, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Does fitness Replace Liposuction for Male Breast Enlargement?

Staying fit is good medicine for everybody.  Being in peak condition does not in itself fix the problem of male breast enlargement.  The breast of both males and females is a combination of fat and glandular tissue.  Weight control can decrease extra fat, but does not reduce extra gland.  If your gynecomastia (male breast enlargement) has lasted for a long time and you are in good physical condition you should consider a surgical procedure to improve the feminization of your chest.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Fitness program for gynecomastia

"Spot reduction" is not possible with diet and exercise.  You may lose fat but cannot direct where you will lose it.  If a patient is overweight or obese, weight loss will likely help the fatty part of the breasts.  If a patient is already height/weight proportionate, weight loss won't help.  Strength training can help the contour of the pec muscles but again it won't burn the fat or gland away.   Body contouring is the only way to spot reduce. 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Exercise Will Not Correct True Gynecomastia

True gynecomastia consists of glandular breast tissue, usually with excess fat.  A fitness program may correct the excess fat, but will not influence the glandular tissue at all.  The procedure which I usually employ is to excise the glandular tissue via an incision around the areola and use SAL for the excess fat.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Exercise is not a substitute for gynecomastia surgery

Fatty tissue in the breasts must be removed, generally by liposuction and, if the fibrous tissue is involved, by formal resection. The only advantage to exercise and dietary programs is if the gynecomastia is associated with obesity, in which case weight loss can improve the condition.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews


Dear Patient,

Fitness programs can be very effective for some men to reduce breast tissue, but for others, no matter how much exercise or fitness programs they do it is not enough. Liposuction is a very effective way to remove that stubborn breast tissue that just won’t go away with exercise. It is best that you consult your physician and see what he or she thinks is best for you.  Best of luck to you.

Teanoosh Zadeh, MD, FRCSC
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Fitness programs versus liposuction for gynecomastia

Liposuction is only effective for treatment of gynecomastia if fat is the only cause(known as pseudo-gynecomastia). If that is the case, then diet and exercise can work well. Most men however, have a combination of fat and breast tissue. If only the fat is removed the remaining breast tissue will be even more prominent requiring a second procedure.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Male breast reduction

Your final results will be far superior and maintained with good diet and excercise. The diet and excercise will get rid of the fat, but not the breast tissue. So it would depend on how much breast tissue you have. If after loosing the fat , you are bothered by the prurtosion of the breast tissue , you will need surgery

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Male Breast Reduction

Thank you for the question.

If a male  has enlarged breasts secondary to adipose tissue then a fitness program may be very successful. Diet and exercise should certainly  be utilized in this situation prior to considering liposuction surgery. Breast prominence due to excessive adipose tissue is called pseudo-gynecomastia or lipomastia.  

The differentiation of true  gynecomastia  from adipose tissue is important because the surgical treatment may differ.  I have found that gynecomastia is often best treated with  partial excision of the prominent glandular tissue  as well as liposuction surgery of the peripheral chest area.   

Usually  physical examination by a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon is sufficient to make the diagnosis  and to determine the best course of treatment.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 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.