How Visible Are the Incision Scars After Having Male Breast Reduction Surgery?

Exactly how is male breast reduction surgery different from female breast reduction surgery? Is the procedure less time consuming or less complicated for men?

Doctor Answers 14

Peri Areolar Incisions in Gynecomastia Surgery

In the vast majority of cases a peri areolar incision is used when treating gynecomastia. This incision is made around the inferior border of the areola and is extended slightly to each side. It’s hidden nicely at the border of the areola with the surrounding tissue. As the scar fades, it’s even less apparent.

                  In contrast, breast reduction in women is much more complicated with much longer incisions. This procedure not only reduces the size of the breast, but also lifts the breast into normal position. The procedure results in a circumferential incision around the areola, a transverse incision in the infra-mammary fold and a vertical incision that connects the two.

                  Male breast reduction is less complicated then female breast reduction. There’s less scarring, fewer complications, shorter recoveries and shorter operative times. It’s important to note that both procedures have high satisfaction rates. 

Scars After Male Breast Reduction

The choice of incision is based on the extensiveness of the gynecomastia or male breast development. Simple situations are addressed with liposuction alone through tiny incisions. More significant reduction is achieved through incisions at the bottom of the areola or around the entire areola extending down to the breast fold. This is termed a 'lollipop incision'. All of these scars heal very well in most patients. Which procedure is necessary would be best determined by your plastic surgeon.

Scarring With Gynecomastia Surgery


Thanks for the post. The most common scar used to remove glandular tissue is at the bottom of the areola. This incision tends to heal very well for two reasons:

1. There is no tension on the incision because the tissue that would be pushing on the area has been removed

2. There is always a color difference between the areola and the chest skin. The scar is placed at this border and hides very well.

I wrote a blog post discussing healing of these scars.


Dr. Dadvand

Babak Dadvand, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Armpit scars placed in the crease are virtually invisible

Using special instruments such as sharpened gynecomastia cannulas and diamond rasps and  I am able treat the great majority of my gynecomastia and pseudo-gynecomastia patients through a 1/4 inch axillary incision, placing the scar in the armpit crease, which is virtually undetectable.  Rarely, if needed, a short periareolar scar can be made to directly excise the gynecomastia.  I recommend silicone sheeting routinely for improved scar healing.

I hope this is helpful.  Good luck!

Breast Reduction Scars for Men Vs Women

The scars for men are very different than for women. For the female, the goal is not to have an almost flat chest as it is for a man. To reduce the size of the breast in a woman there is usually a vertical scar from the areola down to the breast crease and then for many an additional incision across the breast crease for what is known as an anchor or inverted T procedure. For the man in order to remove breast tissue and fat an incision is made around the bottom half of the areola so that when it heals it is almost invisible. I also do a  tiny incision in the armpit for the cannula for liposuction and for the drain most of my patients have a hard time finding it. Depending on the severity of the gynecomastia breast determines the incisions, sometimes it can be less, in some cases it can be more if a second stage reduction is needed.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Scars from gynecomastia surgery

The scars from correction of gynecomastia surgery really vary depending on the severity. The most common type of correctin can be done leaving a scar either on the lower border of the areola, or as I prefer, through a small scar off to the side. As the breast becomes larger and saggier, some of the skin may need to be removed leaving you with a thin scar around the entire areola. For the most severe type I perform a nipple graft procedure which leaves you with a single scar along the entire inframammary creasr and another around the areola. I do not like the "T" scar as it is very un-natural for men.

Male Breast Reduction Surgery

The male breast reduction surgery is usually a much smaller surgery when compared to the female breast reduction surgery.  The incision is normally under the areola (which fades nicely with time). The glandular tissue must be removed. This firm fibrous tissue extends from the nipple areolar complex down to the surface of the pectoral muscle beneath. In some cases, it is helpful to use liposuction to remove some of the fatty tissue which always surrounds this ductal tissue. Without this liposuction some patients would have a “donut” shaped defect after removal of the ductal tissue.

Proper Incision in gynecomastia surgery

Real Gynecomastia requires a sub areolar incision(under the nipple)and in my experience this is the only way to ensure proper results.This incision fades gradually and usually becomes unnoticeable.   In female breast reduction the scars are much more noticeable.  It is less complicated in man when the surgeon is experienced with gynecomastia surgery. See wikipedia and surgeons websites for helpfull pictures.

Mordcai Blau, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Breast reduction surgery is very different for men

Men's breast enlargement is a combination of excess fat and usually excess breast tissue that is centered right under the nipple, going outwards several inches.

The fat is treated by ultrasonic liposuction, in my practice. The incision is 1/4 inch and is at 6 o' clock under the areola.

The breast tissue, if present, is treated by enlarging the incision under the areola, following the edge of the areola, then carefully and incrementally removing the breast tissue with cautery dissection.

When healed, the incision(s) are barely visible.

Women's breast reduction involves an incision that goes completely around the areola, down the front of the breast, and often in the crease.  Larger amounts of breast tissue are removed and the nipple/areola is moved upwards. The procedure is considerably more involved and more time consuming.

Robert M. Lowen, MD
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Male Breast Reduction Scars

Scars after Gynecomastia surgery vary depending on the amount of breast tissue present and the elasticity of your skin. That is because the procedures vary. If you have small breasts that are only fat, then the scars are tiny, only large enough to admit a Liposuction cannula. If you have very large female like breasts, then the scars will extend across each side of the chest, but can usually be hidden in a crease or made to somewhat disappear. With firm breast tissue, there is usually a scar under the areola. If the areolae are large and need reduction also, then the scar goes all the way around the areola. In spite of larger scars for larger breasts, everyone is usually quite satisfied with the results.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 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.