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 18

Peri Areolar Incisions in Gynecomastia Surgery

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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. 

Scarring after Male Breast Reduction

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After a male breast reduction procedure to treat gynecomastia, the amount of visible scarring will depend on a number of factors including the amount of fat and breast tissue that is removed during the procedure, as well as the elasticity of the patient’s skin. During male breast reduction, I use a small cannula and make the smallest incisions possible in hard to see areas on and around the chest to reduce the visibility of post-procedure scars. In my experience, even patients who are particularly prone to scarring or who have had large amounts of fat and breast tissue removed are still very satisfied with their breast reduction results.

Managing Scars from Gynecomastia Surgery

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Your incisions will go through a maturation #process following #Gynecomastia #surgery. For the first few months they will be red and possibly raised and/or firm. As the scar matures, after 6-12 months, it becomes soft, pale, flat, and much less noticeable. You may experience numbness, tingling, burning, “crawling”, or other peculiar sensations around the surgical area. This is a result of the #healing of tiny fibers which are trapped in the incision site. These symptoms will disappear. Some people are prone to keloids, which is an abnormal scar that becomes prominent. If you or a blood relative has a tendency to keloid formation, please inform the doctor.

Bruising and #swelling are normal and usually increase slightly after the removal of any tape or foam. The bruising will decrease over 3-4 weeks, but may last as long as 6 weeks. The majority of the swelling will be gone within the first 3-4 weeks. However, it may take 6-9 weeks to disappear completely. Also, as you heal, the area may feel “lumpy” and irregular. This, too, decreases with time, and massaging these areas will help soften the scar tissue. The #compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly you will #heal. It can also assist in the retraction of the skin. If you have any concerns about #healing, its best to ask questions of your surgeon or their nursing staff.In the future, if you are concerned with scars, with your surgeon's approval you may be able to use scar management treatments such as Biocornuem,  Scar Guard, Scar Fade,  IPL L

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Interesting question

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You would think they would be the same procedures but the goal is different. I a woman you want to make the breast smaller and make it conical in shape. In males, you want to remove as much of the breast tissue as is possible and make the result FLAT. The incisions for a typical gynecomastia are tiny--one under the arm and the other at the areola border. This will be a challenge to see after you are healed. Gynecomastia treatment is less complicated and takes less time than a female breast reduction. 


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Men's breast enlargement is a combination of excess fat and glandular breast tissue that is typically centered right under the nipple. The choice of incision and technique is based on the amount of fat and the size of the gland to be removed. It can sometimes be referred to as Gynecomastia.  

Male breasts that are predominately fat can be treated with tiny inconspicuous incisions large enough to admit a thin Liposuction cannula. With firm glandular breasts a semi circular incision around the bottom half of the areola is usually required. In very large breasts requiring skin reduction the incision may go completely around the areola. Most incisions hidden in the areola margins heal quite well and give satisfactory normal appearing results.

Good Luck on your research

Scars After Male Breast Reduction

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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

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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 51 reviews

Armpit scars placed in the crease are virtually invisible

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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

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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
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Scars from gynecomastia surgery

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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.

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.