Male Breast Reduction in Chicago

Seeing the results you deserve from male breast reduction means choosing a skilled cosmetic surgeon with expertise in body contouring. Dr. Anh-Tuan Truong is known as one of the top gynecomastia specialists serving Chicago area men, and his commitment to his patients is second to none.

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What Is Male Breast Reduction?

Male breast reduction, which is also sometimes referred to as “gynecomastia surgery,” is a cosmetic surgery that’s performed to treat gynecomastia, or the abnormal appearance of breast tissue on the male chest. During male breast reduction surgery, fatty deposits that disguise the masculine lines of the chest are removed with the help of liposuction. If glandular breast tissue is present in addition to fat cells, then surgical excision may be needed in addition to liposuction. In cases where a significant amount of fatty tissue needs to be removed, your surgeon may also need to trim away excess skin that remains behind.

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There are two types of gynecomastia: true gynecomastia and pseudo gynecomastia.

  • True gynecomastia is diagnosed when the glandular breast tissue that’s already naturally present in men takes on a softer, fuller appearance that’s more similar to the female breast than the male chest. This is most often caused by a hormonal imbalance, which is why most gynecomastia cases are seen at times of significant hormonal fluctuations, like during the teenage years or in older men. However, true gynecomastia can occur at any age, and may develop due to a number of contributing factors, including as a side effect of prescription medication or recreational drug use.
  • Pseudo gynecomastia doesn’t involve excess glandular tissue, and instead is used to describe the development of fatty deposits in the upper chest. This added fat tissue may be reduced by making lifestyle changes like losing weight and staying active, but since the body stores fat differently at different stages of life, eating right and exercising aren’t always enough to fully address the symptoms of gynecomastia.

Most male breast reduction is performed to address pseudo gynecomastia rather than true gynecomastia. Surgical treatment of either type of gynecomastia should deliver long-term results, although weight gain can lead to a recurrence of fat deposits in the chest.

The choice to move forward with male breast reduction isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, and your choice of surgeon is just as important. In order to see the best possible outcome from your procedure, it’s a good idea to schedule a consultation with a skilled cosmetic surgeon so you can understand more about gynecomastia and the best course of treatment, as well as receive answers to any questions you may have. By the time your consultation is finished, you should know more detailed information on the following aspects of your male breast reduction surgery:

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Step 1 – Anesthesia

Male breast reduction can be performed under either general anesthesia or local anesthesia. With general anesthesia, which is administered by an anesthesiologist, you’ll be asleep during your surgery. If local anesthesia is used instead, you’ll be awake but likely sedated to make sure you feel calm and comfortable throughout your procedure. It’s important to make sure that your surgeon has operating privileges at a facility that’s accredited for whichever type of anesthesia is recommended. Regardless of which type of anesthesia is used, the risk of anesthesia-related complications is very low in healthy men who don’t have any history of negative reaction to anesthesia.

Step 2 – Incision Placement & Surgical Technique

Your surgeon may use different techniques and approaches for your male breast reduction, depending on the type of gynecomastia you have.

For pseudo gynecomastia, your surgeon may be able to use liposuction alone to improve the lines of the upper chest. Liposuction requires several incisions on each side of the chest, but these are typically just a few millimeters long—often shorter than the diameter of a pencil. Incisions are placed as discreetly as possible, and should heal up to nearly invisible over time. Through these incisions, a hollow tube called a cannula is inserted. After the fat cells are broken apart, suction is then used to remove the fatty tissue.

Men with true gynecomastia will require a more comprehensive approach to treatment, as liposuction can only remove fat cells, not glandular breast tissue. Although incision locations can vary depending on your goals, incision placement is planned to be as inconspicuous as possible. Incisions may run around the areola (pigmented skin surrounding the nipple), or be hidden in the natural crease that underlines the chest muscles just below the pectorals.

For some men, a combination of liposuction and glandular tissue excision is needed for the best outcome. The decision of which treatment option will be best for your own gynecomastia is one that you and your surgeon can discuss together before proceeding.

Step 3 – Male Breast Reduction Procedure Steps

Once anesthesia has been administered, your surgeon can make the first incision or incisions. If liposuction is performed first, then a special tumescent solution may be injected to loosen the fat cells in order to facilitate their removal. Alternatively, your surgeon may use the precision laser-assisted technology of Smartlipo™ instead. Once the fat cells are broken apart or ruptured, they can be more easily removed with the help of gentle suction.

If glandular tissue needs to be removed as well, a larger incision (or sometimes more than one) will be needed. Through the incision or incisions, your surgeon can carefully remove the excess glandular tissue responsible for the appearance of male breasts, reshaping the surrounding tissue if needed. Any excess skin that remains will be trimmed away for smooth, firm final chest contours.

Some men may choose to have their areola resized as part of their male breast reduction surgery. This is normally the last step of the procedure before the incisions are closed.

Step 4 – Set Your Date and Prepare for Recovery

Male breast reduction is a fairly straightforward procedure, but it’s still a surgery, and that means needing to plan ahead and stay informed. When you’re considering the best time for your gynecomastia treatment, don’t forget to leave plenty of time for your complete recovery. For most men, this means rearranging their normal daily routine in order to accommodate the surgery rather than rushing through their recovery. Some men may need extra healing time for a number of reasons, and it’s better to leave yourself an appropriate margin just in case. If you have a medical history that could require certain additional tests or lab work be scheduled prior to your surgery, be sure to leave time for those additional steps as well.

Part of planning well for your male breast reduction includes keeping your expectations realistic. Some surgeons may suggest other options you can try before scheduling surgery, such as losing weight, or other treatments or alternatives that he or she may feel could be beneficial in helping you meet your cosmetic goals. Also, while the results of your gynecomastia treatment are intended to be long-lasting, future weight gain could negatively impact your final outcome. As with any cosmetic procedure, it’s important to keep your health as a top priority both before and after your surgery.

Generally speaking, male breast reduction is viewed as a relatively uncomplicated procedure that delivers a high level of post-op satisfaction and carries only a low chance of risks or complications. You’re more likely to feel positive about your final results if you take the time to educate yourself about gynecomastia itself as well as male breast reduction before your procedure, and know more about what to expect from your consultation, surgery and recovery. The best surgeon for your male breast reduction is one who’s happy to answer any questions you may have about your procedure, and who will walk you through every step of the decision-making process in a way that helps you feel confident that you’re making the right decision for you.

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Dr. Truong was voted one of America’s Top Cosmetic Surgeons by Consumers’ Research Council of America. He is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Dr. Truong has completed two separate fellowships in burn injuries and cosmetic surgery, along with a year-long apprenticeship in aesthetic plastic surgery. Dr. Truong is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery.