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Some people incorrectly assume that only women have cosmetic concerns about their body, and thus seek out plastic surgery for an overall, improved physique. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Every year, Dr. Hopkins of J. Hopkins Plastic Surgery consults with several men about body image concerns and how plastic surgery can resolve them. One of the most common concerns that Dallas area men visit Dr. Hopkins about is the large, unwanted size of their male breasts.
If you’re a Dallas area male and feel self-conscious about wearing tight-fitting shirts, or even doing activities like swimming or working out without wearing a shirt because of your excess male breast tissue, you may have a condition called gynecomastia. The excessive tissue can be present due to a variety of causes. Regardless of the cause, the excess tissue can be reduced or removed entirely with a minor surgical procedure that involves sucking out the unwanted fat through a small incision(s) and/or by directly excising it.* This procedure is generally referred to as male breast reduction surgery. After the procedure, a compression garment is usually worn for a few days to help with the healing process.
When approaching male breast reduction surgery, Dallas patients should consider all aspects of the procedure. Many times, potential male breast reduction surgery candidates wonder about recovery, the cost, and if they are the right candidate for this elective plastic surgery. Well, the team here at J. Hopkins Plastic Surgery will tell you here and now that we have your best interest in mind. If you’re the right candidate, we’ll inform you. If you’re not, we’ll tell you that, too. If you’re worried about the risks of male breast reduction surgery, don’t worry; our goal is your knowledge and your overall health and safety.
How Do I Know If I Have Gynecomastia?
It can be hard for men to distinguish between regular fat deposits in the chest region and gynecomastia, particularly since the two conditions are visually similar.
Typically, men who have gynecomastia are able to feel a hard lump under their nipple or areola region. This lump will feel much firmer than regular fat deposits. If you can feel this lump, and especially if the lump is painful or sensitive to the touch, that is usually a sign that you have gynecomastia. Additionally, gynecomastia will not change with diet and exercise, whereas regular fat deposits will potentially change.
Signs of Gynecomastia:
Localized fat in the chest area
Increased or excessive glandular tissue development
Excess breast skin
One or both breasts are enlarged
Causes of Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia is caused by a hormonal imbalance, specifically one that leaves you with less testosterone and more estrogen. There are a number of specific factors that can contribute to gynecomastia, including:
- Natural hormone imbalances. Men may experience changing hormone levels during puberty or during the onset of middle age.
- Medications. There are certain medications that may lead to hormone fluctuations and ultimately to gynecomastia, including certain steroids, antibiotics, and anti-androgens.
- Kidney failure. Men who require dialysis treatment often experience major hormone shifts, which can often result in gynecomastia.
- Tumors. Certain types of tumors produce hormones, which can throw off the body’s natural hormonal balance.
There are several factors that place men in a higher risk category for gynecomastia. Some of the most common risk factors include:
- Adolescence. Gynecomastia is associated with hormone shifts, which means that some males develop the condition as a result of puberty.
- Old age. Likewise, the aging process can yield a natural decrease in hormone production. One potential side effect of this is gynecomastia.
- Steroid use. Men who use anabolic steroids to enhance their athletic performance may be at a higher risk for gynecomastia.
- Health conditions. Health conditions that impact the body’s natural hormone balance can result in gynecomastia. Examples include kidney disease, thyroid disease, and Klinefelter syndrome.
Grades of Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia can be classified using a four-tiered gradation system. These different grades of gynecomastia reflect the overall severity of the condition.
Grade 1 – Small Enlargement with No Skin Excess
Men with grade 1 gynecomastia may experience small breast enlargement, along with localized tissue surrounding the nipple or areola. Slight swelling may cause this localized tissue to have a different color from the surrounding skin.
Grade 2 – Moderate Enlargement with No Skin Excess
For men with grade 2 gynecomastia, the condition presents with a more significant enlargement, which may expand to the width of the chest. At this level of severity, men often prefer to wear looser clothing, making the growth in their chest less obvious.
Grade 3 – Moderate Enlargement with Extra Skin
For men who have grade 3 gynecomastia, the condition may be moderate to severe. Not only can grade 3 gynecomastia expand the width of the chest, but it typically presents with a notable increase in extra skin.
Grade 4 – Marked Enlargement with Extra Skin
Men who have the most extreme grade of gynecomastia will have a significant chest enlargement, along with a large amount of extra skin. A more feminine breast appearance is common among grade 4 gynecomastia cases.
Best Candidates for Male Breast Reduction Surgery
The best candidates for male breast reduction surgery are the ones who are relatively healthy and can handle the recovery. The process your body goes through during any surgical procedure is not a simple one. The best candidates need to be able to be sedated through medication and withstand the initial surgery itself as well as the recovery.
Being a Dallas male and simply desiring male breast reduction surgery doesn’t automatically qualify you to be a patient of Dr. Hopkins. To ensure your ultimate health and safety, Dr. Hopkins has a series of surgical requirements that all his potential patients must meet. These include:
- Being in good general overall health, and be able to pass a preoperative examination appointment with your general practitioner prior to your male breast reduction surgery date
- Communicating to Dr. Hopkins your complete medical history, including any medical conditions you currently have, medications you take, and surgeries you’ve had performed in the past
- Telling Dr. Hopkins your concerns about your male breast tissue and explaining to him your expectations for the surgery, so he can determine if you have realistic expectations
- Listening to Dr. Hopkins explain the male breast reduction procedure to you in detail, and communicating back to him that you understand the procedure
- Being a non-smoker, or promising to quit smoking 6 weeks before and 8 weeks after your surgery, as smoking can complicate both the surgery itself as well as your recovery time period
- If you’ve been under general anesthesia before, never having had an allergic or bad reaction to it, as general anesthesia is typically required for male breast reduction surgery
- Being in good overall psychological health
Why Dallas Men Choose Male Breast Reduction Surgery
If you’re a Dallas man who has gynecomastia, there are likely a variety of reasons you are seeking out information about male breast reduction surgery. These include:
- Feeling uncomfortable wearing tight-fitting clothing due to the size of your male breasts
- Feeling self-conscious performing regular activities without a shirt on, such as swimming and working out because you feel like everyone is looking at your male breasts
- Feeling uncomfortable in intimate situations
- Desiring an overall improvement in your personal view of your body image and self-esteem
Gynecomastia Surgery Procedure Steps
When you are thinking about undergoing gynecomastia surgery, it’s important that you research the procedure beforehand, so you know what to expect. The team at J. Hopkins Plastic Surgery is happy to walk you through each step, so you feel comfortable through the entire procedure.
Step 1: Anesthesia- For your ultimate comfort, you will be given medication that will help you to rest. This may be sedation or general anesthesia. Either way, you’ll be completely asleep during your surgery, and unaware of your procedure. Dr. Hopkins will go over your sedation options prior to the procedure, so the two of you can pick the best option for your unique case.
Step 2: Liposuction- If your primary issue is fatty deposits in the breast tissue, liposuction will be used. With liposuction, small incisions will be made around the breasts, and a small hollow tube called a cannula will be inserted. Dr. Hopkins will then use a back and forth motion to remove the unwanted fat cells far away from your body and exactly where you want them, in a biohazard waste receptacle!
Step 3: Excision- If you have a lot of excess skin or tissue, surgical excision may be performed. The breast tissue will be surgically removed and the nipples will be repositioned to a more natural position. Sometimes, Dr. Hopkins may use a combination of liposuction and excision to provide you with the best results possible.
Step 4: Recovery- Male breast reduction surgery is typically an outpatient procedure.* After your surgery, you will then be taken to the recovery room where you will stay until the anesthetic has worn off and you’re safe to return home. Due to the strong medications you received for your surgery, you will not be able to drive yourself home but will need a family member, friend or advocate perform that task for you. You will come back for a checkup with Dr. Hopkins shortly after your procedure.
After Male Breast Reduction Surgery
After the surgery itself, you’ll need someone you can trust to stay with you to help you prepare for recovery. This person must be someone who understands the dietary restrictions, what strenuous activity you can’t take on, and the extent to which you need rest and prescription pain medication. If you are prescribed pain medication, we strongly encourage you to take every dose as prescribed, even if that means waking up in the middle of the night to take a pill. Taking your pain medication exactly as prescribed is the only way to stay “on top” of your pain and properly manage it.
We stress that after the surgery, you have a person with your best interest in mind. After all, if you think you are experiencing any complications, you want someone by your side who can get you back to Dr. Hopkins’ Dallas office ASAP. Plus, it’s extremely helpful to have someone with you to aid with everyday activities as you are recovering.
Gynecomastia Surgery Cost
When you are contemplating gynecomastia surgery, the financial cost is definitely an important consideration. The cost of having the procedure varies depending on what type of surgery you require (liposuction and/or excision), as well as any other complications or considerations Dr. Hopkins may have for you. It is important that you discuss your aesthetic goals at length with Dr. Hopkins during your initial consultation. By doing so, he will then be able to provide you with a close estimated cost based on your specific needs. While insurance doesn’t typically cover gynecomastia surgery, J. Hopkins Plastic Surgery has financing options available.
Why You Should Choose Dr. Hopkins to BeYour Male Breast Reduction Surgeon
Dallas men desiring male breast reduction surgery certainly have a variety of local plastic surgeons from which to choose. We respectfully request that you consider Dr. Hopkins of J. Hopkins Plastic Surgery for your procedure.
With more than 18 years of experience and having performed over 5,000 procedures, Dr. Hopkins has the technical knowledge, aesthetic eye, and peer respect needed for you to trust him with your body’s appearance and your health and safety during surgery.
Dr. Hopkins, M.D.: Plastic Surgeon and Advocate in Dallas
If our team could be your advocate beyond the surgery, we would. We do everything we can to help you feel prepared, ready to recover, and on your way to a new you. Dr. Hopkins focuses on his patients’ needs first and foremost. We ensure the health, safety, and the desired outcome every time.*
Schedule a Male Breast Reduction Surgery Consultation with Dr. Hopkins Today
While we’ve done our very best on this webpage to explain the male breast reduction surgery and recovery processes for you, this page is no substitute for having a one-on-one conversation with Dr. Hopkins himself. An esteemed Dallas plastic surgeon who is loved and well-respected by both his patients and fellow plastic surgeon peers, you can trust that Dr. Hopkins will always have your best interests in mind and will do his very best at developing a great rapport with you and communicating to you about your procedure and recovery.