Gynecomastia Surgery (Male Breast Reduction)

Men are no exception when it comes to experiencing excessive breast tissue. This condition is called gynecomastia. It commonly leads to embarrassment and self-confidence concerns, especially since it doesn’t easily improve with diet and exercise.

Gynecomastia Surgery Man Boobs Reduction

What Is Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)?

Gynecomastia, the benign overdevelopment of breast tissue in males (hypertrophy), affects nearly 2/3 of men around the world. It can appear at any point, from infancy to puberty, and commonly at ages 50-60. Estrogen caused by hormonal imbalance is often the culprit. Aside from an increase in glandular tissue, men can also experience overly pronounced nipples and asymmetry in their pectoral shape and size.

To flatten the chest and attain a more masculine figure, some men undergo breast reduction, which is also called gynecomastia surgery. In this cosmetic procedure, Dr. Singh removes excess skin, fat, and tissue, that otherwise is difficult to lose.

While too much estrogen is a main cause of hypertrophy, here are a few more:

  • Aging
  • Obesity
  • Low testosterone production
  • Liver disorder
  • Medication or drug usage, including steroids
  • Physical disorders, such as “Klinefelter” and “Gilbert’s”


How is Gynecomastia Surgery Performed?

Dr. Singh takes two approaches to gynecomastia surgery. In an excisional procedure, he makes a peri-areolar incision, which is a circular cut around the areola. Through that, he removes excess glandular tissue. The other approach is simply using liposuction, which leaves less conspicuous scarring and a quicker recovery time.

While the latter method sounds more appealing, the true difference lies within the extent of correction that they can achieve. Through peri-areolar incisions, Dr. Singh can make more noticeable improvements while liposuction is best for minor adjustments.

Many patients undergo a combination of the two approaches. It can provide the most comprehensive results, for meeting each patient’s aesthetic goals and unique requirements.


When gynecomastia is severe, patients may require a more invasive approach with incisions. The go-to method is making peri-areolar incisions, which are just circular cuts around the areola. It provides generous vision and access to the treatment area, for him to remove tissue and fat. This location also lets the scars blend in with the areola, once they heal and fade.

When beginning, he uses local anesthesia and IV sedation to ensure the operation is painless and comfortable for the patient. The length and extent of surgery depend on how much needs to be exercised. A qualified plastic surgeon, like Dr. Singh, requires upwards of 3-4 hours to complete the procedure.

Post-operation, patients commonly report some soreness and moderate swelling, though it typically subsides within a few weeks. Within 7 days, most are able to return to work and light activities. However, at this time, it’s recommended to avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting, which could damage healing tissues, extend the recovery process, and ruin results.


For patients who want more subtle results or only require minimal adjustments, liposuction would best fit their needs. There are 2 locations where Dr. Singh can make the entry incision. During your initial consultation, this area will be decided on after considering the pros and cons, as well as discussing potential scarring and results.

In some cases, an incision is made along the bottom half of the areola, providing direct access to the treatment area. The downside is more visible scarring, being front and center. For others, Dr. Singh may make an incision within the armpit, resulting in hidden scars but it will be more difficult to perform.

Being a less-invasive alternative to gynecomastia surgery, he is only able to remove less fat and tissue. And in liposuction, excess skin is simply not removed. The recovery process is much shorter — only a few weeks, with some patients returning to work in just several days.

Gynecomastia Recovery

While these two approaches have their recovery times, it’s also important to note that everyone heals differently. Any swelling, bruising, or pain tends to subside within 1-3 weeks. To ensure a speedy process, Dr. Singh provides instructions for at-home care as well as garments that support the new contours and results.

In some cases where there is excess fluid or blood, he may insert a small drain tube. During a follow-up appointment, he removes the tube and assesses the treatment area.

Generally, patients find that they’re able to resume daily routines and work within a few days after the operation. Dr. Singh advises against strenuous activities and exercise, recommending that you wait at least a month before attempting. Around this time, most men can gradually return to the gym and more demanding exercise. Again, these are just estimations and the time required is different for each patient, based on their ability to heal.

Candidacy for Male Breast Reduction

Just about any man looking to reduce the shape and size of their chest, caused by gynecomastia, may be a candidate for breast reduction surgery. Preferably, they’re already in good physical health and at their ideal body weight. They should additionally be non-smokers, or willing to temporarily quit for 2 weeks before and after the surgery because it can negatively impact the recovery process.

Gynecomastia Surgery Consultation

With upwards of 70% of the male population experiencing gynecomastia, it’s difficult to remedy through just exercising and dieting. During a consultation with Dr. Singh, you will meet and discuss your situation and concerns. Along with an evaluation of the chest region to determine if this surgery is right for your needs, he will also guide you through the process and make sure you fully understand it. One of the main things he looks for in patients is that they have realistic expectations for the potential outcome.

For more information about gynecomastia and male breast reduction surgery, call his Manhattan office at (212) 470-4020. As another option, visit his website for a free online consultation.

FAQ About Male Breast Reduction Surgery

What causes gynecomastia?

Hypertrophy (the enlargement of breast tissue) generally stems from a hormonal imbalance, seen as a lack of testosterone and overproduction of estrogen. Though, it’s not a one-answer solution. It can also stem from being overweight; having a liver disorder; using drugs, medicine, or steroids; and simply aging.

What are non-surgical alternatives?

Some find that “man boobs” can be eliminated through exercise. Even dieting can help, but most people find it difficult to consistently follow these routines. Steroids are another suspect for causing enlarged breasts, along with some medications and drugs — quitting or using alternatives may also help.

Regarding procedures and treatments, Dr. Singh does not offer any non-surgical alternatives to gynecomastia surgery.

Will I have any visible scarring?

Depending on the approach that a patient requests, there may be noticeable scarring. With excision-based breast reduction, Dr. Singh makes cuts around the areola. While it results in visible scars, they tend to fade and blend in with the pigmented part of the chest. With liposuction, he makes small cuts under the areola, or can instead hide them in the armpit.

How long is the operation?

For Dr. Singh, a highly trained plastic surgeon, this procedure usually requires about 3-4 hours to complete. It’s also performed with anesthesia, which can leave patients sleepy for another hour. For that reason, it’s recommended to have a friend or family member available to drive your home, following the surgery.

Is there an age requirement?

Breast reduction surgery should only be performed for patients who have fully matured and developed, which is around ages 20-30. Gynecomastia commonly starts at ages 10-14 but can also occur at any age past 17.

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