If you’re interested in getting male breast reduction from our Charlotte practice, you most likely have a lot of questions to ask. At Ditesheim Cosmetic Surgery, board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey A. Ditesheim will take the time to address all your concerns so you can feel confident about your decision to move forward with gynecomastia treatment.

Am I a candidate?

The best candidates for male breast reduction have gynecomastia, sometimes dubbed “man boobs,” which is the abnormal development of male breasts. If you’re a man who’s otherwise in good health, yet feel embarrassed about fatty deposits through the chest, puffy nipples or a prominent breast shape, you could see excellent results from male breast reduction.

What causes the development of male breasts?

There are two types of gynecomastia:

  • True gynecomastia is caused by the abnormal development of glandular breast tissue in the male chest. This can occur due to hormone levels, as a side effect of certain prescription and recreational drugs or due to an underlying health concern.
  • Pseudogynecomastia is the appearance of male breasts is due to fatty deposits rather than glandular breast tissue, and is commonly seen in overweight men.

Both true and pseudogynecomastia can be improved with the help of cosmetic surgery.

Is surgery the only way to treat gynecomastia?

Depending on the causes of your gynecomastia and the type of gynecomastia you have, you may try other treatments before committing to cosmetic surgery. For example, weight loss may improve the appearance of pseudogynecomastia in men who are overweight. In men with true gynecomastia, addressing the underlying causes (for example, trying a new prescription that might not carry the side effect of male breast development) may help. In some cases, particularly for gynecomastia seen in infants and teenagers, the problem can go away on its own without treatment.

How is male breast reduction performed?

The surgical technique used during your procedure will vary depending on the type of gynecomastia that’s present. Pseudogynecomastia can often be resolved with liposuction alone, while true gynecomastia typically requires the surgical excision of glandular tissue. Often, a combination of liposuction and surgery are used to achieve the best results.

Will I have scars after my gynecomastia treatment?

Every surgery leaves at least minor scarring behind, but Dr. Ditesheim takes extra care to place incisions in a way that ensures a discreet final result. Additionally, the incisions used for liposuction are often quite small, sometimes shorter than the diameter of a pencil eraser. If surgical removal of glandular breast tissue is needed, incisions are usually placed so the scar will be hidden in the darker skin surrounding the nipple. If excess skin needs to be removed as well (for example, following major weight loss), a larger incision may be necessary.

When can I start working out again after surgery?

It’s important to ease back into your normal exercise routine following male breast reduction, especially when it comes to chest exercises, push-ups or weightlifting. Normally, it’s a good idea to wait at least 4 weeks after your procedure before heading back to the gym. Dr. Ditesheim will give you more specific post-op instructions to follow during your recovery at the time of your consultation.

Does health insurance cover male breast reduction?

If male breast reduction is determined to be a medically necessary procedure by your insurance company, then the surgery may be covered or reimbursed. However, in the vast majority of cases, insurance companies consider gynecomastia treatment to be elective and cosmetic in nature, and therefore ineligible for coverage.