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Breast reduction (male)

  • Last modified date:
    8 March 2007

Purpose:

To make the breast area flatter.

The procedure:

This procedure should be carried out by a surgeon with relevant skills and experience in an establishment registered with the Healthcare Commission.

The procedure takes an average of one hour. The surgeon will make an incision around the areola to access any excess breast tissue. Very occasionally these cuts may extend further down the chest. In addition, the nipples may need to be repositioned.

You will be required to stay in hospital overnight, take a few days off work to rest and avoid lifting or physical exercise for one month. The incision site may have dissolvable sutures, if not the sutures will need to be removed at seven to fourteen days. An elastic garment will need to be worn for one to four weeks to encourage a smooth result.

The results:

Most men find that the breast area is reduced in size and flattened in shape. The results are usually permanent, but weight gain, hormonal imbalances or the use of certain drugs (including anabolic steroids) may cause the breasts to re-enlarge.

The risks:

General risks associated with surgery - see Considering cosmetic surgery?

The surgery leaves permanent scars which often are lumpy and red for several months, but should fade to your natural skin colour. You may also be left with asymmetrical nipples and may experience a permanent loss of sensation in the nipples.

Before you start:

Where the breast area is enlarged due to obesity, excessive alcohol intake or poor health, you may be able to reduce the size of your breasts through healthy dieting or regular exercise. You should consult your doctor to see if this is the case for you.

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