Gynecomastia is the benign enlargement of breast tissue in males and is usually the result of an imbalance of hormones or weight loss. There are many potential causes such as genetics, puberty, steroid use, obesity and marijuana use.
Candidates for male breast reduction or gynecomastia are men who have excessively large breasts, have excess or sagging tissue in your chest area due to genetics, as a result of the use of certain drugs, or as a result of losing a large amount of weight. Men with gynecomastia desire a flatter chest with a more masculine male contour.
Excess breast tissue or fat can be removed with liposuction, excision, or a combination of both. Excess skin can be excised through an incision around the nipple in most cases. In extreme cases, additional incisions may be required. The procedure is usually done on an out-patient basis under general anesthesia, but some patients may be candidates to have the procedure with oral sedation using local anesthesia. You will go home following your surgical procedure to be cared for by a friend or relative.
Gentle activities of daily living are indicated for the first 10 days following your surgical procedure. Patients are encouraged to move around the day following surgery, but no heavy lifting. Some patients may have surgical drains that will require the patient to pour out into the sink on occasion for up to 5 days following your procedure. The drains are a necessity to help control swelling post-operatively. You may begin lite aerobic activity approximately one week following surgery pending instructions from Dr. Howard. You must avoid sun exposure to any incisions for the first year. A sunblock of 50 SPF is recommended.
The operative area will be swollen and some bruising may be present. All swelling should disappear over 3 to 6 months. A post-operative vest garment will be placed to help reduce swelling. This garment must not be removed until your first post-operative appointment. Dr. Howard will instruct you as to the use of this garment during your healing process. Sutures are removed within 7 to 10 days.
Most patients report gynecomastia surgery as moderately painful. Every patient's pain tolerance is different, and we did have one patient to recover from gynecomastia without narcotic pain medications as their choice. Patient's can expect the surgical site to be rather sore for a few days following surgery, but is easily managed with pain medications.
The cost for gynecomastia surgery varies from patient to patient depending on their exact needs. Since not every patient is the same depending on the severity of their condition, the surgical procedure recommended by Dr. Howard may include more than some. The cost for this surgical procedure begins at $3900.
It is rare for insurance to cover this procedure in adults. Please refer to your health insurance contract for details regarding coverage as this particular procedure is often listed as a “non-covered” condition in many insurance policies. Otherwise, pre-approval or denial is obtained from your insurance carrier prior to scheduling surgery. Dr. Paul Howard is in-network for Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance, and is considered out of network for all other insurance companies.