Gynecomastia (Man boobs) surgery is usually the last option that people consider in order to solve the problem. They usually prefer to get rid of gynecomastia naturally, also with use of herbal remedies.
Gynecomastia surgery is the process of removing fat tissue from the male breast either by liposuction method (sucking out the fat with tube) or tissue excision method (total removal of the fat tissue by opening the breast).
Hiding gynecomastia is not something that you can do forever.
It's okay to camouflage it for a while, for example if you are a teenager and the solution is just a matter of waiting till you get older and your hormones find a balance.
You can also hide it while you search for the best solution by talking to doctors. Sooner or later, though, you should intervene.
You can reduce fat with diet and exercise. This is a possible solution if the problem is the pseudogynecomastia (which is when gynecomastia is caused by fat).
What will you do if diet and exercise don't work or you just don't want to do it?
Or what will you do if you are tired of hiding your gynecomastia and the problem is hormonal imbalance?
The answer is man boobs surgery. The medical term for gynecomastia surgery is “reduction mammoplasty “.
This guide entails:
- Introduction/Concept of gynecomastia surgery
- Types of gynecomastia surgery
- Advantages of liposuction over tissue excision
- Pros of gynecomastia surgery (advantages)
- Cons of gynecomastia surgery (disadvantages)
- Gynecomastia surgery expectations/what you should expect in gynecomastia surgery.
- Factors to be considered before doing gynecomastia surgery
- Risk and complications(side effects) of gynecomastia surgery
- What is the cost of gynecomastia surgery?
- Why is gynecomastia surgery so expensive?
- Why is gynecomastia surgery considered cosmetic?
- Are you a candidate for gynecomastia surgery?
- At what age is gynecomastia surgery is consider?
- Questions to ask your gynecomastia surgeon
- How gynecomastia surgery is performed/procedures
- Gynecomastia surgery recovery process
- Life after your gynecomastia surgery
- How long will the results last?
- Can man boobs grow back after gynecomastia surgery?
- Insurance coverage for gynecomastia surgery
- Why you should look at gynecomastia surgery and insurance coverage for gynecomastia surgery?
- Check your company policy on insurance coverage for gynecomastia surgery
- Why insurance companies reject cover for gynecomastia surgery?
- If gynecomastia insurance coverage is denied, what next?
Gynecomastia is a benign enlargement of the male breast, requiring no treatment unless it is a source of embarrassment and/or distress for the adolescent or man affected.
The indications for surgical treatment of gynecomastia are founded on two main objectives:
- Restoration of your chest shape or your breast contour and diagnostic evaluation of suspected breast lesions.
- To correct deformity of the breast, nipple, or areola
Types of gynecomastia surgery
There are two main types of surgery for the reduction of gynecomastia: liposuction and Surgical excision.
- Liposuction surgery for gynecomastia
This is a surgical procedure performed with the patient under general anesthesia. It is recommended for gynecomastia caused by being overweight.
The fat is sucked out of chest with a cannula. Liposuction is very effective and the patient can fully recover in 1 or 2 weeks, although it is best to limit the movement of the arms for a period up to 6 weeks.
Sometimes the surgeon prescribes an elastic compression bandage which makes it more comfortable to recover and avoids the physical problems of the post-surgery.
- Surgical excision surgery for gynecomastia
This is good when the gynecomastia is not caused by fat, but by hormonal imbalances and problems with glands.
The excision is actually the removal of the tissues that form the gynecomastia, cutting the skin near the armpit or under the areola and extracting the breast tissue.
The incision is then stitched and scars are usually not visible. Sometimes, in order to guarantee a perfect result, both treatments are used, with surgical excision followed by liposuction.
Also in this case it is advisable to avoid excessive movements of the arms and chest.
Advantages of liposuction over tissue excision
The 2 methods used in gyno surgery are good, but it depends on your choice. Before choosing, ask your doctor which one is preferable.
A sincere doctor will tell you that liposuction gynecomastia surgery has more advantages than tissue/surgical excision and why liposuction is temporary but both work perfectly. See below for comparison;
- Liposuction doesn’t leave scars on your body while tissue/surgical excision leaves scars on your breast.
- Liposuction is not as painful as tissue excision because in liposuction cutting is not involved while in tissue excision, surgery is done by cutting a particular spot in your breast.
Pros of gynecomastia surgery (advantages)
Gynecomastia surgery is the best solution to your gynecomastia compare to other treatments, because the fat the fat is totally remove from the breast. The pros are;
- Instantaneous Breast Reduction
Since surgery is as direct of an approach to removing enlarged male breasts as anyone can hope for, the results can be seen right after the procedure.
Granted the chest area will remain bandaged in order to prevent any post-operative infection (this is quite a common occurrence), but the effects are immediately apparent.
The procedure itself is straightforward just like how it is done on female breast reduction surgery. The adipose tissue (fat) is removed in order to achieve a flatter appearance.
- Reduced Likelihood of Recurrence
Those who choose to undergo man boob surgery do so in the hopes of avoiding recurrence of the condition. While it is true that surgery will lessen the likelihood of developing man breasts again, there is no 100% guarantee for this.
Other pro’s include
- Gynecomastia surgery is a 100% guaranteed option to get rid of gynecomastia
- It is the only treatment option that is personalized from start to finish. The surgery is done based on your personal preferences
- There is no guesswork involved and you will be counseled by the surgeon before about how your chest will look like after surgery
- The difference is life changing!, not to mention the turbo boost in your self-confidence
Cons of surgery (disadvantages)
As good as gynecomastia surgery is, its disadvantages limit is usefulness among the treatment to gynecomastia. The cons are;
- Post-operative Pain and Risk of Infection
Since this is major procedure that involves cutting into the flesh, there is always the risk of infection, which can lead to serious complications.
In addition, you can expect significant pain levels after the procedure has been completed.
To alleviate this, most physicians prescribe pain killers (Vicodin), which in themselves have side effects when taken for extended periods of time.
In any case, patients who underwent gynecomastia surgery are advised to stay in a clean environment after having the procedure in order to prevent infection.
While the effects are more or less permanent, surgery results to scarring, this can be unsightly.
It is likely that you would not want to go out without your shirt on (in case you are going to the beach or the pool) since the scar is noticeable.
This negates the desired effects of surgery, although it is certainly better than having enlarged man breasts.
- Exorbitant Cost
As in the case of breast augmentation for women, breast reduction for men is considered an elective surgery, which means it will not be covered by your health insurance.
The cost of gynecomastia surgery is very expensive depending on which hospital you get the procedure done and the surgeon who will perform the surgery.
Among the reasons why gynecomastia surgery cost is high is the equipment as well as staff required to do the procedure
Post-operative care also costs a lot of money, especially since you have to take pain medication as well as anti-bacterial to prevent infection.
Check below to see the division of the cost if you decide to opt for breast reduction surgery:
- Surgeon’s fee – $ 3000
- Anesthesia fee – $ 2800
- Laboratory tests – $2000
- Post-surgery compression vests depending on the brand, size, and comfort level-$1500
Note: the figures shown above are just assumed cost, the normal total cost ranges from $5,000 to $10,000 depending on the hospital, facilities and the profile of the surgeon.
If you do decide to have this elective procedure, it is best to compare gynecomastia surgery cost as offered by hospitals and/or clinics (there are private surgical practices that have their own in-house suites where procedures such as gynecomastia can be performed).
- Recovery time after surgery
When the gynecomastia reduction surgery is completed, there will be some swelling and bruising. You will have some discomfort, which can be controlled by the pain medication.
At this same time you will be restricted to some activities like walking, not going to work, not participating in sport activities and many for a particular period of time.
What you should expect in gynecomastia operation
Your gynecomastia surgery may be performed in an accredited hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility or office-based surgical suite.
Most procedures take at least one to two hours to complete but may take longer.
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure.
General anesthesia is commonly used during your gynecomastia procedure, although local anesthesia or intravenous sedation may be desirable in some instances.
For your safety during the operation, various monitors are used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood.
After surgery, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored.
Wear comfortable and loose clothing the day of surgery. It is helpful to wear tops that open in front and loose sweat pants.
Check the fit of your compression garment in advance and bring it with you the day of surgery.
You will probably be permitted to go home after a short observation period unless you and your plastic surgeon have made other plans for your immediate postoperative recovery.
Factors to be considered before doing gyno surgery
If you make any decision to take this route, you need to consider a number of factors that would ultimately determine if this option is worth your time.
That being said surgery does produce guaranteed and immediate results, which are usually permanent.
Cost is probably the biggest obstacle for you if you wish to undergo gynecomastia surgery.You should budget a high estimate.
The actual cost depends on what the surgeon and medical facility charge. This could be much higher than what you budget, and it does not include post-surgical care.
Being an elective surgical procedure, insurance companies do not cover it, so you should be prepared to pay for the costs yourself.
- Post-Operation Risks
The main risk you are going to face after undergoing surgery is infection. Surgical wounds should be kept clean, and the environment should be as sanitary as possible.
There is also going to be some pain and discomfort involved, so make sure to have painkillers on hand.
Permanent scars may appear on your chest after surgery. Ironically, this may cause you to have a less-than-desirable appearance if you happen to have your shirt off, which defeats the whole purpose of the surgery.
However, measures can be taken to minimize or prevent the formation of scars.
Alternatives to Surgery
You may also want to consider alternative treatment options (medicine, exercise or diet). Although the market is flooded with ineffective treatments for gynecomastia, there are a few worth looking at.
Topical breast reduction cream is one of the things that usually come to mind in the alternative category.
Specifically, cream has proven to be effective for reducing the size of male breasts. If you don’t want to be rubbing cream on your skin every day, the pill is another option.
Pills can be ingested orally, and they contain fat burning ingredients such as caffeine and green tea extract.
Both the pill and the cream are cost effective and you should certainly experiment with them before considering surgery which is guaranteed to cost much more.
Finally, there is always good old fashioned exercise. This should be your first resort to getting rid of man breasts.
Push-ups, weights, or any chest exercises can be performed along with maintaining a healthy diet. Over the counter treatment and surgery should be the next options (preferably in that order).
Many men simply accept their larger than desired breasts, but for those that refuse to undergo surgery, exercise and taking well care of your body and health should be your first option.
Risk and complications – side effects
Male breast reduction carries the usual surgical risks of infection, bleeding, and complications of anesthesia.
One of the most common complications is bleeding under the skin. It used to happen in about 8-9% of patients.
Another complication is over or under resection of tissue. Under resection is treated with re-excision, but over resection will require fat flaps or fat injections.
Gynecomastia surgery does leave incision scars around the nipple-areola complex, however fades with time to almost invisible.
Occasionally, sensation of the nipple is reduced. The feeling may not return for up to six months.
Fortunately, significant complications from gynecomastia are infrequent. Your specific risks for gynecomastia will be discussed during your consultation.
All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Some of the potential complications of all surgeries are:
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
- Infection and bleeding
- Changes in skin sensation
- Allergic reactions
- Damage to underlying structures
- Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures
- Blood clots in the legs or lungs.
You can help to minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of certified surgeon, both before and after your gynecomastia surgery.
What is the cost of gynecomastia surgery?
Under normal medical circumstances, you should be looking at high estimation depending upon the facility where the surgery is carried as well as the experience and profile of the surgeon.
The Breakdown of gynecomastia surgery cost
- Procedure / Service – $2000
- Surgeon Fee – $3000
- Anesthesia – $ 2500
- Lab Tests – $ 2000
- Post-surgery Compression Shirts / Vest. – $ 1500
Note: the figures shown above are just assumed cost, the normal total cost ranges from $5,000 to $10,000 depending on the hospital, facilities and the profile of the surgeon.
Why is surgical procedure so expensive?
You can’t just go to any doctor to get this type of surgery. You need specialists to do the surgery, as well as special surgical equipment to reduce your male breasts.
Both doctor/surgeon and equipment will cost a lot of money. The surgery will also require anesthesia, various lab tests, and a special vest post-surgery and these too will add to the cost.
…And why is it considered cosmetic?
If you have a breast reduction surgery because of gynecomastia, it’s almost always considered a cosmetic surgical procedure.
That’s because this is usually an issue about your appearance. Your enlarged breasts don’t pose any permanent threat to your health, nor do they cause any major impairment.
So if it’s considered cosmetic, it will most likely not be covered by your insurance policy.
Of course, it all depends on the fine print of your policy. Also, many insurance policies may cover breast reduction surgery if it comes with moderate or severe chest pain.
It should really cause a serious physical and functional impairment. Your inability to participate in sports or social activities like dancing is not considered a major impairment.
Also, insurance may only cover the procedure if other treatments have been already tried, and if the breast enlargement is caused by glandular breast tissue.
If it is caused by excess fat, the liposuction won’t be covered.
Are you a candidate for this treatment?
Gynecomastia surgery is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
This procedure is a good option for you if:
- You are physically healthy and of relatively normal weight
- You have realistic expectations
- Your breast development has stabilized
- You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too large
Surgical correction of gynecomastia is best performed on:
- Men whose condition cannot be corrected through alternative medical treatments
- Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
- Non-smokers and non-drug users
- Men with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for improving the physical symptoms of gynecomastia
- Are healthy and do not have a medical condition that can impair healing
- Are physically healthy and are at a relatively normal weight
- Have breast development that has stabilized
- Are embarrassed or ashamed by enlarged breasts
- Experience physical discomfort from oversized breasts
- Have a condition has lasted 12 months or longer
- Have good skin elasticity
- Have a positive outlook and specific goals regarding improving their physical symptoms of gynecomastia
At what age is gyno (male breast) surgery considered?
Men need to be out of their teens and have finished puberty before considering this surgery unless the breast is huge.
Most men I see have kept their breast growth to themselves during puberty and realize in their early 20s that it’s not going away.
Questions to ask your gynecomastia surgeon
Ask your surgeon about his or her background, to find out about plastic surgery safety and to plan your procedure.
It is important for you to take an active role in your surgery, so please use this list of questions as a starting point for your initial consultation:
- Am I a good candidate for gynecomastia surgery?
- Are the results I am seeking reasonable and realistic?
- Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for the procedure I am undergoing?
- Will my scars be visible? Where will my scars be located?
- What kind of anesthesia do you recommend for me?
- What will be the costs associated with my surgery?
- What will you expect of me to get the best results?
- What kind of recovery period can I expect and when can I resume normal activities?
- What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
- How are complications handled?
- What are my options if the cosmetic outcome of my surgery does not meet the goals we agreed on?
How surgery is performed on man boobs?
Gynecomastia reduction is done either with local anesthesia with intravenous sedation or under general anesthesia.
An expert will discuss this with you during your consultation and recommend what is best for your particular situation.
Using the minimal scarring technique, the surgeon will make an incision towards the armpit.
A special cannula is inserted in the incision, and using back and forth motions the fat is loosened from the surrounding tissue in the breast, which is then suctioned out.
The key to a successful outcome using this surgical approach is for the patient to have skin that has some elasticity, so as the healing process moves forward the skin conforms to the new contour of the reduced breast.
In some cases where there is no skin elasticity, as with older patients, or when there is a significant amount of excess skin because of extremely enlarged breasts, additional surgery to excise the skin may be required.
The incision is then bandaged, and an elastic bandage or support garment may be used to minimize swelling and support the new chest contour as it heals.
A small thin tube may be placed under the skin to drain any excess fluid that may collect.
You will need to see the surgeon the day after your surgery and at specified intervals during the weeks following your surgery.
This is done so that the surgeon can personally monitor your recovery process, and to ensure that you have the best results possible.
Let's talk about recovery after successful procedures
When the gynecomastia reduction surgery is completed, there will be some swelling and bruising.
You will have some discomfort, which can be controlled by the pain medication, you may also be required to wear a compression garments or elastic bandage for several weeks to help reduce swelling, as well as compress the skin to the new body contour.
While results will be seen almost immediately, swelling may distort the actual results. Final results will take several months to subside.
Most patients can return to work or school in 2-3 days. Light exercise can begin after 2 weeks, with full exercise and activity returning in about one month.
Swelling and bruising are common, but will subside over a period of weeks
Life after your surgery
Whether you've had excision with a scalpel or liposuction, you will feel some discomfort for a few days after surgery.
However, discomfort can be controlled with medications prescribed by your surgeon. In any case, you should arrange to have someone drive you home after surgery and to help you out for a day or two if needed.
You'll be swollen and bruised for awhile–in fact, you may wonder if there's been any improvement at all.
To help reduce swelling, you'll probably be instructed to wear an elastic pressure garment continuously for a week or two, and for a few weeks longer at night.
Although the worst of your swelling will dissipate in the first few weeks, it may be three months or more before the final results of your surgery are apparent.
You'll be encouraged to begin walking around on the day of surgery, and can return to work when you feel well enough–which could be as early as a day or two after surgery.
Any stitches will generally be removed about 1 to 2 weeks following the procedure.
Your surgeon may advise you to avoid sexual activity for a week or two, and heavy exercise for about three weeks.
You'll be told to stay away from any sport or job that risks a blow to the chest area for at least four weeks.
In general, it will take about a month before you're back to all of your normal activities.
You should also avoid exposing the resulting scars to the sun for at least six months. Sunlight can permanently affect the skin's pigmentation, causing the scar to turn dark.
How long will the results last?
Gynecomastia surgical results are permanent, assuming your weight is stable. If your condition arose from the use of medication or anabolic steroids, further use could lead to recurrence.
Maintain a relationship with your gynecomastia surgeon.
For safety, as well as the most beautiful and healthy outcome, it’s important to return to your surgeon's office for follow-up evaluation at prescribed times and whenever you notice any changes.
Do not hesitate to contact your surgeon when you have any questions or concerns.
Can man boobs grow back after the surgery?
If the gynecomastia is treated with liposuction only, there is always a small chance of recurrence since only fat is removed.
But if the tissue is excised (totally removed), the risk for recurrence is very small. Leaving a small amount of tissue behind will increase the chance of recurrence.
Generally gynecomastia surgery will take care of the problem permanently. Weight gain, steroids, hormones, or other factors could contribute to a recurrence of gynecomastia.
Find an excellent surgeon to help you with the best result.
Insurance coverage for gynecomastia surgery
Insurance coverage for gynecomastia surgery is one of the questions asked by gynecomastia patient.
There is no definite answer for this because,different companies have different ways on looking at insurance coverage for gynecomastia surgery claims.
The very short answer is yes and no or to be more precise, “it depends”.
This is something that you have to be careful about because if you take it for granted that surgery for gynecomastia is covered by your insurance coverage, then you could be disappointed.
Why you should look at insurance coverage for gynecomastia surgery?
There are a few treatment options to get rid of gynecomastia and surgery is one among them. What makes surgery unique and worthwhile is that it is unique and personalized.
A surgeon specializing in gynecomastia will talk to you, will take your preferences into consideration and plan the surgery.
Your gynecomastia surgeon will also perform the surgery in a way that it complements your physiology and body contours.
If you have tried one of the breast reduction pills for men and the success rate is not what you expected, then gynecomastia surgery would be your only remaining option.
You will wake up from anesthesia as a completely different man with a completely different body self-image.
Check your company policy on insurance coverage
The first step is to go through your insurance coverage guidelines and to know what the company says about insurance coverage for gynecomastia surgery because different companies have different policy guidelines when it comes to insurance coverage for gynecomastia surgery.
You will get a clear idea as to in what all circumstances are exceptions allowed.
The next step is to talk with your doctor/surgeon who will be the best help that you can get when corresponding with the insurance company..
Why insurance companies reject cover for gynecomastia surgery?
You have to look from the insurance company’s perspective to understand why they have such a militant attitude in rejecting insurance coverage for gynecomastia.
The main concern for them is that once they start offering coverage for gynecomastia surgery, it will open an equivalent of a Pandora’s Box where everyone would come with a claim for a surgery that they believe would enhance their psychological well-being.
My educated guess is that this is the main reason why almost all insurance companies nip it in the bud itself.
No insurance company will approve for insurance coverage for gynecomastia the first time unless there is very strong evidence that a life-threatening condition is associated with the breast tissue development.
In fact, not less than 1 in 13 claims are denied initially. You can appeal the decision and there is the likelihood of getting a favorable response after corresponding with your insurance company with the help of your surgeon.
If your gynecomastia insurance coverage is denied, what next?
If you have been denied despite multiple reasonable attempts with your insurance provider, you can go for litigation against your insurance provider.
But keep it in mind that you are going to fight against billion dollar corporations with an armada of lawyers at their disposal.
It simply does not make sense because you will from your end pay multiple times the cost of gynecomastia surgery as lawyers’ fee.
If you are denied gynecomastia surgery insurance coverage, I strongly suggest you look at the breast reduction pills such as GYNECROL as an alternate option.