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Paul Durand, MD
Karl William Schwarz, MD

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Gynecomastia Surgery: Everything You Need to Know

Posted January 04, 2024 in Male Plastic Surgery

Many factors contribute to the development of excess breast tissue in men, and result in reduced confidence and self-esteem. If you suffer from gynecomastia, surgery can help. This blog discusses what gynecomastia is, some common causes, and what patients can expect from the procedure, the recovery process, and results.

5 min read:

The development of excess breast tissue and fat in men can be due to several factors, and the result can be a blow to your confidence and self-esteem. The condition is known as gynecomastia, and it’s more common than you may think. Below, we discuss the causes of gynecomastia, as well as what you need to know about gynecomastia surgery to determine if it is right for you.  

Muscular man showing off his body

What Is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is characterized by enlarged male breasts due to increased glandular breast tissue. It is a common problem, affecting up to 65% of adult men. In some cases, gynecomastia may resolve independently, but it often requires surgery. 

Gynecomastia surgery is designed to reduce excess fat and glandular tissue in your breasts, restoring your confidence by creating the masculine chest contour you desire. 

What Causes Gynecomastia?

There are several possible causes for gynecomastia, including:

Hormone Imbalance

Men who have elevated levels of estrogen and decreased levels of testosterone are at a higher risk for developing gynecomastia. If you gain weight as you age, you may have higher estrogen levels because estrogen is produced and stored in body fat. So, the combination of increased body fat (and, therefore, estrogen) and the natural decline of testosterone can result in gynecomastia.

Anabolic Steroid Use

Men who wish to gain significant muscle often “cheat” by using anabolic steroids. However, while steroid use may help bulk up, it’s also a common cause of gynecomastia. Steroids are synthetically produced testosterone, which contributes to building muscle. However, steroids are then converted into estrogen by your body, leaving you with a hormonal imbalance and gynecomastia. 

Prescription and Recreational Drugs

Several types of prescription medications can contribute to the development of male breast tissue. Medications used to treat high blood pressure, prostate issues, heartburn, and anxiety can all be the culprit behind gynecomastia. Recreational drugs that cause gynecomastia include opioids, marijuana, and amphetamines. 

Am I a Candidate for Gynecomastia Surgery?

Ideal candidates for gynecomastia surgery are men who are non-smokers and in good overall health. Good candidates are also:

  • Men who are bothered by the appearance of their chest
  • Men who are at a relatively normal weight
  • Men whose gynecomastia cannot be corrected in other ways, such as hormone therapy, weight loss, or stopping medications
  • Men whose breast tissue growth has stabilized

You should also have realistic expectations for the results of your surgery and be committed to maintaining your results. 

What Happens During Gynecomastia Surgery?

The approach used for male breast reduction depends on whether you have excess fatty tissue, excess glandular tissue, or both. 


Liposuction may be the only procedure you need if your gynecomastia is primarily caused by excess fat. At Careaga Plastic Surgery, we use ultrasonic liposuction. This technique utilizes ultrasound energy to break up any glandular tissue while gently suctioning the fat from your chest. Incisions used during liposuction are small, and any scarring is minimal. 


This technique is ideal for men with excess glandular tissue, as it removes the dense glandular tissue and any excess skin. Excision is also used if you need areola reduction or nipple repositioning. Incisions are hidden within the chest contours to mask any scarring.

You may undergo just one type of procedure to reduce the size of your breasts or a combination of both. You may also decide to combine additional chest contouring or other body contouring procedures with your gynecomastia surgery for an even better result. 

Recovery and Results After Gynecomastia Surgery

Recovery from gynecomastia surgery typically takes between four to six weeks. Immediately after your surgery, your incisions will be covered by bandages and a compression garment. The compression garment helps minimize swelling and supports and shapes your chest. In some cases, you may also have a drain placed to eliminate any excess fluid that accumulates under your skin.  

You must take at least a week off work to recover, refraining from lifting heavy objects or other strenuous activities. You will receive post-operative instructions detailing what you need to know for a successful recovery and how to care for your incisions and drain. It is essential that you follow these instructions to the letter to help reduce the risk of complications and ensure the best results. 

You will see the initial results of your gynecomastia surgery immediately, and once the swelling has gone down, your results will be more noticeable. It typically takes 3-6 months for your final results to be visible.

The results of your gynecomastia surgery are considered permanent; however, you should continue to adhere to a healthy diet and exercise plan to help maintain your results.  

Learn More About Gynecomastia Surgery in Miami

If you are one of the many men who suffer from reduced confidence and self-esteem due to gynecomastia, it’s time to consider doing something about it. Dr. Careaga and Dr. Durand are skilled and experienced surgeons committed to ensuring you receive the desired results in a caring and compassionate environment. To schedule a consultation, call (305) 574-9262 or complete our online contact form.


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