Breast Reduction Surgery for Men and Women

Breast reduction surgery is cosmetic surgery done to reduce the size of the breasts. Women can have breast reduction surgery or reduction mammoplasty to get smaller breasts and reduce problems such as neck pain or back pain that may come from large pendulous breasts. Men may elect for breast reduction surgery to treat a condition called gynecomastia. This condition (sometimes informally referred to as man boobs) causes flabby or enlarged male breasts.

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Information on Breast Reduction Surgery for Women

Men and women will have different reasons for seeking breast reduction surgery. In women, breast reduction surgery can be considered for:

  • uneven breasts, asymetrical breasts in which there is a difference of at least one full cup size
  • over-large breasts that cause back or neck pain, for example size double-D or DDD
  • breasts so large as to make if difficult to find clothing or brassieres that fits

If it is a question of sagging breasts, a breast lift might be a more appropriate surgery to consider. A breast lift will not really decrease the size of the breasts however - it will only make them slightly smaller and firmer.

In women or men, the reduction mammoplasty procedure is done under anesthesia. For breast reduction surgery in women, the incision may be made vertically (lollipop) or horizontally. Excess skin and tissue (around 500cc or more) will be removed. The nipple will also be repositioned to go along with the smaller breast size. You will need to discuss with your surgeon beforehand how much reduction in size you want, for example, do you want to go from a C-cup to a B-cup or an A-cup.

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Information on Breast Reduction Surgery for Men

In men, a condition called gynecomastia can cause enlarged breast tissue. This may be due to genetics, medications, or weight gain. One or both breasts may be enlarged in gynecomastia. If you are considering male chest reduction surgery for gynecomastia, make sure you have ruled out other alternative treatments. Make sure you are in generally good health and do not smoke.

If the large breasts are due to excess fat, liposuction surgery may be performed. If the enlargement is due to glandular tissue, the tissue will be removed, using excision. Excision will also be needed to reposition the nipple or areola (the pigmented area around the nipple). The scars will be visible, but your surgeon can try to place them where they are less noticeable. Risks include infection, scarring, anesthesia complications, pain and nerve damage. Breast reduction in either men or women may be done with other procedures, such as an upper body lift, which also includes arm lift surgery. Breast reduction may also be combined with procedures in other areas, such as tummy tuck surgery or thigh lift.

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Breast Reduction Surgery Costs

Breast reduction surgery or reduction mammoplasty can be performed in an outpatient clinic or a hospital. The cost generally starts at $3500. There may be additional cost due to anesthesia or surgeon's fees. In some cases of male breast reduction, the cost may be covered by insurance. If the surgery was done to correct health problems such as back pain or neck pain, there is a better chance for insurance coverage of the costs. This is a big procedure, not something you undertake easily. So don't consider this without examining many less drastic alternatives.

If you are considering breast reduction surgery, or any plastic surgery, find a qualified plastic surgeon. You want someone who is experienced in doing reduction mammoplasty. It doesn't do you much good to find a hair replacement doctor who specializes in hair graft surgery, if that's not the surgery you are getting. Ask to see before and after photos of people like yourself, with your body type, who had a similar reduction in size.

After the procedure, make sure you follow your doctor's directions and allow ample time for healing. You may have bandages, and you may be given a support garment to wear to reduce swelling. It can take several weeks to recover from the surgery. If you have had other procedures done at the same time such as a butt lift or augmentation, costs will be higher and recovery time will be longer.

The results are generally permanent. However, if you gain weight, or continue to take medications that impact your hormones, you may experience an increase in breast size again.

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