Male Breast Reduction Procedure

Breast Reduction For Men

Also known as gynecomastia surgery, breast reduction for men is performed to correct over-developed or enlarged breasts.

What Your Consultation Comprises

A safe and successful gynecomastia will depend on being completely candid during your initial consultation. Be sure to address any problems, concerns and questions with Dr. Van Natta. He will ask you a series of questions regarding your health, goals and your current lifestyle.

Points to Discuss With Your Consultation:

  • Why you are considering gynecomastia surgery
  • What are your goals and your desired result
  • Any medical conditions, allergic reactions to drugs and other medical treatments
  • List current medications you are using along with any vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs including steroids
  • Previous surgeries

While it's natural to feel some anxiousness, whether it is your excitement for your surgery results or preoperative stress regarding your upcoming surgery, be sure that you address all your questions directly with him.

Dr. Van Natta May:

  • Assess the status of your physical health including any pre-existing health conditions or any risk factors
  • Perform diagnostic tests to account for what is causing your gynecomastia; including testing of your endocrine function
  • Examine your breasts by taking exact measurements of size and shape, quality of your skin, and the placement of your areolas and nipples
  • Take photographs to include in your medical record
  • Discuss the possible outcomes of your surgery and any potential risks and complications
  • Discuss using anesthetics during your surgery

Surgery Preparation

Before Surgery, Dr. Van Natta May Ask You to:

  • Get a medical evaluation and/or lab testing
  • Adjust taking your current medications if necessary 
  • Stop smoking, this may be well ahead of your scheduled surgery
  • Stop taking aspirin, any anti-inflammatory drugs and/or herbal supplements since they may increase bleeding

Special Instructions Are:

  • What you should do the day of your surgery
  • How to care for yourself after surgery and following-up with Dr. Van Natta

You’ll Need Help

Someone should drive you to and from surgery and stay with you the first night following your surgery.

What Does Gynecomastia Surgery Involve?

Plastic surgery that corrects gynecomastia, is also known as reduction mammaplasty. This surgery will reduce your breast size, while flattening and enhancing the contours of your chest.

In cases where gynecomastia is severe, excess breast tissue may cause the breasts to sag and stretch the dark skin surrounding the nipple, known as the areola. If this is the case, then the position and size of the areola can be improved surgically and any excess skin may be removed or reduced.

Step 1 – Anesthesia

You will have a general anesthetic administered by a board certified anesthesiologist.

Step 2 – Liposuction

When gynecomastia's cause is primarily due to excess fatty tissue, then it may be that only ultrasonic assisted liposuction techniques are used. Dr. Van Natta uses the tumescent technique, filling the area to be treated with intravenous fluid containing adrenaline. This is followed by treating the area with ultrasound to break up or loosen the fatty area.

Removal of the fat requires inserting a thin tube or a cannula through several small incisions. The cannula is then moved back and forth which loosens the excess fat. The fat is then removed by vacuum suction.

Step 3 – Excision

Excision or the surgical removal of excess skin and/or breast tissue is recommended only when it is necessary to correct gynecomastia. Excision may also be needed to reduce the size of the areola, or to reposition the nipple for a more natural male contour. Incision patterns will be dependent on your specific needs and the recommendation of your surgeon.

Male breast 1 Male breast 2

It is most common to treat gynecomastia with both liposuction and excision.

male breast 3 Male breast 4


(Illustrations courtesy of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons)

What About Scars?

Any surgery used to treat gynecomastia will require incisions. Most of the incision lines will be concealed within your natural contours, however, some may still be visible. These incision lines although permanent, will gradually diminish over time. This is one of the results you will discuss in your consultation for breast reduction surgery.

Important Facts Regarding Risks and Complications of Your Gynecomastia Surgery

Only you can make the decision to have gynecomastia surgery by analyzing the benefits of achieving your goals through surgery and any of the possible risks and complications that are associated with the procedure. Dr. Van Natta and/or his staff will discuss and answer all of your questions about the risks associated with your surgery. Once you are comfortable with all of the information, understand the procedure, risks, and complications fully, and have decided to have gynecomastia surgery, you will need to sign consent forms.

Possible Risks and Complications of Gynecomastia Surgery Are:

  • Scarring
  • Hematoma, or bleeding
  • Rare occurrences of blood clots
  • Infection
  • Incision sites that heal poorly
  • Temporary or permanent changes in your nipple or breast sensation
  • If liposuction is used, there are additional risks of uneven contours, loose skin, rippling skin, unnatural pigmentation or accumulation of fluids
  • Risks associated with using anesthesia
  • Irregularities in the breast shape and contour, asymmetry
  • Discoloration of your skin, pigmentation changes that are permanent, as well as swelling and bruising
  • Damage to nerves, muscles, blood vessels and lungs may be either temporary or permanent
  • Allergic reactions to surgical tape, sutures, glues, blood products, topical preparations or injectibles
  • Fat necrosis, where fatty tissue deep in the skin might die
  • Accumulation of fluids
  • Extremely rare occurrences of cardiac and pulmonary complications and deep vein thrombosis
  • Persistent pain
  • Possibility of a revision surgery

Location of Your Surgery

Your surgery will be performed at Meridian Plastic Surgery Center, an AAAHC accredited facility utilizing seasoned anesthesiologists from St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Van Natta and his assisting staff will pay close attention to your safety and make you as comfortable as possible.

After Your Surgery

As with any surgical procedure, if you experience any of the following symptoms when you get home: pains in your chest, any unusual heart beats, or you have difficulty breathing, you must seek medical attention immediately. You may require hospitalization.

Although good results should be expected with your gynecomastia surgery, unfortunately there is no guarantee. In some cases, it is not possible to achieve your desired results with one surgery. An additional surgery may be required to tighten or reposition the breasts, and treat any complications if they occur.

Your Recovery

Following Dr. Van Natta’s instructions is crucial to your recovery and to the success of your surgery. Do not subject your incisions to any of the following: abrasion, excessive force, or motion while they are healing. Dr. Van Natta will give you explicit instructions on caring for yourself after surgery.

Post surgery, your incisions will be dressed and bandaged, and a support garment or elastic bandage may be used to lessen swelling as well as add additional support as you heal. You may also have a thin tube temporarily placed under your skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.

Most gynecomastia surgeries take between 1 ½ to 2 hours and are done as an outpatient. Absorbable sutures are used and the knots will be clipped at your first follow-up visit, usually about one week after your surgery. It’s very important to follow Dr. Van Natta’s instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled. If you have any questions or concerns after your surgery we want you to call our office: 317-575-0330 or toll-free, 800-345-1962.

Specific Instructions You Will Receive:

  • How to care for your incisions as they heal 
  • Application of topical medications and/or taking oral medications that assist healing and minimize the risk of infection
  • Checking the surgical site for any issues and what you should notice regarding your overall health
  • Concerns you need to follow up on with Dr. Van Natta

Long-Lasting Breast Reduction Results

Your improved upper body will likely enhance your self-image and confidence, whether in a shirt and tie, a t-shirt, or baring your chest in the summer at the pool.

In most cases, the results of breast reduction surgery for men are permanent. However, if your gynecomastia resulted from weight gain you must continue at a stable weight to have long lasting results. If the use of particular prescription medications or drugs including steroids attributed to your gynecomastia, you must be fully free from these substances in order to maintain your surgical results. Please discuss this with Dr. Van Natta during your consultation and before you make any changes to your prescription medications.

Gynecomastia Surgery Costs

The cost for gynecomastia surgery varies widely and is an important consideration in this elective surgery. Pricing depends on the exact procedure being done and the amount of time your particular case may take. We will give you an exact quotation of your costs for surgery at the time of your consultation with Dr. Van Natta. We do offer patient financing options which we can discuss during your appointment as well.

Costs May Include:

  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Cost of the surgical facility
  • Fees for anesthesia
  • Prescription medication
  • Post-surgery garments
  • Medical testing as deemed necessary

In nearly all cases, gynecomastia correction surgery is not eligible for coverage with most insurance plans. Each insurance policy varies and it is best to check with your insurance provider ahead of your surgery. In addition, Dr. Van Natta does not participate with any insurance plans as an in-network provider.

Satisfaction With Your Surgery Includes More Than a Fee

When you are in the process of choosing a plastic surgeon for your breast reduction surgery, it is important to consider the surgeon’s experience and your comfort with him or her. These factors are just as important as the final cost of your procedure. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Dr. Van Natta is nationally recognized as an expert in cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery.

Questions To Ask Your Plastic Surgeon

  • Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  • Were you specifically trained in the field of plastic surgery?
  • How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
  • Is the office-based surgical facility where you perform surgery accredited by a nationally- or state-recognized accrediting agency, or is it state-licensed or Medicare-certified?
  • Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
  • What will be expected of me in order to get the best results?
  • Where and how will you perform my procedure?
  • Is there a specific surgical technique recommended for me?
  • How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
  • What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
  • How are complications handled?
  • How can I expect my breasts to look over time?
  • What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my breast reduction?
  • Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure, and what results are reasonable for me?

Use This Checklist As a Guide During Your Consultation:

The following points are important relative to Dr. Van Natta:

  • He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
  • He was trained specifically in the field of plastic surgery and had 5 years of general surgery training as well as 2 ½ years of plastic surgery training.
  • He has been in practice for 25 years.
  • His surgical facility, Meridian Plastic Surgery Center, is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency, and it is state-licensed and Medicare-certified.
  • He also has hospital privileges to perform this procedure at St. Vincent Hospital.
  • He is known both locally and nationally as an expert in breast surgery.

How are complications handled?

If you experience a rare complication requiring reoperation, Dr. Van Natta often won’t charge for his services, but you may well have additional expenses for the operating room as well as anesthesia.

You may wish to see our before and after photos of gynecomastia surgery.