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A patient's guide to cosmetic surgery sponsored by Nuffield Health

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Nuffield Health, a leading provider of cosmetic surgery in the UK, with a network of 30 private hospitals across the country.

Cosmetic surgery

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Male breast reduction surgery guide

Male breast reduction

Men with excess fatty and glandular tissue around their nipples are sometimes described as having ‘man boobs’. The condition, known medically as gynaecomastia, is commonly assumed to be due to obesity and a poor lifestyle. However, a significant proportion of men with enlarged breasts develop them as a result of hormonal imbalance or medication for an underlying health problem. Hormone therapy is commonly used to treat prostate cancer, for example, but other drugs and medications can have this effect. All men with gynaecomastia can benefit from male breast reduction surgery, which is done using liposuction techniques.

Why consider male breast reduction surgery?

If you have obvious male breasts, you will feel self-conscious, particularly in situations where their chest is on show. Going swimming, lounging about on the beach, showering after sports in communal changing rooms and intimate relationships can all become a source of stress and anxiety. Liposuction to give you a flatter chest with no obvious breast development is worth considering If you start to worry constantly about people seeing and commenting on your breasts. Getting your body mass index down to a safe and healthy level before surgery and then maintaining it afterwards can give you the best results.

What is involved in a male breast reduction?

A male breast reduction is done in a completely different way to the techniques used in a woman having her breast size reduced. No large incisions are made; the excess tissue under the skin of the man boobs is removed using liposuction.

The surgery takes about an hour and a half and you can expect to stay in hospital just one night. Your cosmetic surgeon makes a small incision to introduce the end of the liposuction tube and then sucks out small portions of tissue, moving under the skin to contour the chest. If you have a lot of excess tissue, the surgeon may make more than one incision around the nipple. In severe cases of gynaecomastia, the nipple may need to be removed and replaced so that it is in a more natural position.

After male breast reduction

Your chest will be sore and bruised and you will need to take painkillers for the first few days. You will be allowed home after about 24 hours and then you need a few days off work for the initial healing to take place. Your cosmetic surgeon will probably advise that you avoid strenuous activity and exercise for a few weeks, particularly lifting. This may affect your ability to work if you have a heavy manual job. You will be given an elastic body stocking to compress the tissue during the first four weeks of healing.

What risks are involved in a male breast reduction?

A male breast reduction is generally very safe and most men recover quickly. In addition to the low risks of bleeding and infection that can occur with any liposuction procedure, specific side effects include:

  • Scars that are slow to fade. If you are prone to developing raised scars called keloid scars, you could have more noticeable scarring after liposuction.
  • An uneven result. If one side of the chest is a not as flat as the other once healing is complete, you may need a second liposuction to achieve the result you want.

The results of a male breast reduction are permanent but you can develop new deposits of fatty and glandular tissue if you gain weight or if you need to take medication that affect the balance of sex hormones in your body.

What does male breast reduction surgery cost?

Example price in a UK private hospital or clinic is £2,931.00.

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