Lots of guys have to deal with breast enlargement at some point in their lives. In some cases, excess breast tissue develops because their hormones haven’t caught up with the rest of their body yet. In other cases, the breast tissue enlarges due to the use of certain medications or recreational drugs.
Whatever the cause of enlarged male breasts, also known as gynecomastia, most guys want to fix the issue. Male breast reduction, or gynecomastia surgery, is the most effective way to reduce the size of breasts. Surgery can take multiple forms, depending on the cause of the excess breast tissue. If you’re considering the procedure, here’s what you can do to prepare.
Choose the Right Surgeon
One of the most important things to do to prepare for gynecomastia surgery is to pick the right plastic surgeon. There are several things to look for when choosing a surgeon.
First, you want to work with someone who has board certification. That means they’ve completed a certain amount of training beyond medical school and have passed rigorous and challenging examinations.
Second, you want to work with a plastic surgeon who has experience performing gynecomastia and other types of breast surgery. Ideally, the surgeon you pick will have performed male breast reduction many times and will be able to show you before and after pictures of past patients, so you can get a better idea of the type of results you can expect.
Finally, you want to work with a surgeon who has a good bedside manner and who you feel comfortable with. You can get a sense of the surgeon’s personality and style during your consultation before you schedule the surgery. You should feel comfortable asking the surgeon questions during your consultation.
Make Some Lifestyle Changes
Depending on your current habits and lifestyle, you might want to make some adjustments before you move forward with gynecomastia surgery.
The first change you might need to make is quitting smoking or other tobacco use. The sooner you can quit tobacco products before your surgery, the better. Nicotine interferes with the healing process and can put you at an increased risk for surgical complications or for complications after surgery. It’s also recommended that you cut back on alcohol use and give up any recreational drug use before surgery.
One reason it’s particularly important to cut back on alcohol and recreational drugs is that in many cases, the drugs might be contributing to the problem. Excessive amounts of alcohol can disrupt hormone levels in the body, causing breast tissue to grow. Certain drugs, such as steroids, can also lead to enlargement of the breasts in men.
Some men develop enlarged breasts because of weight gain or excess fat around the chest. Making some changes to your diet before your surgery can help you lose weight and recover more easily after surgery. Try to cut back on the amount of sugar you consume and add more whole foods, particularly vegetables and fruits, to your diet.
Consider Your Surgical Options
The type of breast surgery a plastic surgeon will perform depends on the degree of the enlargement and the source of the enlargement. Some men benefit from liposuction alone, which removes excess fat from the chest area, creating a flatter, more contoured look.
In other cases, surgery might need to include excision of glandular tissue as well as excision of loose, excess skin around the breast.
Your surgeon will discuss each option with you, let you know what they recommend, and give you an idea of the type of recovery you can expect afterward.
Clear Your Schedule
You’ll need to clear your schedule after your surgery to give your body time to heal and recover. How much time you’ll need for recovery after gynecomastia surgery depends on the type of surgery and your daily activities.
Many men find that taking a week off from work is sufficient. But if you have a job that has you on your feet throughout the day or that is otherwise labor-intensive, you might want to take two weeks off.
You’ll also want to take it easy and avoid exercise or other types of physically-taxing activity during the first few weeks after your surgery. Your plastic surgeon will let you know when it’s fine to resume working out or playing sports.
Dr. Paul Vitenas is a top-rated plastic surgeon in Houston, Texas who has years of experience performing breast surgeries, including gynecomastia surgery. He can help you decide if male breast reduction is right for you and can offer advice and guidance on the best way to prepare for surgery. Schedule a virtual consultation with Dr. Vitenas today or call 281-484-0088 to make an appointment.