How safe is Gynecomastia Surgery?

What men need to know about male breast reduction.

Gynecomastia surgery is a safe procedure that is usually done under local anesthesia, with or without sedation. Surgery is performed in our accredited office-based surgical center. Recovery is rapid and there is minimal pain and discomfort associated with the procedure.


Gynecomastia surgery is cost effective and has permanent results. Benefits can be life changing including the ability to wear tight T-shirts and to go topless on the beach or at the swimming pool. Surgery is often combined with liposuction and etching of the chest and sometimes the abdominal muscles to create a six-pack appearance.
Gynecomastia is a common condition in adolescent boys and men. It is usually a benign enlargement of breast tissue which is associated with hormone imbalance or specific drugs.


Medications definitely associated with gynecomastia are spironolactone, cimetidine, ketoconazole, hGH, estrogens, hCG, anti-androgens, GnRH analogs and 5-α reductase inhibitors. Medications probably associated with gynecomastia include risperidone, verapamil, nifedipine, omeprazole, alkylating agents, HIV medications (efavirenz), anabolic steroids, alcohol, and opioids. From Drug-induced gynecomastia: an evidence-based review, Deepinder F, Braunstein, G Expert Opin Drug Saf . 2012 Sep;11(5):779-95.

Surgical Treatment for Gynecomastia

Enlarged breasts and areolas create a feminine look to the male chest and camouflage definition of the underlying chest muscles, even with exercises. Gynecomastia can cause embarrassment and reluctance to wear tight fitting tops and to go topless at the beach or at the swimming pool.

Treatment for gynecomastia, is surgical. Non-surgical treatments are ineffective. There are two kinds of treatment which are often combined:

  1. Liposuction
  2. Direct excision of the gland through an incision around the lower half of the areola.

Liposuction alone may be sufficient. Although after liposuction there may be residual breast tissue. This remaining breast tissue is in the central part of the breast, below the areola and may require removal through an incision around the lower edge of the areola. Recovery after liposuction alone, is fast with minimal downtime. Small incisions are used to access the breast area for liposuction and to contour the chest. Final results of liposuction take at least 6 months to be visible. Liposuction is also used to give definition to the chest-wall muscles at the same time as removing the extra glandular tissue. In all cases a supporting and shaping garment is used to compress the chest after surgery. This is worn 22 hours a day, for three weeks after the surgery. After the three weeks, the garment is worn just during the day, for another 3 weeks, Treatments such as the Zimmer ZWave can also be used after surgery. This device is used to soften scar tissue, decrease swelling and increase lymphatic drainage. A series of three ZWave treatments can be started, beginning 3-4 weeks after surgery.

In cases where there is an excision of the glandular tissue in addition to liposuction, a drain may be inserted to prevent blood or serum accumulating. The most common complication after excision is a fluid collection which may need to be aspirated. There is also a small risk of contour irregularities. These can occur with liposuction alone but are more common with an excision of the gland,

Male breast reduction surgery can be performed at any age. The most common age groups are late adolescence and young men in their 20’s to 40’s. The procedure is done in the office using local anesthesia combined with intravenous or oral conscious sedation. Time off work is about 3 to 7 days, depending on the procedure and your type of work. If you do a heavy manual type of work, it may take longer to get back to full work capacity. Exercises can usually be resumed at pre-treatment intensity after six weeks although this will vary on an individual basis.

Gynecomastia is a common benign condition. Surgery is usually straightforward with minimal downtime. Results are permanent and the effects on confidence and lifestyle can be life changing. Click here to learn more about male breast reduction, when to consider breast reduction surgery, preparing for the gynecomastia surgery and what to expect during the surgery. 

Schedule a Consultation for Gynecomastia

Dr. Laurence Kirwan. is one of the most experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in Norwalk, Connecticut, and in the entire country. He is a recognized international leader in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. He offers a superior level of knowledge, care and understanding to help you achieve the look you desire. If you wish to schedule a consultation for gynecomastia with the leading plastic surgeon, Dr. Kirwan, please call, or complete our enquiry form.


Conveniently Located: Every patient is a VIP. For your gynecomastia / male breast reduction appointment, you will see Dr. Kirwan himself at every single appointment. Our Norwalk, CT location is conveniently located in between Manhattan, New York and New Haven, Connecticut. Patients regularly visit from across Connecticut (Stamford, Greenwich, Stratford, Fairfield, Westport, Bridgeport, Darien, New Canaan, Trumbull), New York ( Manhattan, NYC, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Port Chester, White Plains, Harrison), New Jersey and other neighboring cities/towns for their gynecomastia surgery and other plastic surgery procedures. Our office is close to all of the New York Airports for patients who are coming from out-of-state or other countries.


10 Mott Avenue, Suite 1A
Norwalk, CT 06850

Phone: (203) 838-8844
eFax: (203) 774-1177

Plastic Surgery Practice in Norwalk CT with clients from CT, NY, NJ – Manhattan, Northern New Jersey towns, surrounding areas of Greenwich, New Canaan, Stamford, Westport, Darien, Wilton, Weston, Easton, Fairfield, Bridgeport, Trumbull, Ridgefield, Danbury, Monroe, Milford, Bedford, Armonk, Mt Kisco, Bedford Hills, Rye, Harrison, New Haven, Mamaroneck, Larchmont, White Plains, Scarsdale, Westchester County, Fairfield County. New York and from around the world.

*Disclaimer: results are not guaranteed, may not be permanent, and can vary per individual. Before and after photographs of surgical results are of procedures performed solely by Dr. Kirwan.  Some images on this web site are of models, not actual patients. Please see our full disclaimer.

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