Gynecomastia Conveniently located to serve Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania
Gynecomastia treatment, or male breast reduction, seeks to address a condition that exists, in varying degrees, in almost half of all men. Gynecomastia surgery removes excess fat and breast tissue from the chest wall to produce a flatter, more masculine chest.
Dr. Lori Cherup is an experienced cosmetic surgeon who offers gynecomastia surgery in Pittsburgh. To view before and after photos of Dr. Cherup’s real patients, visit our online gallery.
In your initial consultation, Dr. Cherup will perform a physical exam. She will also ask you about your lifestyle and general health in order to determine your candidacy for this procedure.
She will determine by the looseness of the skin, the amount of breast and fat tissue behind the nipple areolar complex, and your overall body shape and size whether the breast tissue that exists there is significant or not. The reduction surgery can be performed if there is a likely possibility that after removing the tissue, it will not re-accumulate.
While the surgery may be performed on men of any age, it is discouraged for those who suffer from obesity. It is also not recommended for men who drink alcohol excessively and/or smoke marijuana. Persistent weight gain and/or use of too much alcohol or marijuana can cause the breast tissue to recur after the surgery.
It also may be necessary to obtain an endocrinology consult prior to surgery. If there is a likelihood that a pituitary tumor, an adrenal gland tumor, or testicular tumor is causing abnormalities in your hormone levels and increasing the likelihood of gynecomastia, this condition needs to be addressed before gynecomastia surgery can be performed.
Male Breast Reduction Surgical Procedure
Your male breast reduction surgery will be performed while you are under general anesthesia. Dr. Cherup will utilize liposuction and direct excision as needed to create more masculine chest contours.
Surgery is initiated by making a small incision in the armpit. Through that incision, the excess fat that is on the chest wall and the surrounding areas can be removed.
Dr. Cherup will then make an incision one-third of the way around the areola. Through that incision, she will remove a significant mass of fatty tissue, which will probably also include some breast tissue.
Once she is confident that all the tissue that is necessary to be removed is done so in a smooth, even way, Dr. Cherup will close the incision with stitches underneath the skin. In general, this procedure usually lasts between one to two hours and is always done on an outpatient basis.
Two small drain tubes will be introduced through the incisions in your armpit and will drain the excess fluid that might accumulate under the skin during your recovery. Steri-Strips, gauze dressings, and a compression garment will finalize the procedure. You will go home with only a pressure type of discomfort and instructions on how to manage the drains.
Post Operative Care and Potential Complications
Dr. Cherup will see you back two days after the surgery. At that visit, your incisions will be inspected and the drain tubes likely removed. Remember to bring your drainage record with you to that visit. You will be returned to your compression vest, and be ready for a shower that afternoon.
As with any cosmetic surgical procedure, complications that need to be addressed are rare. Patients frequently experience some bruising and swelling, although this subsides fairly quickly over two weeks. In certain cases, decreased sensation to the nipple and the chest wall skin may occur.
An indentation on the chest wall where most of the breast tissue was removed can occur in some cases. Dr. Cherup tries very hard to remove the tissue evenly, but thoroughly. Extra scarring internally can cause tethering of the skin to the muscle. Usually massage and time will resolve this problem. Rarely, Dr. Cherup may need to inject your own fat into that indentation to elevate it and make it look smooth.
A hematoma (collection of blood) can occur under the skin if you were too active after the surgery, or if the garment is not snug enough. Small hematomas will resolve on their own. A large one will necessitate a return to the operating room to remove it. This is why it is extremely important for you to stop all medications that could cause bleeding (i.e., fish oil, vitamin E, glucosamine, aspirin, and Advil) two weeks before surgery.
How Much Does Male Breast Reduction Surgery Cost?
The price of your gynecomastia surgery will depend on the techniques required to best achieve your aesthetic goals. Dr. Cherup will review the cost of your procedure with you once she has created your personalized treatment plan.
Will My Insurance Cover Male Breast Reduction Surgery?
A common question asked during consultations for male breast reduction is whether the surgery will be paid for by a patient’s health insurance. Dr. Cherup’s experience, which encompasses the current state of insurance compensation, is that insurance only compensates for this surgery when the deformity is significant and usually when it is seen in a young teen.
It is highly unlikely that this surgery will be paid for by insurance when you are an adult male, in school or with a job, and have no endocrinologic abnormality to be the causative factor of the gynecomastia. In other words, 90 percent of grown men have to consider this a cosmetic surgery, for which payment outside of insurance will be necessary.
From Our Patients…
“I hate going to any doctor EXCEPT Dr. Cherup – she actually makes the visit a real experience and pleasure. A true professional who instills trust. Thank you!” -Joseph C.