If you’re struggling with excess male breast tissue, or gynecomastia, it can be frustrating to find that this problem is not responsive to diet and exercise the way the rest of your body is. Luckily, a minimally-invasive treatment is available. VASER liposuction is an option that allows many men to achieve a flat and firm chest with a procedure performed under local anesthesia in our office.
Here’s everything you need to know about your options, and why VASER could make male breast reduction easier for you.
What causes gynecomastia, or man boobs?
There are a few different ways that the appearance of excess breast tissue or puffy nipples can develop:
- Excess adipose tissue (fat deposits) are behind gynecomastia in most cases. As we gain weight throughout our bodies, a man’s breast area does, too. This form of gynecomastia is sometimes called “pseudogynecomastia.”
- If enlarged glandular tissue (enlarged glands) are to blame, excess tissue is mostly located behind the nipple-areola complex. The nipple may have a dome-like shape where the glands protrude. This is common in adolescents, some of whom find that it resolves as they get older.
- Many adult men have a combination of adipose tissue and enlarged glandular tissue that causes the enlarged appearance in their chests. In men with weight gain-related gynecomastia, it is possible for glandular gynecomastia to form, as well.
How a plastic surgeon performs male breast reduction
What is included in your chest reduction surgery plan is tailored to your needs, based on the cause and presentation of your excess breast tissue. Generally, most patients require one of these three treatment options:
1. VASER liposuction: removes fat and tightens skin
If excess tissue is primarily composed of fat, or adipose tissue, then chest liposuction alone may suffice to treat it. This is the case for most of my Denver patients, and I use VASER liposuction, specifically, to treat this form of gynecomastia.
Here’s how VASER for gynecomastia works: First, an anesthetic saline solution is injected into the area of fat to be treated. This helps to break up the fat, while also numbing the area. Next, a VASER wand is inserted through a very small incision. The VASER wand emits ultrasound waves that are calibrated to break up the fat cells into a liquid form. Next, a cannula is used (as in traditional liposuction) to remove the fat with suction, via the same tiny incision.
The ultrasound waves also promote gradual skin contraction in the months following surgery, so as you heal you will see the skin become firmer and smoother, as well.
2. Gland excision surgery: removes enlarged glandular tissue & excess skin
If the excess breast tissue is composed primarily or partially of enlarged glandular tissue, the tissue must be surgically removed through a small incision hidden within the border of the areola. If needed, the procedure may also involve removal of excess skin. Some patients may also require an areola reduction and/or repositioning, which is performed using an incision around the border of the areola. While VASER liposuction alone may be performed under local anesthesia in our office, surgical excision is typically performed under general anesthesia.
3. VASER lipo + excision surgery: treats combination gynecomastia
In cases where there are enlarged glands and excess fat tissue present, a combination of VASER liposuction and surgical gland excision is an excellent approach. In some cases, removal of excess skin may also be necessary, but typical mild skin laxity can be efficiently addressed with VASER skin tightening, shortening the recovery time.
Note that gynecomastia surgery is a cosmetic solution to gynecomastia, but it does not treat any potential underlying causes of enlarged glandular tissue (i.e. a hormone imbalance). If you have a health concern or a sudden change in symptoms, talk with your primary care doctor.
Why is VASER liposuction better for treating “moobs”?
Traditional liposuction uses a cannula to both physically break up fat deposits and remove them through suction, but VASER liposuction uses ultrasound to break up fat before removing it with a cannula, minimizing trauma to surrounding tissues. There are three primary benefits to using VASER lipo in the chest:
- The procedure is offered under local anesthesia in our Denver office.
- Minimal trauma to surrounding tissues helps keep your recovery to a minimum.
- Ultrasound not only breaks up fat, but promotes skin contraction after treatment, creating a smoother, tighter, and more sculpted result.
Because of the skin tightening effects of VASER, it can eliminate the need for skin excision in certain patients.
How does VASER liposuction compare with laser lipo, AirSculpt, and traditional liposuction?
I have used many liposuction modalities in my 20+ years of experience, including AirSculpt®, Laser Lipo, and conventional liposuction. I have found that VASER liposuction is the most effective and efficient means of removing fatty tissue, hands down.
Am I a good candidate for gynecomastia correction surgery?
To be ready for male breast reduction surgery, you need to be at a stable weight you plan to maintain. Gynecomastia during puberty can sometimes resolve on its own, so young teens may not be eligible for the surgery. Finally, it’s important to be in good health for surgery before undergoing any gynecomastia treatment (despite being minimally invasive, even VASER liposuction is a surgical procedure). Good candidates are non-smokers (or willing to abstain 2 weeks before and after surgery), in overall good health, and have a BMI below about 30. We will discuss your medical history with you to screen you for any risk factors.
Schedule your gynecomastia consultation with Gregory A. Buford, MD, FACS, PCEO in Denver
Gynecomastia may not affect your health, but it can greatly impact your confidence. My patients consistently report feeling relieved that they finally had the procedure and only regret not having come in sooner for this easy, effective treatment. As a board certified plastic surgeon with many years of experience, I am here to help you achieve the look you want with the least time-consuming solution possible. To learn about your options for treating excess male breast tissue, I invite you to schedule a consultation by calling my office at 303.747.6719 or contacting us online.