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Gynecosmastia (Male Breast Reduction)

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.


Gynecosmastia (Male Breast Reduction)

Male breast reduction with any of our expert gynecomastia surgeons in Bethesda can reduce the size of your chest and give you a chiseled, sculpted contour.


Gynecomastia is a medical condition referring to the presence of abnormally large breasts in men, generally caused by the body’s production of excess glandular breast tissue, excess fatty tissue, or a combination of both.

Levels of Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia can present itself in different degrees, most commonly categorized as mild, high, visible, or feminine. Categorization of gynecomastia is based on chest size, femininity, and severity of the condition.

Causes of Gynecomastia

While in some cases, gynecomastia may be the result of genetics, or natural hormonal imbalances, breast tissue growth may also be caused by medical conditions or illness, as well as the use of certain drugs, anabolic steroids, or medications. Breast enlargement can also be caused by significant weight gain. In certain cases gynecomastia can develop spontaneously resulting in idiopathic gynecomastia.

Signs of Gynecomastia

Those who develop gynecomastia can notice it in one or both breasts. Signs of gynecomastia can include swelling of the breast tissue, tenderness of the breasts, pain, and breast sensitivity.

Side Effects of Gynecomastia

Whatever the underlying causation, gynecomastia can have emotional and psychological ramifications for men who suffer from it. Gynecomastia can cause social anxiety and deter an individual from socializing at work or developing relationships.

Address Gynecomastia with a Doctor

Since both breast cancer and chronic gynecomastia can cause lumps and swollen breast tissue it is vital to get checked by a doctor. Breast pain associated with gynecomastia should be addressed by a specialist.

Addressing gynecomastia can be an essential part in improving your self image, mental health, and appearance. Male breast tissue reduction can properly treat gynecomastia by getting rid of excess breast tissue. The Cosmetic Surgery Associates of Maryland office is 12.7 miles away from Washington, DC and 4.9 miles away from Potomac, MD.


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Causes of Male Breast Enlargement

Gynecomastia has several factors that can lead to its onset; the majority of them have to do with an increased level of estrogen.

Increased Estrogen Level

Men’s bodies naturally create testosterone and estrogen. Estrogen has a direct correlation to increased glandular tissue, but this is generally not an issue for men since estrogen’s ratio is so small compared to testosterone. However, with factors such as all the below mentioned, estrogen levels can become skewed and increase, causing enlarged male breasts.

Gynecomastia can be caused by a decrease in the responsiveness of androgen receptors and an increase in estrogen production. This does not cause any physical harm, but breast development can be a source of embarrassment or self-consciousness.

Drugs and Medications

Certain drugs and medications can manipulate sex hormone levelsMarijuana has been linked to a decrease in testosterone production, and steroids have been known to increase estrogen levels. Antidepressants and blood pressure medication can also alter normal hormone levels.

Klinefelter Syndrome

Klinefelter Syndrome is a genetically gained condition where men gain an X chromosome in addition to the normal male XY genetic makeup. This does not affect everyone visibly, but some men with this condition may experience little body hair, weak muscles, and/or large male breasts.


The thyroid is responsible for controlling hormone production, but on occasions, the functionality of this gland can become disturbed. This occurrence is referred to as hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism can throw off normal sex hormone levels, creating an estrogen excess for some men.

Pubertal Gynecomastia

During puberty, there is a large change in the amount of estrogen in the body. This estrogen excess can cause an imbalance between estrogen and testosterone. Gynecomastia is more prevalent in boys who are overweight.


When men age, the body produces more of the enzyme aromatase. This enzyme is responsible for converting estrone and androstenedione into estrogen, potentially causing an increase in glandular tissue.

Hormonal Treatments

Certain hormonal imbalances can occur after hormonal treatment for prostate cancer. Prostate cancer treatment can involve androgen deprivation therapy. Prostate cancer patients may notice an onset of gynecomastia after androgen deprivation therapy treatments.

Gynecomastia can be a sign of a testicular tumor. A doctor should check any signs of testicular tumors.

Male Breast Tissue Reduction

Male breast reduction surgery is a safe and effective procedure designed to remove excess fatty tissue to flatten the breasts and enhance the natural contours of the male chest.

Gynecomastia accounts for more than 65% of all male breast disorders, and luckily, more and more men are realizing that this condition can be safely and effectively treated with male breast reduction surgery. In fact, more than 20,000 male breast reduction surgeries were performed in 2012, up 5% from 2011.

Men everywhere are realizing that they no longer need to put up with aesthetically unappealing breasts, but instead, can achieve their ideal contoured, well-formed chest!

Ideal Candidates for Gynecomastia Treatment

  • Feel self-conscious about their appearance

  • Are emotionally stable and physically healthy

  • Possess firm, elastic skin

  • Desire better breast contour and do not consider reduction surgery a weight loss method

Ideal candidates are physically fit and psychologically-stable men who have tried exercise and a healthy diet first. This procedure should not be regarded as a method for weight loss or body fat removal.

For some men, fatty deposits and excess skin throughout the body can be a problem. But with the assistance of Dr. Richards, Dr. Magge, and Dr. Jabs’ body contouring techniques, you can rid yourself of the areas bothering you and possibly be more confident in your appearance.

During your initial consultation with one of our three expert chest sculpting surgeons, you can explain the concerns you have with the appearance of your chest. Bringing a photo of desired results can help greatly.

Your surgeon will examine your chest and assess whether you suffer from gynecomastia, pseudo-gynecomastia, or both and recommend a procedure technique appropriately.

As you think about your options with plastic surgery, it is natural to have a list of questions for the doctor.

  • How long does the operation last?

  • Will you use or a scalpel?

  • What is scarring like?

  • Can I qualify for insurance coverage?

  • Will I need to take time off from work?

There aren’t cookie-cutter answers since each case is unique to the individual. These questions will gladly be answered during your consultation once your surgeon assesses a custom surgical treatment plan which will provide you with optimal results.


In order to prepare for your male breast reduction surgery, there are some important steps that must be followed.

  • Once you receive a confirmed surgery date, please plan on scheduling at least three to four days off from work to ensure ample recovery time.

  • Your surgeon will prescribe you medications during your consultation that must be filled before your surgery date. These will be necessary for immediately following the procedure and during your recovery.

  • Do not smoke or take anti-inflammatory medications two weeks prior to your procedure.

  • Have a family member or friend take you home after your male breast reduction surgery is completed.

  • Please inform the office if you begin to feel sick or under the weather.


Click to download the information provided on our website in a PDF format.

The Procedure

Breast reduction surgery for men is an outpatient procedure, and can generally be performed using local anesthesia with oral sedation.

The glandular tissue / fatty tissue ratio differs for each patient; our expert male breast reduction surgeons are skilled at identifying the difference and recommending a procedure appropriately.

For most patients, the procedure is done with a specialized laser with liposuction to remove or sculpt glandular tissue appropriately, leaving enough for a chiseled contour. Using small incisions in the axillae (armpit area), this technique avoids incisions and scars on the breast or near the nipples. If desired, your surgeon can relocate the nipples to a proportionate placement. For some patients, a very small incision is made in the nipple area to remove the glandular tissue.

This procedure is extremely effective and results in a flatter breast with a smooth contour to the chest. Surgical dressing and a compression garment are then wrapped around your chest. The procedure can generally be performed in about an hour and a half.


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In most cases, gynecomastia correction surgery is permanent, but breasts may increase in size if the patient gains a significant amount of weight, increasing levels of adipose (fatty) tissues.

Our medical staff will help to make your plastic surgery experience a positive one through open communication, friendliness, and respect. We understand that cosmetic surgery is a serious decision; therefore, you must feel comfortable undergoing a male breast reduction.

After your male breast reduction surgery is complete, the incisions will be covered with dressings or bandages and you will be asked to wear a compression garment or elastic bandage to reduce swelling.

Most patients will feel tired and sore for several days after surgery, but can usually return to work in just three days; however, complete recovery, including the resumption of rigorous exercise and athletic pursuits, may take between three to four weeks.

This means doing your research. Besides discussing your concerns with our physicians during a consultation visit, you should also take the time to learn about the risks and uncertainties associated with correcting gynecomastia. Please feel free to contact us to make an appointment.


Can guys develop breasts?

Yes. This condition is called gynecomastia and can occur for a number of reasons, including hormone fluctuations, drug use, and weight gain.

Can gynecomastia be cured without surgery?

Gynecomastia can sometimes go away on its own, but usually requires a change in habits, such as drug use, or else surgery.

Can gynecomastia grow back after surgery?

No. Once gynecomastia tissue is removed it will not come back. However, large weight gain can cause fat to come back in the breasts, making the breasts larger.

Does gynecomastia go away with weight loss?

Yes, to some extent. True fibrous gynecomastia will not respond to weight loss. However, fatty tissue in the breast can reduce after weight loss.

Does gynecomastia surgery leave scars?

Often gynecomastia surgery can be performed with a small stab incision in the armpit without having scars placed directly on the breast.

How long do you have to wear a compression garment after gynecomastia?

In most cases, male breast reduction patients wear their compression garments for a week or longer.

How long does it take to recover from male breast reduction?

Depending on the extent of surgery, some gynecomastia patients are able to go back to work within a few days, whereas more invasive procedures require downtime for 2-4 weeks.

Can you get rid of gynecomastia without surgery?

Some cases of gynecomastia resolve on their own over time, as during puberty, with exercise and weight loss, or by stopping the drug responsible for it. Otherwise, the only way to treat gynecomastia is with surgery.

Can you reduce breast size without surgery?

If weight gain is the primary driver behind the enlargement of male breasts, then exercise and eating healthy are the main way to lose weight and reduce the appearance of gynecomastia.

How do you shower after gynecomastia surgery?

You can shower in your normal manner 24 hours after gynecomastia surgery.

What is the best treatment for gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia can be nicely treated using a special liposuction technique called laser liposuction through a very small incision in the armpit area.

Do you lose weight after breast reduction?

Some men feel more empowered and confident exercising and eating healthy, but a male breast reduction does not itself cause weight loss.

Does a breast reduction make you look thinner?

A male breast reduction can help slim down the look of your chest, so in that sense it can make someone look slimmer and more fit.

Can thyroid problems cause gynecomastia?

In some cases, gynecomastia can be the result of either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

Does gynecomastia come after surgery?

Gynecomastia is not a significant risk factor for most major surgeries, unless these procedures affect the levels of hormones.

How can gynecomastia be prevented?

Eating a healthy, balanced diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding alcohol and certain illicit drugs.

How can you tell the difference between gynecomastia and Pseudogynecomastia?

Pseudogynecomastia occurs when only fat is enlarging the breast, as opposed to when both fat and glandular tissue, or glandular tissue on its own are present.

How do I know if I have gynecomastia?

If you have puffy or shiny nipples, or a sudden change in the look or feel of your chest, you may have gynecomastia.

How do I know if I need a breast reduction?

If the look of your chest is causing emotional or psychological distress, it may be time to consider your options for male breast reduction.

Is it worth getting a breast reduction?

Men who undergo male breast reduction are highly satisfied with their results following treatment.

What causes gynecomastia in males?

There are many known and unknown causes for gynecomastia, commonly with weight gain and hormone fluctuations.

How long till swelling goes down after gynecomastia surgery?

Depending on how extensive your male breast reduction surgery is, some residual swelling may last up to 6 months or longer.

When should I start massaging after gynecomastia surgery?

Massaging your treatment area should only be done under your doctors instructions.

Schedule a Male Breast Reduction Consultation

If you are a man who’s been thinking about male breast reduction then we recommend scheduling a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons today to see if Gynecomastia surgery is right for you! Our office is located just 2 miles away from North Bethesda and 5 miles away from Potomac & Rockville. During the consultation, our surgeons will go over the procedure, answer all of your questions and determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. The best way to schedule a consultation is to either give us a call or request a consultation from the form below.

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Our Plastic Surgery Associates team includes Dr. Franklin Richards, Dr. A. Dean Jabs, and Dr. Keshav Magge. Each of our plastic surgeons is board-certified, and together they have over 60 years of combined experience. Drs. Richards, Jabs, and Magge are all highly qualified in procedures for the face, breast, and body, and pride themselves in providing excellent results through our state-of-the-art, Quad A certified operating centers