Male Breast Reduction Surgery for Gynaecomastia

Male Breast Reduction Surgery for Gynaecomastia

Are you a male patient who is concerned about the appearance of your chest area? Do you have puffy-looking breasts or enlarged breasts and nipples, or sagging skin in the chest area after significant weight loss? Learn how to know when Male Breast Reduction Surgery for Gynaecomastia may be helpful to get flatter, smoother chest contours.

Male Breast Reduction Surgery is typically done out of an aesthetic or cosmetic concern (appearance and comfort in clothing). However, if enlarged male breasts (Gynaecomastia) are related to a medical condition such as obesity or hormonal disorders, your GP, Nutritionist, Bariatric Surgeon or Endocrinologist may need to treat the underlying conditions that contributed to enlarged breast tissue.

In Australia, much of the enlarged breast tissue on men appears related to lifestyle factors (substances and eating habits) and being overweight, but if your breasts are larger than you feel they should be, it is wise to seek medical attention to assess the underlying causes and what can be done first – non-surgically – about the breast tissue.

Global figures show that Plastic Surgery of the breast area is perhaps one of the most well-known forms of cosmetic reshaping procedures.


Media culture – especially celebrity sharing on social media – have turned breast augmentation into a popular option for many women worldwide, and breast implants help women who aren’t satisfied with their breast or bra cup size. Male Breast reduction surgery can assist to redefine the general overall appearance of the chest area including cleavage, nipples or breast firmness.

However, breast reduction surgery is also a widely requested procedure by both males and females who are unhappy with their breasts.  It can be a great help for people who have encountered problems due to their large or heavy breast tissues, which are linked with skin infections, chaffing and back pain.

Male Breast Reduction Surgery for Gynaecomastia – in Melbourne

Men of all ages can experience enlarged or protruding breasts.

If you have enlarged breasts, they may look ‘puffy’ (protruding) and may seem to limit what you feel comfortable to wear with comfort.  Some men avoid the beach and gym – and wear only baggy heavy shirts – because they feel embarrassed by having ‘man boobs’ – but this condition is relatively common.

If you are comfortable with the condition and if your weight and hormone levels are all within a healthy range, you may learn to become comfortable with the appearance of having slightly protruding breasts.

However, if you have investigated your other options, ruled out underlying conditions (or your Medical Team is treating them using best practice measures) and you are wanting surgery to get a flatter chest, you may want to explore your options for male breast surgery reductions.

Photo Example of BEFORE Male Breast Reduction Surgery for Gynaecomastia

male breast reduction surgery before

Many men do end up feeling they might like to have this procedure done so they feel more comfortable in social situations, during intimacy or in summer when they might go topless or wear a sleeveless, fitted shirt.

Photo Example of AFTER Male Breast Surgery for Gynaecomastia

gynaecomastia AFTER Male Breast Surgery

Sometimes Gynaecomastia shows up early in a man’s development, and other times it occurs with time, age and weight changes.

There can be many causes, as noted below, but a common cause is having excess breast tissue after losing a considerable amount of weight, such as can occur after gastric banding or gastric sleeve surgery.

This is a natural occurrence, and it is possible that as many as half of all men may struggle with enlarged breasts at various points across their lifetime.

What causes Gynaecomastia?

There are various factors and interactions that seem to trigger the development of Gynaecomastia.

#1 Obesity and Hormone changes in men can lead to Gynaecomastia

Obesity is linked with excess body fat which can also accumulate in the chest area.

obesity man boobs


Testosterone is known as a ‘male’ hormone and estrogen as its female counterpart.

These hormones are found in all genders, but they need to coexist in an appropriate balance for the body to function within what is considered a ‘typical hormonal balance’ range for that particular gender (it is not an exact science however and there are many natural variations that occur in our society).

In fact, hormonal imbalances occur more frequently than we might be aware of or even able to measure.

Excess levels of the hormone testosterone in women often leads to an increase in body hair or even facial hair.

Excess estrogen in males can also potentially lead to enlarged breasts.

This can happen at any age, especially during puberty, when hormones get fairly unpredictable as sexual maturity of the body progresses; and it can happen during later life either through side-effects of medications.

It can also occur in relation to later-life hormone decreases (androgen/testosterone deficiencies) that are also relatively common in some ageing men.

#2 Illnesses can lead to enlarged male breasts

Some health conditions are known to be linked to, or even lead to, the development of gynaecomastia. A few of these diseases are:

  • Obesity
  • Chromosonal disorders
  • Kidney failure
  • Tumors
  • Cirrhosis
  • Malnutrition
  • Hypogonadism
  • Hyperthyroidism

#3 Medications can have side effects of increasing breast tissue on males or altering hormone levels of the body

Due to the chemical composition of some medicines, gynaecomastia can potentially be an unwanted effect of the drug (side effect or direct effect as it would not otherwise present).

male chest reduction


Make sure to ask your Medical Team about the links between these medications and your male breast condition if you have Gynaecomastia:

  • Steroids
  • Antibiotics
  • Heart medications
  • AIDS medication
  • Anti-androgens
  • Antidepressants
  • Ulcer medications

#4 Drugs and alcohol are known to be linked with protruding breasts

Besides the many other very unpleasant and potentially life-threatening effects of drugs and alcohol, gynaecomastia is also a risk of substance use.

Alcohol, which is regularly and widely consumed in Australian society and other countries, is linked with enlarged breasts on males. Alcohol is also known to lead to changes in hormone levels, as well as a higher BMI (Body Mass Index) and altered fat-to-muscle ratios.

Narcotics such as marijuana, amphetamine, methadone, and heroin have been known to lead to the development of enlarged male breasts in some cases.

What is Male Breast Reduction Surgery?

Male Breast Reduction Surgery is a solution for treating Gynaecomastia.

Surgery can help reduce, firm and improve the masculine appearance of your chest area.

Male breast reduction surgery can be performed in two key ways, which can also be combined.

  • One way is by , but this is not always suitable for all patients.

liposuction fat removal male breasts gynaecomastia

  • The other consists of Tissue Excision, which is usually required if there is a lot of excess skin along with fat and glandular tissues

Depending on the severity of your condition and what is most suitable for your needs, your Surgeon can advise you on which procedure(s) will get you a firmer, flatter chest.

Why is Breast reduction through tissue excision sometimes preferred over Liposuction?

Tissue excision allows for the Surgeon to remove a greater amount of the denser glandular tissue and excess skin, which often contribute to enlarged male breasts – whereas this tissue might not be removable through liposuction on its own.

This procedure is preferred in more severe cases of gynaecomastia. Your surgeon will decide how large the excision should be to achieve optimal results.

The healing process is also a bit more complicated than in the case of liposuction. Post-op patients have experienced varying degrees of soreness and swelling, but overall results are favorable.

How do I choose the best option for me?

Depending on the extent of your gynecomastia, you will either require liposuction or tissue excision. As always, you need to decide together with your doctor which alternative is the best for you. Your doctor will carefully consider the extent of your condition and various other factors before making a decision. In the case of medical issues, an informed decision is the best decision you can make.


Last updated: September 14, 2021
Author profile image
Dr Richard Maxwell MBBS FRACS(Plas)
Mr. Richard Maxwell graduated in medicine from Monash University in Melbourne in 1981. He trained in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Alfred Hospital, the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Victorian Plastic Surgery Unit in Melbourne. He completed his training in 1989, gaining the Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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