For patients that have gynecomastia (i.e., enlarged glandular, or breast, tissue in males), the problem can be more serious than a simple cosmetic concern. Having gynecomastia can lower an individual’s self-esteem and desire for social interaction. Many of my male patients with gynecomastia often feel embarrassed and insecure about their chest area, and may avoid activities that require them to take off their shirt, such as swimming or lounging at the beach.

About Male Breast Reshaping

gynecomastiaAt Michaels Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, we realize that having gynecomastia can negatively impact a male’s mental wellbeing, especially in young adults. The good news is that Dr. Joseph Michaels offers patients male breast reshaping (male breast reduction) surgery to contour the chest area, restoring his male patients’ self-image and self-confidence.

Gynecomastia can occur in up to about 60 percent of males. The condition often develops during puberty and can continue into adulthood. Gynecomastia may be caused by several factors, including hormonal fluctuations and the habitual use of certain medications (e.g., steroids) and drugs (e.g., marijuana). Because Dr. Michaels specializes in after-weight loss body contouring, many of the patients he sees in his practice who have gynecomastia have developed the condition as a direct result of major weight loss. True clinical gynecomastia is characterized by enlarged male breast tissue. It can only be corrected with breast reduction surgery, during which Dr. Michaels excises the overly pronounced breast tissue and any excess skin.

Although many weight loss patients have excess male breast tissue (true gynecomastia), they often have a significant amount of excess fat in their chest that contributes to male breast enlargement. When excessive fat and skin is the main contributor to male breast enlargement, this is referred to as pseudo-gynecomastia. To correct this problem, Dr. Michaels offers several techniques to remove this excess fat including liposuction surgery. He can also combine multiple surgical techniques, if needed, to remove excess skin and to raise the nipple-areolar complex to an appropriate position, providing you with an excellent chest-contouring result.

Before and After Photos


During your consultation, Dr. Michaels will discuss your aesthetic concerns and he will perform a comprehensive examination. Based on how much glandular tissue, unwanted fat and excess skin is present throughout your chest area, Dr. Michaels will tailor a treatment plan specifically to address your concerns and meet your cosmetic goals.

When performed as a standalone procedure, male breast reshaping surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, typically under general anesthesia. The duration of surgery varies, depending on which surgical technique the patient requires and whether multiple techniques must be performed at the same time to optimize your contour. Given that many post-weight loss patients have more than one area that they would like to correct, it is not uncommon for Dr. Michaels to combine this procedure with another body contouring procedure to correct another area of concern simultaneously.

gynecomastia surgeryIf your chest enlargement is mainly due to excessive fatty tissue alone and there is minimal skin excess with good skin tone, liposuction alone of the chest area is often sufficient to contour the area. Liposuction is a quicker procedure than surgery requiring tissue excision or a combination of liposuction and excision.

If you have excessive glandular tissue with minimal excess skin and good skin elasticity, Dr. Michaels will often combine liposuction with direct excision of residual male breast tissue. He starts the male breast reshaping procedure by performing liposuction, often using ultrasound-assisted liposuction to help break up the male breast tissue, and, once this is complete, he makes a determination of whether any residual breast tissue needs to be directly excised. This is performed by making a well-hidden incision along the areola (the darker-pigmented skin around the nipples). He then removes any excess glandular tissue before closing the incisions.

If the individual has enlarged areolas or a small amount of excess skin in addition to excessive glandular tissue, Dr. Michaels may need to make longer incisions that extend around the circumference of the areolas, to reduce their size and remove the excess skin. For some patients, it is not safe to remove both the skin and excess glandular tissue at the same time. For these patients, excess skin removal may need to be performed during a secondary procedure that can often be performed under local anesthesia, in the office. In nearly all cases, because Dr. Michaels positions the incisions on the areolas, the resulting scars will be easily concealed within the darker areola skin. In addition, with proper care, the color of the scars will fade, so that it is nearly imperceptible.

If you have undergone significant weight loss, you may have extensive excess skin throughout your chest region. These patients may benefit from a specialized technique that removes an elliptical piece of skin from the base of the chest and repositions the nipple and areola to its proper position. With this technique, Dr. Michaels can maintain your nipple sensation. The procedure is specifically designed for male after-weight loss patients.

If you are a male with enlarged breasts and you avoid certain social situations because you might have to remove your shirt, it is time to stop feeling self-conscious about your chest and time to consider corrective male breast shaping surgery, so you will be able to take off your shirt with confidence.

Quick Facts


1-3 hours (depending on the extent of the procedure)




Usually outpatient

Side effects

Temporary swelling, bruising and some pain


Pain, bleeding, infection, asymmetry, damage to nerves (in rare cases), incomplete improvement


1 week: back at work. 1-2 weeks: light exercise only. 3-4 weeks: more strenuous activity allowed. 8-12 weeks: swelling resolves and patient can resume normal activity.

To schedule a private consultation with Dr. Michaels to learn more about male breast reshaping surgery, contact Michaels Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery by calling 301-468-5991 or 703-957-8610, or by clicking here.