Home/Breast Surgery/Gynecomastia Treatment (Male Breast Reduction)

If enlarged male breasts are diminishing your confidence, our Santa Barbara board-certified plastic surgeon can formulate a treatment plan to virtually eliminate your gynecomastia and create a more masculine chest contour. Male breast reduction has proven to be a highly effective treatment for gynecomastia that involves virtually invisible scarring and minimal downtime. Dr. Schooler is extensively experienced in achieving outcomes with male breast reduction that look natural and harmonious to your body.

What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a condition characterized by overdeveloped breasts in men. While the exact cause of gynecomastia isn’t confirmed, the swelling of male breast tissue is generally thought to be caused by a hormonal imbalance, increased body fat, or certain medications. Gynecomastia does not usually present any medical problems or health complications, but the appearance of breasts in men can often lead to embarrassment, self-consciousness, or a negative body image. In addition, men affected by gynecomastia can be at a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Fortunately, gynecomastia can be successfully treated with a relatively simple male breast reduction procedure, which is designed to remove the fatty and/or glandular tissue that contribute to visible breasts in men.

Who is a Candidate for Male Breast Reduction?

Men interested in surgical gynecomastia treatment should have no unmanaged medical conditions and be in good enough health to undergo breast surgery. Indications that you may benefit from male breast reduction include:

  • Swollen or enlarged breast tissue
  • Tenderness around the breasts
  • A bump or lump behind the nipple(s)

Realistic expectations of what male breast reduction can accomplish are also key to achieving satisfactory results after the procedure. Dr. Schooler will help you understand what you can expect from male breast reduction by explaining the risks and benefits of the surgery, as well as showing you before-and-after photos, during your consultation.

How is Male Breast Reduction Surgery Performed?

Surgical gynecomastia treatment involves a procedure that utilizes either local anesthesia and sedation, or general anesthesia. Your surgery will take place in our AAAASF-accredited operating facility, saving you the expense of hospital fees. Depending on whether your enlarged breasts are composed of fat, glandular tissue, or both, male breast reduction is generally performed using the following techniques:


Visible breasts caused by excess fat can be reduced with liposuction, a procedure that suctions out fat cells using a narrow cannula. The incisions made for fat removal via liposuction are typically very small and placed discreetly within the lower border of the areola. Dr. Schooler will extract the fatty tissue to flatten the planes of the chest and achieve a very natural-looking, masculine contour.

Tissue Excision

If the surrounding skin is loose/stretched, or glandular tissue is contributing to the look of enlarged breasts, tissue excision may be necessary in addition to (or instead of) liposuction. With tissue excision, Dr. Schooler can remove a greater amount of breast tissue, address inelastic breast skin, and create a more aesthetic result. Like the liposuction technique, incisions are often placed inconspicuously along the borders of the areola.

What is Recovery From Gynecomastia Treatment Like?

After male breast reduction, the recovery period is often relatively smooth. If your gynecomastia was treated using only liposuction, the healing process is generally faster when compared to the surgical excision technique. In any case, most patients feel well enough to return to work or school after only a few days. Pain is typically minimal and easily tolerable with over-the-counter medications, although some soreness and swelling are to be expected. Dr. Schooler will instruct you to avoid exercise, heavy lifting, and strenuous activity for at least four weeks. You should notice an almost immediate improvement in the contour of your chest, and scars are usually imperceptible to outside observers thanks to Dr. Schooler’s diligent surgical technique.

Gynecomastia can be an uncomfortable and frustrating condition to live with, but a male breast reduction procedure may be the perfect solution to restore your confidence. To schedule a private consultation with Dr. Schooler or to learn more about surgery, please contact Santa Barbara Plastic Surgery Center today.