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Gynecomastia Surgery

(Male Breast Reduction)
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St. Luke’s gynecomastia surgeons are among the Lehigh Valley’s most skilled and experienced. Our providers are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, having completed extensive training that leads to a rigorous certification process. And due to our large network of over 12 hospital sites, we have access to the latest technology. These resources allow us to perform minimally invasive procedures with results you can be proud of. 

What is gynecomastia surgery?

Gynecomastia surgery—also known as a male breast reduction—reduces breast size resulting from increased breast gland tissue. During the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision based on your desired outcome. Then, they’ll perform liposuction or an excision before closing the incision. 

Gynecomastia can be caused by genetics, hormonal changes, obesity, or certain drugs. Regardless, male breast enlargement can negatively impact your self-esteem. Some men even avoid physical activity or intimacy just to hide their condition. This surgery, specially designed for men, can correct gynecomastia and give you a more contoured chest.

If you want to learn more about male breast reduction—or schedule a consultation with a male breast reduction surgeon in the Lehigh Valley—then contact St. Luke’s Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.


Gynecomastia surgery candidates include adults with the following characteristics:

  • Breast size not responding to other forms of treatment
  • Imbalanced estrogen and testosterone
  • Weight gain from breast size
  • Oversized breasts
  • Realistic expectations
  • Pain from excess breast tissue

Male breast reduction includes surgery, liposuction, or both—depending on your desired results. This procedure is highly customizable, so you can have a chest you’re comfortable with. 

Schedule a consultation with a St. Luke’s gynecomastia surgeon in the Lehigh Valley to determine if male breast reduction surgery is right for you. 

Getting gynecomastia surgery can positively impact your wellbeing and self-confidence. The following list includes some of the most commonly reported benefits:

  • A more masculine figure
  • Feeling more comfortable without a shift
  • Improved posture
  • Better body proportions
  • Additional clothing options
  • Easier time maintaining a healthy weight

Gynecomastia surgery is typically performed for cosmetic reasons—although it can also be done to reduce pain caused by excess breast tissue. This procedure can dramatically improve your body image and help you feel better about your appearance.

As with all surgeries, gynecomastia surgery has risks. Some of them include the following:

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Breast asymmetry
  • Change in sensation
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Scarring
  • Uneven breasts

Your surgeon will review a complete list of risks before getting your consent.

Before the procedure

In the time leading up to your male breast reduction surgery at St. Luke’s Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, you can take steps to make your procedure as safe as possible. These include discussing the following topics at your surgical consultation:

  • Goals and expectations
  • Surgical options
  • Results
  • Recovery

As part of your consultation, your surgeon will also do a complete evaluation—which may include the following items:

  • Ordering lab work
  • Taking “before” photos for comparison
  • Assessing medical conditions, allergies, and medical limitations
  • Reviewing medications, supplements, alcohol, tobacco, or drug use 

A week before the procedure, you can prepare at home in the following ways:

  • Filling outstanding prescriptions
  • Purchasing any medical supplies as needed
  • Coordinating transportation and meals as needed
  • Staying hydrated

You should arrive early on the day of your procedure to avoid travel delays.

During the procedure

Your surgeon will work with you to determine the best type of procedure to achieve your desired results. Gynecomastia surgery lasts one to two hours, and you’ll typically return home the same day. A cosmetic male breast reduction can correct oversized breasts, nipples, or areolas.


With liposuction, a surgeon will remove excess fat in the breast. This procedure is relatively quick and minimally invasive—though it will not remove the tissue glands that cause the appearance of enlarged breasts. However, liposuction is typically well-suited for pseudogynecomastia (excess adipose tissue behind, under, and around the nipples).


With a mastectomy, a surgeon will remove the glandular breast tissue. This procedure—also called an excision—is more invasive but can have longer-lasting results. Consequently, a mastectomy is preferred for stretched or sagging skin on the chest.

After the procedure

You’ll experience swelling after your procedure–so you may not see your final results for up to six months. You’ll also have incision lines that will fade over time. Male breast reduction is a permanent procedure, though you may need follow-up surgeries to tighten or reposition the breasts. Most men feel more attractive after this procedure and are happy with their results.

Your St. Luke’s plastic surgeon will customize your procedure based on your desired treatment results. The typical recovery milestones include the following: 

  • One day after surgery: You may be groggy and tired, but you shouldn’t experience much discomfort due to the compression garment. You’ll have an appointment with your surgeon for a dressing change. Note that you should avoid taking a shower for 24 hours.
  • Two to three days after surgery: You’ll experience pain, tightness, or tenderness now that the anesthesia has worn off–so your surgeon will likely prescribe pain medication. Additionally, your surgeon can recommend ways to minimize swelling and discomfort. You should be wearing your compression garment 24 hours per day.
  • One week after surgery: Your swelling and pain should start to decrease. Additionally, you may return to work and light physical activity. However, you should avoid strenuous activities until approved by your surgeon. If you’ve had stitches, then they’ll be removed. But you’ll still wear your compression garment.
  • Two weeks after surgery: You should have minimal pain when performing everyday activities–though you should still avoid strenuous and sexual activities. You should continue to wear your compression garment throughout the day. And if you have drains, they should be removed by this point.
  • Three to four weeks after surgery: You’ll likely be cleared for everyday physical activity–though you should still avoid exercises that target the chest. You’ll no longer need to wear your compression garment.
  • Six weeks after surgery: You’ll likely be able to return to all activities, including strenuous exercise involving the chest. You shouldn’t experience pain or discomfort when performing any activities.