Male Breast Reduction

Procedure time

1 to 3 hours

Overnight stay

1 Night


General or local with sedation

Final results

6 Months

A male breast reduction is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures for men in the UK. The procedure involves removing excess breast tissue and fat to reduce the size of the breast and create a firmer, more defined chest contour. The medical term for the procedure is gynaecomastia surgery. It is important to have a good understanding of the treatment before you have your surgery. This male breast reduction overview can give you a good starting introduction.

What is gynaecomastia?

Gynaecomastia is a common medical condition that is seen in men of varying ages. It is the enlargement of breast tissue in men. 

It is not always clear why this occurs. However, some causes can include obesity, hormonal changes, use of certain drugs or certain medical conditions.
Prior to having surgery, you should try and see if these causes may be the reason for your gynaecomastia. 

It is important to check because you may be able to reverse it by stopping taking certain medications and drugs. It is also important to try to lose weight first before having treatment, as this may also be the cause.

What can a male breast reduction achieve?

Enlarged breast tissue can have a negative impact on your self-esteem and be a source of emotional distress. You may feel that the excess breast tissue and excess skin in the area of your chest have given your chest more of a feminine look. As a result, you may consider a breast reduction. A male breast reduction procedure can help:

  • Remove excess breast tissue.
  • Remove excess skin in the chest area.
  • Achieve a more masculine looking chest.

In addition to physical changes, this procedure can help boost your confidence.


Many men are unhappy with how their chest looks due to the presence of excess breast tissue. Male breast tissue enlargement, or gynaecomastia, is a common condition. The most suitable male breast reduction candidates include men who:

  • Have had no response to previous medical treatment.
  • Have seen little to no improvement in their breasts after weight loss.
  • Feel self-conscious and insecure because of their breast enlargement.
  • Currently, have a stable breast size.
  • Want an effective solution that will give long-lasting results.
  • Are not currently suffering from any serious medical conditions.
  • Have realistic goals.
  • Have a healthy BMI less than 30.

Both adult and adolescent men can develop breast enlargement. Adolescent men may also be suitable for this procedure, however, it is important to note that they are often at an age where the body is still developing. As a result, they may require a further procedure after their first surgery.

How is a male breast reduction procedure performed?

A male breast reduction procedure generally takes between 1 to 3 hours to perform. The use of general anesthetic will ensure you are asleep for the duration of your procedure. Your procedure could be a day case or you may need to stay in overnight.

1. Consent Form

You will first meet with your surgeon before the operation to sign a consent form. They will ask you to sign the form either at your preoperative assessment or on the day of your operation.
After you have given your consent, your surgeon will use a marker to draw lines on your chest and discuss the goals of your reduction. In addition, your surgeon may ask for permission to take before and after pictures of your chest for your medical records.

2. Anaesthesia

Before your procedure, your anaesthetist will have to give you an anaesthetic. The surgery can be done either using a general anaesthetic or a local anaesthetic with IV (intravenous) sedation. The choice of which anaesthetic to use will be made before you have your surgery.

3. Incisions

The technique your surgeon chooses to use for your male breast reduction procedure will depend on the amount of fat, excess breast tissue and excess skin you have. Depending on the degree of breast enlargement, your surgeon may use liposuction, a breast tissue removal technique or a combination of both. If you have a small amount of breast enlargement, your surgeon may use liposuction alone to remove excess fat. If you have more severe breast enlargement, your surgeon may use both liposuction and a breast tissue removal technique to remove the excess breast tissue and/or skin. The greater the amount of excess breast tissue and skin you have, the bigger the incision will be.

If your surgeon chooses only to use liposuction, they will create various small incisions below the breast and under the armpit.

If you only have a small amount of breast tissue that your surgeon needs to remove, they may use a periareolar incision. Your surgeon will make the incision halfway around the circumference of the areola.

If you have a moderate amount of excess breast tissue and skin, your surgeon may use a vertical incision. This requires your surgeon to make a cut around the whole areola, and a cut vertically down to the breast fold.

If you have a large amount of excess breast tissue and skin, your surgeon may use an Anchor-T incision to perform the reduction. This is similar to a vertical incision but requires an extra cut to be made along the breast fold.

4. Closing of incisions

Next, your surgeon will use sutures to close the incisions and will apply a dressing over your chest. They may also place a drainage tube under the skin. This will help to reduce swelling and bruising in that area.

5. Return to the ward

Finally, once your surgery is complete you will return to the ward to recover from the anesthetic. You  will be able to return home on that day or the next day. Despite being able to return home, be aware your breasts will remain sensitive and tender for the next several weeks.

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