Male breast reduction surgery/chest reduction surgery

Excess breast tissue in men – a condition called gynaecomastia and commonly referred to as ‘man boobs’ or ‘moobs’ – can be removed through male breast reduction surgery or liposuction.

Mr Chris Fenn, consultant plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon based in Leeds, West Yorkshire has significant experience in performing male breast reduction surgery on men who would like to improve the appearance of their chest.

What is male breast reduction surgery?

Gynaecomastia/chest reduction surgery is a cosmetic surgery procedure performed to create a flatter, firmer chest by removing surplus fat, breast tissue and if necessary, loose, sagging skin.

What are the benefits of male breast reduction surgery?

There are a number of reasons as to why some men develop ‘man boobs’. Overly large male breasts can develop through:

  • a hormone imbalance which has triggered an abnormal growth in the glandular tissue beneath the breast 
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • obesity or after considerable weight loss
  • the natural ageing process, often associated with some weight gain
  • use of certain medications/drugs
  • the body’s inability to lose the excess breast tissue frequently developed during puberty

In most cases however, the specific underlying cause is unknown. 

Men with surplus breast tissue generally say that their ‘man boobs’ make them feel very self-conscious about the way they look. They feel they have to hide their chest area as they are so embarrassed by their enlarged breasts. As well as being limited in their choice of clothing they also avoid activities which involve removing their top or shirt – such as swimming. 

Following male breast reduction surgery, men often say that the operation has improved their lives. They feel more masculine and as a result they have greater self-confidence and self-esteem.  In addition, they are able to wear more fitted shirts or tops and feel comfortable on the occasions when they have to be bare-chested.

Am I suitable for male breast reduction surgery?

Gynaecomastia surgery could be an option for you if you have an enlarged chest or loose sagging skin across the breast area. 

If surgery is something you would like to consider, the first thing you need to do is organise an outpatient appointment with Mr Chris Fenn.

If the ‘man boobs’ have developed due to obesity or excessive alcohol consumption then Mr Fenn may recommend that you adopt a healthy diet and exercise frequently to see if lifestyle changes improve your chest appearance. 

Likewise, Mr Fenn may suggest that you have a hormone blood test if he suspects there could be an imbalance. If this is proven to be the case, he will refer you to see a consultant endocrinologist (a doctor that specialises in hormone imbalances).

Either way, after a physical examination and a discussion about your medical history, Mr Fenn will be able to confirm whether you would benefit from male breast reduction surgery or alternative treatment.

To help you make an informed decision, Mr Fenn will encourage you to ask questions during the appointment and will advise you to think about the treatment for some time before you decide to go ahead.

What does male breast reduction surgery involve?

The procedure, which takes approximately 1 ½ hours and is performed under a general anaesthetic, usually involves an overnight night stay in hospital.

There are two surgical options available; liposuction and surgical incision. The surgical technique used will very much depend on the volume of breast tissue to be removed and whether or not skin reduction is required. In some cases, both liposuction and surgical incision is necessary.

Liposuction –  used to improve chest appearance when the amount of tissue to be removed is small

Two small incisions are made on the side of the chest. Using liposuction, the fatty excess tissue is removed. This procedure is effective at reducing the overall size and volume of the breast zone and whilst it doesn’t create a completely flat chest, it does have the advantage of leaving minimal, unnoticeable scarring.

Surgical excision – used when the volume of tissue to be removed is extensive   

Incisions are made just under the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple) and the excess fat/ glandular tissue is cut out, achieving a dramatic reduction in volume and size.

In some cases, particularly after sizeable weight loss, sagging skin also needs to be removed and the nipples repositioned to match the new chest contour.

The incisions are usually along the lower edge of the areola but sometimes can extend further. The exact pattern of scarring will vary from person to person depending on the volume of skin and tissue to be excised. Mr Fenn will be able to give you a clearer indication of where your scarring will be during your initial consultation. 

Surgical excision tends to flatten and improve the look of the chest more than liposuction alone but it does involve more noticeable scarring.

How long does it take to recover?

You will need to wear an elastic garment or lycra top for a few weeks after the operation. As well as helping to relieve discomfort and reduce swelling, the bandage will help the chest maintain its new shape whilst it heals. 

Painkilling medication will also help you to manage any pain that you may experience.

The amount of time you will need off work will depend on the procedure performed and on the nature of your job but most people tend to return to work within two weeks of surgery. While you will be asked to keep mobile, you will be advised to avoid any strenuous activity for approximately four weeks. 

You will need to return to the hospital for a series of follow up appointments with both Mr Fenn and the cosmetic surgery nursing team to make sure your wounds are healing as they should.

Can anything be done to improve the appearance of the chest after previous gynaecomastia surgery?

There are several surgical options which can help improve the look of the chest after previous ‘moobs’ surgery. These include chest reconstruction, scar revision and lipomodelling. 

Mr Chris Fenn has significant experience in all types of breast/chest reconstruction surgery and is recognised by his peers as being an expert in this type of surgery.

If you would to find out if Mr Fenn is able to help you, please arrange an out-patient consultation by calling 0113 218 5971 

How much does male breast reduction surgery cost?

If you would like to know the price for gynaecomastia surgery, contact Mr Chris Fenn’s secretary, Claire Bartle-Coates on 0113 218 5971, email or complete an on-line enquiry form.

How do I find out more about male breast reduction surgery?

To find out more about male breast reduction surgery or to book a consultation with Mr Chris Fenn, call his secretary Claire Bartle-Coates on 0113 218 5971, email or complete an on-line enquiry form.