Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia) Part 3: How Is The Surgery Performed and What Are The Risks? By Michael A. Devlin, MD on April 27, 2015

Male Breast Reduction Surgery and Associated Risks and Complications


Large Male Breasts or Gynecomastia is the overgrowth of breast tissue in men. The technical name to correct this condition is called reduction mammaplasty, and reduces breast size.

In severe cases of gynecomastia, the weight of excess breast tissue may cause the breasts to sag and stretch the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple). In these cases the position and size of the areola can be surgically improved and excess skin may be reduced.Dr. Devlin may use a combination of techniques depending on your individual circumstance to remove the tissue.


In cases where gynecomastia is primarily the result of excess fatty tissue, liposuction techniques alone may be used. There are various liposuction techniques that may be used; the technique most appropriate in your case will be defined prior to your procedure.


Excision is recommended where glandular breast tissue or excess skin must be removed. Excision is the cutting out of breast tissue. It is necessary if the areola will be reduced, or the nipple repositioned to a more natural male contour.

Sometimes gynecomastia is treated with both liposuction and excision. During your consultation Dr. Devlin will address your goals and form a treatment plan based on your individual needs.

Will There Be Scars

Any surgical treatment to correct gynecomastia will require incisions.  Dr. Devlin will try to minimize these scars as well as he can. While most incision lines are concealed within natural contours, some may be visible and are a necessary result of breast reduction surgery. All scars are permanent, even though some scars may be concealed in the natural contours of the breast. Your improved upper body will likely enhance your self-image and confidence, whether in a shirt and tie, a t-shirt, or baring your chest at the beach.

Risks of Male Breast Reduction Surgery

The decision to have gynecomastia surgery is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. Many people mistakenly believe that since this is an elective surgery that risks and complications will not apply. Dr. Devlin will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery during your consultation as well as the pre-operative appointment before your surgery.

You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications. If you are a smoker or have smoked in the past you will be required to sign a smoking consent as well. 


Common Risks and Complications

Unfavorable scarring- Dr. Devlin will follow up with you closely. Sometimes scars can become red, widened or raised.  There are many treatment options for this such as, steroid injections, micro-needing or in scar revision surgery.

Hematoma/Seroma- This is a rare complication but can happen.  A small area of blood or fluid can accumulate.  There may be pain bruising or swelling to the affected area.  This would require Dr. Devlin to drain the area.

Blood Clots in legs- As with type of surgery, there is a potential for developing blood clots in your legs after surgery.  This is an extremely rare event.  You should report any symptoms of swelling, pain or tenderness in one or both legs.

Infection- Dr. Devlin does try to prevent infection as much as possible athough it still does happen. You should report any redness, drainage or chills and fever over 100.5.

Poor wound healing-A rare complication usually associated with individuals that have a history of smoking, diabetes, obesity or poor nutrition.

Changes in nipple or breast sensation - This may be temporary or permanent

Breast contour and shape irregularities and breast asymmetry which may require revision surgery. If liposuction is used, additional risks include uneven contours, rippling or loose skin, irregular pigmentation, excessive fluid loss or fluid accumulation.


As with all types of surgeries Dr. Michael Devlin wants you to be fully informed and prepared.  If you have questions or concerns you may contact our office at any time.  We are here for you and want you to feel comfortable every step of the way.

Contact Devlin Cosmetic Surgery: Michael Devlin, M.D. Today




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Plastic surgeon Michael Devlin, M.D.

Devlin Cosmetic Surgery: Michael Devlin, M.D.

Dr. Devlin is a cosmetic surgeon who provides each of his patients with personalized care and a compassionate approach. He offers a range of procedures in an environment where patients feel safe, comfortable, and heard. He is affiliated with organizations such as the:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (Fellow)
  • American Society of Cosmetic Breast Surgery
  • American Medical Association
  • Arkansas Medical Society
  • Pulaski County Medical Society

To get started on your plastic surgery journey, fill out our form or call (501) 227-8811.


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