Breast and breast-related concerns are not just among women. Men too experience issues relating to their breasts. Many women suffer from a wide range of breast issues such as enlarged breasts, inverted nipples, flat chest, small breasts, nipple discharge and more. In men, most of the breast concerns are caused by gynecomastia or male breasts. Irrespective of one’s gender, breast issues can hinder emotional wellbeing and affect normal life. Many men tend to hide enlarged breasts by wearing baggy clothes, avoiding social gatherings, avoiding swimming pools, showcasing reluctance to find or interact with a partner and more. Women find themselves being bullied for too large or too small breasts and lose the confidence to carry themselves well. Most breast issues can be medically treated with or without surgery. Breast reduction is a common procedure done to treat gynecomastia in men and reduce the volume of the breasts in women. In this blog, let us take a look at the differences in the breast reduction surgery conducted on men and women.

Breast reduction or reduction mammoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that is done to reduce the size of large breasts. Excess tissues, fat and skin is removed reducing the size of the breasts. This procedure differs in the way it is done on men and women. The results are aimed at meeting specific needs for both the gender and hence the procedure slightly differs in the way it is performed. Breast reduction surgery has been performed since the 1930s and is a safe procedure for breast reduction.

Male breast reduction

Male breast reduction surgery is the most considered technique to reduce the breast size in men with gynecomastia. It is commonly advised that men go ahead with surgery for gynecomastia since other techniques such as liposuction might not give lasting results. Since the male breasts are made up of tissues more than fat, surgical reduction would be the right solution.

The incision done on men differs from what is done on a woman for breast reduction. Since the goal is to remove excess tissue, the incision is done in a way to aid this. And the scars that male breast reduction surgery leaves behind is minimal.

Female breast reduction

In women, the main reason to consider a breast reduction procedure is both aesthetic and functional. Women with very large breasts suffer from back pain, neck pain and other discomforts which hinder their day-to-day activities. The idea of a breast reduction in women is to remove excess fat more than tissue. The incision pattern in female breast reduction surgery is different from what is done n men and could leave behind visible scars.

Most often, a breast lift is done along with breast reduction. When excess tissue and fat is removed, the breasts tend to sag down a bit. In order to prevent breast sagginess, a breast lift is usually done along with the breast reduction procedure. The nipples are positioned in such a way that the breast appears firm and youthful.

Differences between male and female breast reduction surgery

Incision type: In men, the incision is made sure to be as minimal as possible since they would want to be comfortable without the shirt. In women, the incision is often hidden in the areola region or on the creases of the breast. Even invasive incisions are hidden well this way.

Fat excision – Depending on whether the gynecomastia is due to excess fat or tissue, the fat removal process is decided. In some men, surgery along with liposuction is considered. In the case of women, fat is preferably removed by means of surgery.

Surgical technique – Depending on the extent of breast reduction, specific types of surgical techniques are considered. While choosing the technique, minimal scarring and post-operative complications are factors that are taken into account.

Breast reduction recovery

The recovery time for a breast reduction surgery is close to four to six weeks. It might not be possible for patients to drive, involve in household work or childcare and travel to work until complete recovery. Hence, it is important to arrange for help before considering the surgery.

Pre-procedural care:

It is important to stay away from anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory medications, alcohol and smoking for a week before the procedure. Pregnant women and patients with health disorders such as heart diseases or high blood pressure must stay away from the surgery.

Post-procedural care:

Post breast reduction, appropriate care for close to four weeks is important for complete recovery. Patients must take enough rest, nutritional food and good sleep. It is advised to sleep on the back until recovery to avoid pain or any complications.

Side-effects of breast reduction surgery

Moderate pain and discomfort immediately after surgery are the most common side-effects of the surgery. other complications include:

  • Excessive blood loss
  • Infections
  • Scarring
  • Loss of sensation in the nipple region
  • Reactions to medications or anesthesia

Breast reduction surgery before and after

In women

In men (gynecomastia surgery)

Breast reduction cost in India

A breast reduction surgery in women would cost between INR 40K to 3 lakhs in India. The exact cost would depend upon the extent of reduction needed, the city and clinic chosen, the patient’s medical conditions and any complications that may arise post-surgery. for male breast reduction surgery, the cost would be around INR 65-90k. Male breast reduction costs could again vary depending on the city and the clinic chosen. Breast reduction and lift costs between INR 1 to 3 lakhs. Every breast reduction procedure comes with its pros and cons. It is important to discuss in detail to understand how effective the surgery would be based on one’s need

Breast reduction without surgery

Though a breast reduction surgery is the long lasting solution to correct the size of the breasts, one could try other non-surgical techniques. Some of these include:

  • Exercises such as push-ups, aerobics, jogging, cycling and power walking can help with losing breast fat.
  • A balanced and nutritional diet can also help in maintaining the breast size to be optimal
  • Liposuction – This is a type of cosmetic procedure where fat is removed from the breasts by creating two small incisions.
  • Certain pills and medications for breast reduction are available, though the efficacy of these are limited.

Breast reduction surgeries have positively impacted many lives. Individuals have attained better physical, emotional and social wellbeing post their surgeries. Breast concerns that held them back from giving their best and progressing in life is changed for the better with breast reduction.

It is also extremely important to choose an experienced surgeon. The surgery is invasive and would come with complications if the patient is treated erroneously. Patients must take care of the below three points in choosing the right doctor.

  • Board-certification – Surgeons who are board-certified to conduct cosmetic surgeries will most definitely come with a higher level of experience and expertise.
  • Past success graph – It would be good to get an understanding of the doctor’s review and patient experiences.
  • Your comfort with the doctor – At the end of the day, the patient needs to feel trust and comfort in the doctor. Make sure the doctor you are consulting is the one you look up to.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. How many cup sizes can you go down with breast reduction?

Most breast reduction procedures help women go down by at least two cup sizes. There are many factors that determine how much of a size reduction can be made possible. Some factors are the composition of the breasts, incision type, the volume of the breasts and others. If the breast is made of excess fat, the reduction would be significant.

  • Does insurance cover male breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery in men is not covered under insurance because its seen as a cosmetic procedure than medical. However, there are options for EMI from various finance lenders and one could consider these.

  • Does a breast reduction include a lift?

A breast lift is often done along with a breast reduction surgery. After the removal of excess tissue and skin, the breast is given a lift along with the nipple being moved to fit right.

  • Do breasts sag after breast reduction?

Sagging of the breasts is a natural process. As age increases, the breast sag because of the loss of elasticity of the breast tissues. With a breast reduction surgery, the size of the breasts decreases making the chances of noticeable sagging way lesser. However, it is impossible to escape from aging and the impact of gravity.

  • How much tissue can be removed in a breast reduction?

Depending on the extent of breast reduction needed, the surgeon could remove one-third or two-third of the breast tissues/fats.

  • Do you lose weight after breast reduction?

Though breast reduction surgery does not have much impact on weight loss, the procedure does cause a minimal reduction in weight. This is because of the loss of tissue or fat from the body. However, the change is very negligible and cannot be considered as a weight-loss method.

  • Can I get a breast reduction if I’m overweight?

Individuals who are obese should consider breast reduction surgery only after a thorough discussion with the doctor. The chances of risks and complications are higher in overweight individuals. It might also be important to lose weight to get breast reduction surgery in some cases.

  • Do breasts grow back after reduction?

Although rare, there is a chance that the breasts could grow back after a breast reduction. The main reasons for breasts to grow back are

  • Pregnancy
  • Aging
  • Hormonal imbalance or disorders
  • Menopause
  • Side-effect of certain medications
  • How long do I have to sleep on my back after breast reduction?

It would not be possible for patients to sleep on their stomach following a breast reduction procedure. It is advised to sleep in an elevated position or on the back for close to six weeks or until complete recovery.

  1. What is the fastest way to recover from a breast reduction?

To enable faster recovery and complete healing, patients must adhere to the below measures.

  • Ensure proper rest, a balanced and nutritious diet and enough water
  • Take medications as prescribed by the doctor
  • Follow pain reduction techniques and measures
  • Ensure minimal movements until complete recovery
  • Follow appropriate hygiene as advised by the medical practitioner
  1. How long do breasts stay swollen after reduction?

Swelling is a common side-effect of most surgeries. Most of the swelling would decrease on its own in four to six weeks while it might take close to three months for it to reduce entirely.

  1. Does breast milk add weight?

Breast milk can add weight to the breasts. There is an increase of about 35% heaviness in the breasts of a breastfeeding mother. This is because of the storage of milk in the ducts. Though the breasts get heavier, there is no solid evidence of breast milk adding to the person’s weight. In fact, most women lose weight while they are breastfeeding.

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