Male Breast Reduction Surgery (Surgical Treatment for Gynecomastia) - San Diego, CA*

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Gynecomastia is a condition that can develop in boys and men of all ages that causes excess breast tissue to develop, creating what is commonly known as "man boobs." While there is no definitive cause for gynecomastia, doctors generally believe it is caused by a hormonal imbalance that can affect the growth in one or both breasts. Even though gynecomastia is not usually physically harmful, it can cause embarrassment and pain.  In some cases, gynecomastia will reverse on its own, but if it doesn't, male breast reduction surgery is a good option to remove excess breast tissue. By removing the extra breast tissue caused by gynecomastia, male breast reduction surgery can shape and contour the chest to appear more masculine. At La Jolla Plastic Surgery in San Diego, CA triple board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Chaffoo helps men with gynecomastia feel more confident when enjoying the beautiful Southern California weather without their shirt after male breast reduction surgery.

Before Surgery

Before having male breast reduction surgery, Dr. Chaffoo encourages patients to talk to a general physician to rule out any medical conditions that might be causing their gynecomastia. Dr. Chaffoo also advises patients to be at a healthy, stable weight with a balanced diet and exercise to ensure the problem is excess breast tissue and not normal fat (pseudogynecomastia).

Surgical Technique

Male breast reduction surgery is typically performed with the patient under general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility as an outpatient procedure. Dr. Chaffoo usually takes about 1 – 2 hours to complete a male breast reduction, but some cases may take longer. Dr. Chaffoo will make an incision either under the fold of the chest or under the areola since these locations will make it difficult to detect any scarring after healing. Dr. Chaffoo will insert a cannula into the incisions so he can carefully remove the excess breast tissue until the chest is correctly contoured and even. Once the incisions are closed, you will be put in a compression garment that will promote proper healing.


After surgery, you will be wrapped in a compression garment to stimulate blood flow, increase healing, and keep everything in place. You will need to rest for at least three days after your surgery, but light activity is encouraged after this. There will be swelling and bruising for 2 – 3 weeks, but you should be able to return to non-active work a week after surgery. Dr. Chaffoo recommends patients avoid any movement from the shoulder to avoid putting strain on the chest muscles and tissue.


Depending on the severity of your case, you may see some improvements immediately after your breast reduction surgery, but the final results will not be visible for at least 3 – 6 months when the swelling is gone. If the patient maintains a healthy, stable weight after their gynecomastia treatment surgery, the results should be permanent. Any significant weight changes or hormone imbalances may alter the results and require a second surgery.

Expected Costs

During the initial consultation Dr. Chaffoo will discuss your concerns and goals and then perform a physical exam to determine your best treatment options. The price of male breast reduction overview is typically based on the complexity of the case, but most patients pay around $4,000 - $6,000. Health insurance may cover some of your costs or our office can help you find medical financing.

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Average Cost  
$4,000 - $6,000
Recovery Time  
2 - 3 Weeks
Average Procedure Time  
1 - 2 Hours
Post-op Follow-up  
Procedure Recovery Location  
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Male Breast Reduction FAQs

Conditions Treated?

Male breast reduction surgery is for patients with diagnosed gynecomastia in one or both sides of the chest. Patients should have:

  • Excessive breast tissue
  • Talked to a doctor about possible causes of their gynecomastia and tried nonsurgical treatments
  • Be at a healthy, stable weight
  • Good skin elasticity
  • Physical pain or discomfort caused by gynecomastia
  • Self-consciousness about the appearance of their chest

Combining Treatments?

If you need a lot of breast tissue removed or your skin lacks elasticity, a lift may be needed during male breast reduction surgery to remove excess skin for ideal results. Dr. Chaffoo will determine if a lift is needed during the initial consultation after he examines the size of the breasts and the condition of the skin.

Potential Risks?

Like all surgeries, male breast reduction for gynecomastia has the same standard risk of adverse or allergic reactions, infection, loss of sensation, and scarring. You can minimize your risks during surgery by disclosing your full medical history during the initial consultation, plus following all pre- and post-surgery instructions. Talk to Dr. Chaffoo about any concerns you have before your surgery.

Eliminating Puffy Nipples?

Some patients may have gynecomastia with "puffy nipple areola complex" or puffy nipples alone without excess breast tissue in the rest of the chest. This form of gynecomastia is more common in younger patients, who have excess breast tissue that is localized under the areola complex creating the appearance of a puffy or dome-shaped nipple. Puffy nipples caused by gynecomastia can be treated with a modified version of male breast reduction surgery.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.