Can Gynecomastia be Cured by Liposuction Alone?

Before and After gland excision and liposuction photo
Before and After gland excision and liposuction

Numerous San Jose men have asked if it is possible to have male breast reduction done by liposuction alone. Liposuction would seem to be a quick fix, and many surgeons offer this, which accounts for many of the gynecomastia redo surgeries.

Liposuction definitely has its place in the surgical procedure, but only in select cases can it provide the result that men want. The gynecomastia breast in most cases is made up of glandular tissue and fat. Liposuction does a good job of removing the fat, but the breast tissue, which is present in almost all cases, is too dense to be removed by the cannula. Breast tissue needs to be removed by surgical excision.

Having said this, there is an exception. If the condition is not true gynecomastia, but what is known as “pseudo-gynecomastia”, then removal by liposuction alone is possible. Pseudo-gynecomastia is where the enlarged breast is caused by fat alone. The patient usually cannot determine if his male breasts are true gynecomastia or pseudo-gynecomastia but should be evaluated by a gynecomastia specialist. If the enlarged breasts are caused by fat alone, weight loss can help reduce the size of the breasts, if that doesn’t work then liposuction would be in order.

Some surgeons who have not had training in gynecomastia surgery attempt to reduce the male breasts by liposuction alone when excision of the breast tissue is necessary. The result is now without the supporting fat; the breast tissue can appear even more prominent, giving the patient a very disappointing result, usually requiring “redo” surgery. Unfortunately, when the surgery needs to be redone, it is much more difficult for now there is scar tissue to be dealt with, and in many cases, the skin has lost much of its elasticity. I would say in my San Francisco Bay Area practice, a good 35% to 40% of my gynecomastia surgical cases are “redo” cases performed by other surgeons who attempted liposuction alone, or where too much or not enough tissue has been removed.