Gynecomastia Surgery: Male Breast Reduction | MedStar Health
Male Breast Reduction Overview

Gynecomastia is a condition that causes swelling of breast tissue in men, which can be sensitive or painful. When the condition cannot be resolved through lifestyle changes or medical therapy, we can help.

A male breast reduction procedure typically involves liposuction and surgical removal of fat and glandular tissue. Incisions are made near the pigmented areas of the nipple, so scars are well hidden after the surgery. In severe cases, excess tissue and skin may also be removed.

Planning and recovery

What to expect

Male breast reductions are typically performed using local anesthesia to numb the area, or with sedation or general anesthesia. Your doctor will make a small incision on each side of your chest, either around the pigmented edge of the areola or under the armpit. Through these incisions, your doctor will remove excess tissue using liposuction, while sculpting a new chest shape.


After the procedure, you’ll be given a compression garment to help minimize swelling and support healing tissue. You’ll typically return home on the day of surgery with instructions from your doctor.

After returning home, you’ll wear your compression garment for a couple of weeks, and take any prescribed medications for pain and to prevent infection. While you’ll be instructed to avoid exercise for about three weeks, most men can return to work or daily activities within a few days. Your scars, while permanent, will fade over time and will be as inconspicuous as possible.

Frequently asked questions

  • Am I a candidate for male breast reduction?

    You may be a good candidate if:

    • You’re physically healthy

    • You’re at a healthy weight

    • You don’t drink alcohol excessively, smoke marijuana, or take anabolic steroids (all of which are associated with gynecomastia development)

    Men who are overweight should first attempt to lose weight, as this may reduce tissue enough that surgery isn’t required.

  • How much does male breast reduction cost?

    The costs for male breast reduction vary based on your specific needs. Some insurance plans cover this procedure when specific criteria are met.

    When you come in for your consultation visit, we’ll be better able to discuss fees in detail with you. Our staff will also review the financing options available.

  • Is this covered by insurance?

    In most cases, male breast reduction is not covered by insurance; however, there are some exceptions when specific criteria are met. It’s always best to discuss coverage questions with your insurance carrier. If your insurance covers the procedure, our office will help you with the necessary paperwork for approval.

  • Do I need a referral to your office?

    If you’re exploring options for insurance coverage, you may need to request a referral from your primary care doctor, depending on your health insurance plan. Check with your carrier to see if medical coverage is an option for you and, if so, whether a referral is required.

  • What are the risks?

    As with any surgery, gynecomastia surgery does pose some risks. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, these may include:

    • Anesthesia complications

    • Bleeding

    • Damage to deeper structures, such as nerves, blood vessels, or muscles

    • Fatty tissue death (necrosis)

    • Fluid accumulation (seroma)

    • Infection

    • Loss of sensation or numbness

    • Permanent pigment changes

    • Persistent pain

    • Poor scarring

    • Possibility for revision surgery

    • Slightly mismatched breasts or nipples

  • How should I prepare for surgery?

    Before surgery, you may be asked to get blood tests and take or adjust medications. If you smoke, quitting will help you heal faster and better avoid complications.

    You’ll also need to arrange for transportation to and from the procedure on the day of surgery, and for someone to stay with you the night after the surgery.

    For more information visit Patient Resources or Preparing for Surgery.

Our locations

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MedStar Health: Plastic Surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

3800 Reservoir Road NW,
BLES Building
1st. Floor
Washington, D.C., 20007


MedStar Health: Plastic Surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center

106 Irving St. NW
POB North
Ste. 3400
Washington, D.C., 20010

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

9000 Franklin Square Dr.
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Health: Plastic Surgery at McLean

6862 Elm Street
Suite 800
McLean, VA 22101


MedStar Montgomery Medical Center

18101 Prince Philip Dr.
Olney, MD 20832

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

7503 Surratts Rd.
Clinton, MD 20735