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What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a condition where men have abnormal breast development, resulting in enlarged breast tissue. It is typically caused by a hormone imbalance, but can also be due to excess fat deposits on the chest. Although most of the time it is a benign condition, it has been occasionally linked to serious medical conditions such as liver disease and endocrine disease.


What is Gynecomastia Surgery?

Gynecomastia surgery, also known as male breast reduction, is a cosmetic procedure that removes excess fat and glandular tissue to restore a flatter, firmer and more masculine contour to the chest. Because the extent of breast development varies from person to person, Dr. Hirsch customizes his surgical approach to the specific symptoms of each patient. For some patients, liposuction alone is often enough to remove the extra breast tissue, but other patients with significant gynecomastia may require incisions in the skin to remove the extra skin.


Is Gynecomastia Surgery Covered by Insurance?

In the Los Angeles area, insurance coverage for the procedure varies; some insurance companies cover the procedure and others do not. It’s best to check with your insurance company and inquire whether your particular plan covers the procedure.


I Only Have Gynecomastia on One Side. Is this Normal?

Gynecomastia on one side may be a symptom of a serious medical condition. Therefore, patients are required to undergo a full medical exam prior to gynecomastia surgery.


How Long is the Recovery?

Generally, patients who have gynecomastia surgery do not experience significant pain or discomfort following the surgery, and most return to normal activities in 1-2 weeks. Following surgery, it will be necessary for the patient to wear a tight compressive garment at all times for 2-3 weeks.


When Will I Be Able to Return to Work?

This will depend on the type of work you do. If you work at a desk and your job does not require strenuous activity or heavy lifting, you may be able to return to work 1 week after surgery. If your job requires more strenuous physical activity, you may need to wait for a longer period of time, possibly up to 4-6 weeks.


When Can I Resume Exercise?

This depends on the type of gynecomastia surgery you have and the type of exercise you wish to participate in. For patients who have liposuction only, regular exercise may be resumed in approximately 2 weeks. For patients who have a procedure requiring incisions for extra skin, light exercise may typically be resumed after 2-3 weeks, and then full exercise at 5-6 weeks.  Dr. Hirsch will monitor your recovery and advise you concerning the type and amount of exercise you may be involved in.