Male breast reduction surgery to deal with the problem of excess breast tissue (known as gynaecomastia) is a procedure that removes the excess tissue. It can significantly improve the appearance of your chest - and help to increase your self-confidence.
From 1 April 2023, Spire Cardiff Hospital is changing its self-pay cosmetic services. These services will only be offered if they’re considered clinically necessary by our specialist consultants, based on specific guidelines that can be discussed in a consultation.
Male breast reduction surgery is more common than you might think and is becoming more popular. Male breast reduction surgery removes the excess breast tissue, fat and sagging skin that lead to the appearance of ‘man boobs’.
Gynaecomastia, the presence of excess breast tissue in men, can occur for various reasons. It may develop if you have lost weight and been left with sagging skin across the chest, or may be the result of age. You may have developed excess breast tissue during puberty, a common occurrence, but did not lose it when you got older.
Whatever the reason, and if you feel self-conscious about your chest, male breast reduction can help flatten the breast area and give you a firmer, more masculine chest while also helping to increase your confidence in your appearance.
The operation usually lasts around 90 minutes and is performed under general anaesthesia, so you are asleep throughout the procedure.
We pride ourselves on our clinical excellence, you'll be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.
All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.
Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see and when you want. They’ll be with you every step of the way: from giving advice at your first consultation, through to offering on-going support after your surgery.
All of our cosmetic surgeons are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well equipped hospitals. A cosmetic surgeon’s reputation, qualifications and experience are vitally important, so we only work with consultant grade specialists. These are highly experienced consultants who have completed years of medical training. All our consultants are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council (GMC), and many are also members of the UK’s leading cosmetic and plastic surgery associations.
We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.
For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.
Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
We understand that having surgery can often be a time of anxiety and worry, but our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you every step of the way.
Your chest has two main parts – glandular tissue (firm and dense) and fatty tissue (soft) and the ratio of one to the other varies from person to person.
If you have excess fatty tissue, the usual approach is to carry out liposuction, or if you have excess glandular tissue, the best way to deal with this is for your surgeon to cut it out.
When the procedure is undertaken by liposuction, we have limits on the volume of fat and fluid that can be removed, depending on the facilities at your hospital – your surgeon can confirm this. It is unusual for large amounts of fat to be removed in a gynaecomastia procedure and so this would not normally be a concern unless you were having liposuction elsewhere at the same time.
Where liposuction is performed in conjunction with any other cosmetic procedure, our policy is that we will remove no more than a maximum of 2000ml of aspirate (fat and fluid) from all areas combined.
During both forms of procedure, your surgeon will remove the tissue through incisions made under your arm or around the nipple.
The operation is usually performed as a day case, though sometimes you may need to stay in hospital for one or two nights afterwards.
If you are required to stay at the hospital, you will be taken to your room or comfortable area where you can rest and recuperate until we feel you’re ready to go home.
You will need to plan time off work so that you can recover at home.
You will have bandages applied to support your chest after the operation to control swelling and you will receive pain relief medication.
We will provide you with a supply of all the medicines your consultant feels you need to take home with you after you've left hospital, up to 14 days. This may be at an additional cost to some patients.
After the surgery your chest is likely to be swollen and bruised for a while, but to help reduce that you may need to wear an elastic pressure garment for one or two weeks.
You should take a week off from work and should avoid exercise for around three weeks. It usually takes around six weeks before you will be able to return to normal activities completely. We'll talk to you about this.
Complications from this type of surgery are rare, but you may notice some red and lumpy scars that will fade with time.
When we discharge you we'll talk to you about any necessary follow-up appointments.
As with any cosmetic procedure, you should review your expectations thoroughly before you decide to proceed.
Your surgeon will explain the results that you can expect from having male breast reduction surgery, and will discuss any associated risks and alternatives to the procedure before it goes ahead. It may take up to six months for you to see the full benefits and results of your surgery.
Once you’re ready to be discharged, you’ll need to arrange a taxi, friend or family member to take you home as you won’t be able to drive. You should also ask them if they can run some light errands such as shopping for you as you won’t be feeling up to it.
Even once you’ve left hospital, we’re still here for you. Your consultant is likely to want to see you after your operation.
On rare occasions, complications following this surgery can occur. The chance of complications depends on the exact type of treatment that you are having and other factors such as your general health. We will explain how these risks apply to you.
If you have any questions or concerns, we're ready to help.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
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