Craters of the Moobs
Each cosmetic surgery procedure comes with its own set of possible risks and complications—particularly when a patient is in the hands of a less experienced plastic surgeon. Some risks—such as infection—are common to all surgeries. Some are specific to the particular procedure, such as problems related to breast implants. But none of the potential complications is more vexing for patients than the crater deformity that can result from male breast reduction surgery.
What is a Crater Deformity?
Crater deformities occur most often when a surgeon is overzealous in removing gland tissue beneath the nipple/areola complex. Even the most masculine looking guy has some amount of breast gland, and when too much is taken out the areolas can take on a saucer-like look.
Depressions can also happen elsewhere on the chest wall. If the cosmetic surgeon is not exceptionally careful when sculpting fat tissue with liposuction, craters and valleys can appear anywhere on the breasts.
You can see a few examples, as well as the before and after gynecomastia revision photos, in our photo gallery.
Can Crater Deformities be Prevented?
Guys who are planning man boob surgery and who have done their research are understandably intent on making sure they don’t end up with a crater deformity. Some visit websites like RealSelf to see what other patients feel about their gynecomastia surgery results. Some log on to forums like the one on gynecomastia.org to ask questions about how to avoid such an outcome. Should their surgeon remove gland first, then address fat? Should they have liposuction only?
The best way to prevent a crater deformity, or any other poor outcome, for that matter, is to choose your plastic surgeon wisely. Our advice:
- Consider only surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
- Find candidates who perform a hundred or more male breast reductions annually
- Rather than worry about technique, focus on making sure of consistent results
- Be prepared to travel to work with a gynecomastia expert
Can Gynecomastia Revision Surgery Fix a Crater Deformity?
The short answer is yes, most of the time a crater deformity can be vastly improved. Plastic surgeons have two main techniques at their disposal. One is fat flaps—the method we use as often as possible. This approach entails loosening a “tongue” of fat from a nearby area and repositioning it to fill the crater. If this technique is not appropriate—for example, with very slim patients—we can also use fat grafting. This means we harvest fat cells from elsewhere on the body and inject them to smooth breast irregularities.
Male breast reduction is a tricky business. When there’s excess gland and fat, you have to remove just enough, not too much. Not only that, with the tissue that remains you must carefully create smooth contours—that’s why gynecomastia surgeons so often use the term “sculpt.” And when you develop a surgical strategy for each individual patient, you have to plot incisions carefully so as to minimize scarring.
Whether you’re just starting to plan your procedure or considering gynecomastia revision, our New York team is at your disposal. Call us at 212-570-6080 if we can help. If surgery in Manhattan isn’t in the cards for you, please choose a plastic surgeon who achieves consistently great results, and lots of them!