Who’s Not a Candidate for Male Breast Reduction?
It’s typical for plastic surgery practices to discuss who’s a candidate for a procedure in terms of physical characteristics, age, psychological readiness and so on. But are there men with enlarged breasts who are not well suited for male breast reduction? New York patients usually are good candidates – more often than nine times out of ten. There are, however, certain men we caution about moving ahead with plastic surgery, and a few we will actually decline to treat.
Here are a few examples.
Unrelated medical conditions: Many times we can still perform male breast reduction for New York patients with conditions such as HIV or certain cancers. An otherwise decent bill of health and a green light from a patient’s doctor or team of physicians is generally all that’s required.
Related medical conditions: Gynecomastia that appears to be caused by an underlying medical condition – such as kidney failure or liver failure – or the medications used to treat these problems requires further discussion. In these cases we coordinate decisions and patient care with the other physicians involved to be sure plastic surgery is the right choice and can be performed safely.
Recreational drug use: If a man uses a drug like marijuana that’s known to trigger gynecomastia, or if excess drinking might be a contributor, we need to have a discussion about this with the patient. It’s likely we can still perform gynecomastia surgery, but if the patient continues his lifestyle as before, there’s some possibility man boobs could return.
Sudden or rapid breast growth: When a man or boy experiences very sudden changes in their breasts, or if growth is very rapid, we may refer the patient to an endocrinologist or another specialist prior to performing plastic surgery. These physicians may provide key insight that will influence whether male breast reduction should be postponed or not performed at all.
Body dysmorphic disorder: Rarely, a consultation with a New York male breast reduction candidate may reveal that the patient has an inaccurate view of their looks and an unhealthy obsession to “fix” features that bother them for little or no reason. We may refer a patient who may have body dysmorphic disorder, or BDD, to a psychologist before we consider operating. The Mayo Clinic has an excellent explanation of BDD – find it here.
Most men suffering with moobs do make good candidates for gynecomastia surgery, even with an additional consideration or two. More information can be found in the FAQ on our gynecomastia website, and gynecomastia.org has a page explaining contraindications for surgery that might be useful to read.
The best way to make decisions about your own case is to consult a board certified gynecomastia surgeon with a track record that includes many years of experience and many hundreds of patients. We would be pleased to hear from you at 212-570-6080.