Poor Results from Gynecomastia Surgery – Why You Should Find a Plastic Surgeon

Lifestyle changes may reduce enlarged male breasts in men who have pseudo gynecomastia, caused by excess fat tissue. Some men may also find that weight loss will lead to sufficient male breast reduction to feel happy with how they look. However, most men with gynecomastia will require gynecomastia surgery.

Male breast reduction surgery or gynecomastia surgery is the treatment usually recommended if you have had gynecomastia symptoms for a long time. It is also a must if your gynecomastia symptoms cause pain and discomfort. Understandably, you may be scared about poor results following gynecomastia surgery. This article will explain the risks and complications of gynecomastia surgery and how to find a specialist gynecomastia surgeon.

Can Gynecomastia Surgery Go Wrong?

All types of surgery carry risks and complications. Male breast reduction is just like any other surgery, and there are associated risks and complications you need to be aware of. It is imperative to find a plastic surgeon to reduce the potential of requiring gynecomastia revision surgery.  Even with the best gynecomastia surgeons, complications can arise during gynecomastia plastic surgery despite the greatest care and attention.

Common complications of gynecomastia surgery include:

  • Hematomas or seromas (build-up of blood or fluid around the surgical site)
  • Bruising and swelling
  • Nerve damage which can cause reduced sensitivity in the nipples and surrounding skin
  • Inverted nipples or nipples that appear sunken
  • Loose skin
  • Uneven contours of the chest.

Your gynecomastia specialist should discuss all potential complications during your initial consultation. Always ask about any specific concerns you may have, so your gynecomastia surgeon can make any necessary adjustments to reduce the risk of complications during and after the surgery.

Before having a consultation, here are three essential questions you should ask:

1. Is your plastic surgeon board-certified?

Gynecomastia plastic surgery can be performed by any doctor licensed to practice medicine in the US. Consequently, many other surgeons provide cosmetic surgery, often without any plastic surgery training.

Another thing to be aware of is the use of the credential, board-certified. Board certification is awarded in various specialties, and this is why you should always check your surgeon is a board-certified plastic surgeon.

2. Do they specialize in gynecomastia plastic surgery?

The number of men that require gynecomastia surgery is limited, which means many plastic surgeons will only perform a handful of gynecomastia surgery procedures a year. However, a gynecomastia specialist like Dr. Delgado performs over 125 gynecomastia surgery procedures a year.  As with any surgery, the more experience a surgeon has, the higher the possibility of good results and the lower the chance of requiring gynecomastia revision surgery. There are always risks and associated complications, but an experienced gynecomastia surgeon knows how to anticipate and prepare for them.

3. If you are unhappy with the results, will they provide gynecomastia revision surgery?

Even the most experienced board-certified plastic surgeon will sometimes run into complications that they cannot prevent. Although, in most cases, they will not cause any long-term problems or impact the result, occasionally, you may require gynecomastia revision surgery. Most plastic surgeons will provide gynecomastia revision surgery within a year of the initial gynecomastia surgery. Ask your gynecomastia surgeon if they will provide gynecomastia revision surgery without charge following your initial procedure and if you will need to pay any other costs, such as anesthetist fees.

How to Prepare for Gynecomastia Surgery

To reduce the risk of complications before gynecomastia surgery, you should:

  • Stop smoking a minimum of six weeks prior, although it is advisable to stop 12 weeks prior if possible (if you smoke before surgery, always tell your surgeon, so they can take the necessary measures to reduce the possibility of complications).
  • Check if you should stop taking any medications or herbal supplements that could interact with anesthesia, increase bleeding, or slow down the healing process.
  • Eat a healthy, nutritious diet with plenty of vegetables, fruit, and lean meat or seafood. If you are vegetarian or vegan, it might be advisable to speak with your physician about taking vitamin and mineral supplements.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption, avoid binge drinking, and have three alcohol-free days a week, at least 14 days before surgery.

Following all the instructions of your gynecomastia surgeon before gynecomastia surgery is essential to reduce the risks of anesthesia and surgical complications. A healthier body is more likely to heal and recover faster post-surgery.

bad results of gynecomastia surgery

Does Gynecomastia Surgery Remove the Entire Breast Gland?

Gynecomastia surgery removes a large portion of the breast gland but may leave a small degree for the best cosmetic result. The need for the excision of the gland will be evaluated using several factors, such as the degree of male breast enlargement, the cause of your gynecomastia, and any other health concerns.

Gland removal is usually performed when dense glandular tissue is the cause of male breast enlargement. The main indication will be if the appearance of enlarged male breasts and puffy nipples is not reduced with diet and exercise.

To remove the gland, the gynecomastia surgeon will create a discreet incision around the edge of the nipple-areola, approximately three centimeters in length. This standard gynecomastia surgery will usually be recommended for grade one and grade two gynecomastia. In mild cases of gynecomastia, mostly grade one and occasionally grade two, a specialist technique called the pull-through gynecomastia procedure may be suitable. The pull-through procedure only requires a three to five-millimeter incision on the edge of the areola and is sometimes referred to as scarless gynecomastia surgery. This is due to the tiny scar, which, once healed, will usually be very difficult to detect.

Grade three and four gynecomastia will usually require a double incision mastectomy, which creates additional scars due to the excision of excess skin. This is necessary to create a tight, toned masculine chest.

Your surgeon should fully explain the type of gynecomastia surgery to be performed during your initial consultation.

grades 1 to 4 of gynecomastia

Plastic Surgery Gone Wrong – Common Gynecomastia Surgery Complications

Gynecomastia surgery is complex and poor results are more likely with a surgeon who does not have extensive experience. As mentioned above, choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon can reduce the risks of complications and the possibility of needing gynecomastia revision surgery. You also need to take responsibility for your results by following all pre and post-surgical instructions to prevent common complications.

Some level of pain and discomfort is expected, along with some bruising and swelling. This should go away a few days up to 14 days following the surgery. You should also continue to refrain from smoking as this can impair healing and increase the risk of post-surgical infection.

You must refrain from doing strenuous activity or heavy lifting during this period to give your surgical wounds time to heal. This does not mean you should refrain from all activity, you must move around to increase blood circulation and reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is a common risk after all types of gynecomastia plastic surgery. In general, you need to stick to light activities for 14 days post-surgery to reduce the risk of complications.

Botched Gynecomastia Surgery and Revision Gynecomastia Surgery

Ideally, gynecomastia plastic surgery will give you a tight, masculine chest and long-lasting results. However, gynecomastia surgery is complex, and a simple mistake can result in a poor surgical result.

To avoid revision gynecomastia surgery, ask as many questions as possible and advise your plastic surgeon of your expectations. Your plastic surgeon should advise of potential complications and if your expectations are realistic. Every procedure is analyzed on a case-to-case basis. Therefore, there is no guarantee that one procedure will have the same result as another.

If gynecomastia revision surgery is required,  you should receive a careful evaluation of the current results and any other existing problems. Always ask for a thorough explanation of why issues have occurred, and which techniques will be used to give you satisfactory results.

Gynecomastia revision surgery requires a high level of experience and surgical skill. If you are not happy with your initial results, it is advisable to get a second opinion. Not all botched gynecomastia surgery can be corrected, and prevention is always your best option. Plastic surgery is a lifetime investment in yourself, and gynecomastia plastic surgery is a permanent solution for enlarged male breasts. Consequently, cost should not be your primary concern. Make the right choice the first time, and you could save yourself from a lot of trouble, pain, and unnecessary cost in the future!

For personalized information about gynecomastia plastic surgery procedures, please complete Dr. Delgado’s inquiry form.

Miguel Delgado, M.D., F.A.C.S is a world-renowned Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon granted by the American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Society. Dr. Delgado has a surgical practice solely dedicated to cosmetic plastic surgery. He specializes in gynecomastia surgery and is the medical director of Gynecomastia.org, the oldest and largest gynecomastia forum dedicated to supporting, educating, and providing solutions for men with breast enlargement. Dr. Delgado celebrates 30 years of practice in San Francisco, California. He was voted the “Best Plastic Surgeon of 2017-2021.”

Gynecomastia.org does not provide medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis.



Dr. Delgado Bio


Dr. Delgado, MD is a world-recognized plastic surgeon and specialist in the treatment of male breast enlargement, also called gynecomastia. He has developed new techniques and owns and operates gynecomastia.psstage.com, which has become the largest gynecomastia forum in the world. Dr. Delgado holds the two most coveted credentials; the certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgery.