Causes of Gynecomastia

The appearance of man boobs is usually caused by a hormonal imbalance, which can result from medications, steroid use or may occur naturally. Gynecomastia is defined as excessive growth of male glandular tissue. Although weight loss and exercise may help reduce the size of man boobs, surgery is the only option to reduce glandular tissue. Another condition that may be mistaken for gynecomastia is called pseudogynecomastia, when male breast enlargement occurs due to excess fat. This type of male breast reduction can normally be carried out with a liposuction procedure. 


normal breast vs gynecomastia diagram

Gynecomastia Surgery

Male breast reduction is also known as gynecomastia surgery. This is a plastic surgery procedure designed to treat a medical condition that causes the enlargement of male glandular tissue, resulting in what is often called man boobs. Gynecomastia surgery is performed by numerous surgeons and is rapidly becoming one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures for men in the USA. 

Gynecomastia Surgery Cost

When considering any surgery, the cost will play a part in the decision-making process and which surgeon to choose. Certain plastic surgery organizations operate a “conveyor belt” of patients. Permitting limited time for the procedure will provide a set fee in advance of a consultation. Consequently, as they limit the time to a minimum for each procedure and book in as many patients as possible in a short period, the gynecomastia surgery cost is lower.

More often, when the price is low, it is because any surgeon can perform a cosmetic surgery procedure in the USA, regardless of their training or specialty. When comparing prices, always check that the surgeon is a Board Certified plastic surgeon. The actual cost estimate of any plastic surgery is dependent on the surgeon, the facility where the procedure will take place, and the patient’s specific needs. Cosmetic surgery in this respect is the same as most surgical procedures, and a set price should immediately ring alarm bells. 

Several other factors are evaluated by the plastic surgeon when providing an estimate for the cost of a gynecomastia procedure. Among these factors is the type of gynecomastia procedure required and whether or not it’s revision surgery. In all cases of true gynecomastia, the surgeon will have to perform surgical excision of the breast glands. This procedure will usually be performed under a general anesthetic and increase the total cost. 

You should also consider costs common to all plastic surgery procedures, such as anaesthesia, the fee for the facility and operating room, the geographical location, and any other complications. Additional costs also may include medical tests, antibiotics or medications, and post-surgery garments required following a surgical procedure.

Gynecomastia surgery costs can vary from state to state and according to the surgeon’s expertise. A plastic surgeon will usually charge more than a general surgeon, and anesthesia charges differ depending on experience. Plastic surgeons also tend to use facilities that charge considerably more than clinics and set up as quickly as possible for minimum cost. This means the all-inclusive fee for the plastic surgeon, anesthesiologist, and facility usually falls between $6,500 and $9,000. 

Recovery Time for Gynecomastia Surgery

The recovery time usually expected with modern gynecomastia surgery techniques is around one week. Although it is not recommended to start exercising or lifting heavy objects, most men feel well enough to return to work. Any swelling will continue to reduce, and scars will heal over two to three weeks. 

Occasionally, a small, thin tube will be placed near the incision to drain out any excess fluid or blood after gynecomastia surgery. These are typically removed within two to three days. Patients are asked to wear a dressing or bandage on the surgical site during the recovery period. In some cases, customized compression garments may be provided to minimize swelling and aid the healing process by limiting movement on the incision site.

Patients are also given specific sets of instructions on caring for the surgical site at home. They will also be asked to take oral medications for a few days following your surgery to fight off any potential infection or complications that may arise. All patients are advised to strictly follow the surgeon’s instructions regarding care, especially resting. You will be asked to take it easy for a few days or weeks following your surgery, and you must avoid strenuous activity until your wound has fully healed. 

cost of male breast reduction

Male Breast Reduction Without Surgery

Before considering male breast reduction, it is important to consider other treatment options first. Understanding the symptoms is one of the best ways to determine the most effective course of treatment. With the help of an expert, you may be able to reduce enlarged male breasts without surgery.

Losing weight through diet and exercising can be an effective way to reduce the appearance of man boobs. The enlarged breasts are often a result of excessive fat tissue in the breast area. Exercise can trim down the fat content in your body and help you shed excess weight. The less fat you have, the smaller your man boobs. Weight loss can take time. Liposuction is an effective and quick procedure with minimal associated complications and virtually no scarring for a faster solution. However, liposuction is only suitable for pseudogynecomastia,  as it will not reduce the size of the breast glands present in true gynecomastia.   

The intake of certain drugs and steroids can also contribute to the growth of breast tissues in men. If you want to get rid of your man boobs, you must abstain from drugs immediately. You might have to undergo hormone treatments to reduce the presence of estrogen in your system, which can trigger breast growth. The downside to hormone treatment is that it is only effective for moderate cases. Not all men are suitable due to health reasons or medications they are taking for other medical conditions, such as irregular heartbeat (heart arrhythmia).

Non-surgical Procedures to Get Rid of Man Boobs

Other more advanced non-surgical procedures for gynecomastia symptoms include laser therapy that can remove fat and be used for body sculpting, and Coolsculpting is another option to reduce fat tissue, which can help reduce male breasts. These treatment options melt or freeze the fat cells, which are then dispelled naturally from the body over months through urine.  As these treatments will not reduce the size of glandular tissue in cases of true gynecomastia it is likely they will be unsatisfactory. 

The great thing about non-surgical treatment for enlarged male breasts is that they require less downtime. Plus, the cost is lower. However, when repeat treatments are necessary, the costs can equal the cost of gynecomastia surgery. Suppose you have tried any of the above-mentioned non-surgical treatments and are still not satisfied with the result. In that case, gynecomastia surgery is likely to be needed to fully remove excess glandular tissue that causes man boobs. 

FAQs About Gynecomastia Surgery

Does Health Insurance Cover Gynecomastia Surgery?

In terms of health insurance, gynecomastia surgery is not eligible for coverage because it is classed as a cosmetic surgery procedure. It is still advisable to consult with your insurance provider as there may be exceptions to this rule. 

Is Gynecomastia Surgery Painful?

The pain reported by patients is mild and subsides within a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers are available if required. 

Does Gynecomastia Surgery Leave Scars?

Expect scarring when undergoing any surgical procedure. However, gynecomastia surgery has advanced significantly in terms of scars. While complete lack of scarring is impossible, different factors can impact scar visibility, such as the type of procedure required, incision size, and the surgeon’s skill. 

Previous gynecomastia surgery techniques require a relatively large incision to remove the fat and glandular tissue from the chest area. Today, newer techniques have been developed to eliminate the need for a large incision. One of the newer methods used by plastic surgeons is cutting-edge ultrasound technology, which breaks up the chest tissue. Once broken down, the fat tissue that needs to be excised can measure approximately a quarter of an inch, eliminating the need for a large incision, as it is possible to suction out the smaller fat tissues.

Aside from leaving almost undetectable scars, the advancement in surgical techniques can also facilitate faster recovery time for the patient. The smaller the wound, the faster a patient can recover from the procedure, in most cases with significantly reduced scarring.


 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, 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.” 

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The content on is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice. It does not replace the need to meet with a physician who will accurately diagnose your condition and suggest treatment options.

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, 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.