Cosmetic And Reconstructive Plastic Surgery
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Gynecomastia Surgery in Toronto

Gynecomastia Treatment

What is Gynecomastia surgery?

This is surgery for men who have excess skin, fat, or glandular breast tissue. The most challenging aspect of this surgery is the presence of excess skin, as avoidance of a long scar from skin excision is often a priority.

Who is a good candidate?

We often see 14 – 16-year-old boys with true (glandular) gynecomastia. Most often this problem resolves over one to two years once the hormonal transition of puberty is complete. Occasionally we will be asked to assess a boy who is psychologically and socially handicapped by their gynecomastia, and with the endorsement of a pediatrician we will offer surgery. Older boys with gynecomastia over 2 years duration can be offered surgery, often covered by OHIP.
We see many men with gynecomastia secondary to use of anabolic steroids. It is generally pretty obvious by appearance whether a patient is ‘juiced’, and it is amazing how often patients will deny using steroids nevertheless. We would not want to offer surgery to someone who remains on steroids, as they are likely to form further gland if they continue, and it is possible their breast development will resolve once they discontinue the drug.
Pseudo-gynecomastia describes breast enlargement from fat or skin excess. If you are somewhat over-weight, or previously were over-weight, excesses of these tissues will be present. Special techniques are necessary to correct all three tissue problems.

Consultation essentials

It is important to bring your complete medical and surgical history to the consultation, especially drug history and any history of urology or endocrinology consultations. We will need to be sure you do not have an underlying hormonal abnormality to account for your gynecomastia. Previous imaging or biopsy reports are also helpful, especially if only one breast is involved (we would need to rule out breast cancer).

Alternatives to Surgery

Vests are available that will hide breast enlargement. Drug therapy (e.g. Tamoxifen) has been described, but we have yet to see a patient prescribed this treatment.

Costs of Gynecomastia Surgery (2020 prices; subject to change)

Fees for gynecomastia surgery at our Toronto Cosmetic Plastic Surgery office (including facility and anesthetist) range from $2000 for ‘puffy areola surgery’ to $10,000 for mastopexy in massive weight-loss patients. A fee of $5-7000 should be anticipated for most patients to cover liposuction, a necessary component for safe and effective gynecomastia surgery. Gland excision if necessary is often covered by OHIP.

Preparation for surgery

We need you to be healthy and at a stable weight before surgery. We will provide written instructions on all necessary steps, supplies to obtain, etc. Dressings and compression vests are easy to apply by yourself.

The Operation

Small procedures can be performed under local anesthetic. Liposuction is used to reduce excess fat, and tunneling with the cannula is very effective for triggering a contraction of the skin of the upper chest to correct for loose skin. Gland is excised through a 1-2 cm incision that is hidden at the edge of the areola. If there is dramatic excess skin, this can be excised (mastopexy- see figure below).

Gynecomastia Surgery

Safety and Risks

Bleeding is a concern after gland excision, so chest movement should be limited (no arm or chest exercise) for 10 days following surgery.

Recovery process

Rarely is pain a problem after surgery. Dressings are easy to apply, and consist of pads secured by a compression vest. Most people will return to work within four days, and sports may be resumed at three weeks.


You can expect to see positive effects from your surgery immediately post-op, but a final cosmetic result may not be evident until a year after surgery, once contraction is complete and scar redness has fully settled. Gynecomastia surgery is one of our most effective and gratifying surgical procedures.

Bottom Line

We offer a complete armamentarium to correct your gynecomastia, and offer hospital surgery for patients with medical problems or other complexities that would benefit from over-night stay.Our expertise in managing major weight-loss patients has provided us great insight into managing excess skin problems. Come in for a consultation, and you will leave wiser, and perhaps scheduled for a rewarding transformation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does gynecomastia start?

An imbalance of hormones (or how your body responds to them) can stimulate firm glandular breast tissue to form in men. The hormone imbalance can arise as a normal part of adolescence, as a side-effect of drugs or synthetic hormones, or as a consequence of some disease states.

Will gynecomastia return after surgery?

Adolescent-onset gynecomastia will not return after surgery. If gynecomastia occurs secondary to ongoing hormonal abnormalities, those hormones can cause further breast gland development even after glandular tissue is removed at surgery.

Will gynecomastia go away naturally?

Glandular breast tissue may appear during the early teens, and in most boys will soon disappear without intervention. If it has been present for two years or more, it is likely to persist unless surgery is performed.

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