Why Breast Reduction for Men?
The development of breast tissue in men is called gynecomastia. The breast tissue that develops may be made up mainly of fat, or there may also be development of glandular breast tissue. The condition can caused by many factors, including being significantly overweight, hormonal imbalances, and certain medications.
Men who have gynecomastia often suffer from a decrease in self-esteem as a result. They may avoid certain activities to avoid having others see their bodies; many avoid physical intimacy. They may feel less masculine and less confident. For any of these reasons, a man with gynecomastia may choose to have surgery to remove the breast tissue and restore a more masculine appearance to his chest.
If you’re choosing breast reduction surgery, make sure you’re choosing it because you really want it, not to please someone else or to fit an imagined ideal. No one else can make the choice for you; it’s your body, and you’re in charge of it. After you do your research and understand the procedure, if you believe that breast reduction is right for you, then proceed. You can learn more about the male breast reduction procedure, its risks and benefits, in our Education Wiki.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average surgeon’s fee for a male breast reduction procedure is $3,196. Keep in mind that this is only an average; it varies by region and by individual surgeon, so you should check with the surgeon(s) you’re considering to determine their exact fee for the procedure. Ask what’s included in that fee, to make sure you aren’t surprised by extra costs when you get the bill later.
Some patients are surprised to find out that the surgeon’s fee isn’t necessarily the only expense they’ll need to consider for their breast reduction. There may be anesthesia costs and operating room or hospital fees that aren’t included in the surgeon’s fee. Medications (for example, pain medication, or antibiotics) may also be an extra cost. In some cases, you also have to pay separately for your postsurgical garments. If any medical testing is required, this could also be a separate cost. A few surgeons may not include your preoperative and postoperative appointments in their fee, although most do include these visits to ensure that you’re adequately cared for. You should ask what all of the fees will be before your procedure, so that you aren’t surprised when the bill comes.
It’s also important to make sure you have access to a little extra money, via financing or savings, in case you have medical complications from the surgery (for instance, if you develop an infection). Your insurance usually will not cover complications from an elective surgery. While complications from this surgery are not common, they do happen to a few men, and so you should be prepared in case that rare man is you.
Will Insurance Cover It?
In most cases, insurance will not cover a man’s breast reduction procedure. Even if the breast growth is due to a medical condition, insurance companies typically consider a breast reduction to be a cosmetic procedure, so it’s usually not covered. That means that you’ll need to finance your procedure yourself, including all of the costs above: the surgeon’s fee, any extra fees, and any postoperative complications that may arise.
What Are the Financing Options?
To many people, paying thousands of dollars up front seems impossible. However, if you don’t already have the money saved, you have many options available for financing. Many physicians offer financing plans for their patients. You can also get a medical credit card or other credit card, often with an attractive introductory interest rate; a medical loan, personal loan, or home equity loan from your bank; a loan from your 401(k); or loans or gifts from family and friends. Even if your credit isn’t great, you’d be surprised how many options you have. For more details about the financing options for your procedure, check out our Plastic Surgery Financing page.