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What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a harmless condition that may affect about half of all males at some point in their lives. Gynecomastia is the benign enlargement of male breast tissue and can range from being hardly noticeable to very pronounced. The commonality of gynecomastia does not make the condition any less uncomfortable for some, which is why we offer male breast reduction procedures at Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery.

Symptoms may affect one or both breasts. They include:

  • Swollen breast tissue
  • Breast tenderness
  • Increased diameter of the areola(s)
  • Asymmetry of breast tissue

The symptoms of gynecomastia sometimes cause alarm, as many of those afflicted first suspect breast cancer. However, the condition is benign, and treatment is purely cosmetic.

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Before & After Photos

During your consultation visit, your surgeon will show you before and after pictures of patients who have undergone a breast augmentation. You will be able to see firsthand the difference the procedure made for these people. Interested in viewing before and after photos before your consultation? Visit our online gallery

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Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia Surgery) Using Vectra 3D

We specialize in tailoring each male breast reduction procedure to suit the individual, but it’s not always easy to envision how you might look. Now we can help you feel confident that you’ve made a decision you’ll love. Vectra 3D imaging helps our doctors create a customized plan that will provide you with results that will match your vision.

Informational Video

What causes Gynecomastia?

This condition is most commonly caused by hormonal imbalances, namely, of estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone most prevalent in females and is responsible for regulating many female physiologies, including the growth of breasts. Contrary to popular belief, men also produce estrogen, albeit in small quantities.

Gynecomastia can naturally occur at various stages in life. The most common periods of occurrence are during infancy, adolescence, and after age 50. Newborn males sometimes exhibit gynecomastia as a result of the mother’s own estrogen. The breast tissue usually reduces on its own within a few weeks. Adolescents may suffer from gynecomastia due to hormonal changes and anxiety, but in most cases, the symptoms clear up naturally 6 to 24 months after onset. One-quarter of all men are afflicted with gynecomastia after age 50, also due to hormonal changes.

Up to 25% of gynecomastia cases arise as a side effect of medications. Such cases are referred to as non-physiologic gynecomastia. Medications linked to gynecomastia include some for cancer and prostate enlargement, including heart medications, AIDS medications, ulcer medications, tricyclic antidepressants, antibiotics, anti-anxiety medications, and anabolic steroids. Alcohol and certain recreational drugs can cause gynecomastia as well.

Many medical conditions can also cause gynecomastia. A few of the most common are hyperthyroidism, hypogonadism, malnutrition, kidney and liver failure, tumors, and aging.


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“The staff is always very friendly. Dr. Humphrey was great as a surgeon and made me feel very comfortable the whole time. If I had to have another procedure, I would definitely go back to Heartland Plastic surgery.”

“God has blessed the work of his [Dr. Humphrey] hands. I am very blessed and pleased with the results. I am equally blessed with the kindness, understanding, and sincere professionalism I not only received from Dr. Humphrey but from his staff as well. A team of phenomenal individuals. Thank you!”

“Had such a great experience! Everything from the consultation to follow-up appointments was amazing! The staff is so pleasant and wonderful and I was always informed of the next steps 🙂 Would definitely recommend Dr. Humphrey!”


How can Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery treat my Gynecomastia?

We provide male breast reduction procedures, including mastectomies, liposuction, and a combination of the two. Mastectomies involve removing the breast gland tissue, while liposuction removes the breast fat.

What is the cost of Male Breast Reduction?

The price of male breast reduction varies for each patient depending on the extent of surgery needed to achieve your individual aesthetic and personal goals.

Is Financing Available? Will Insurance Cover Any Of My Fees?

This procedure is generally not covered by commercial insurance because it is not seen as medically necessary.

Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery accepts several types of payment. They are cash, credit cards (Visa, Master Card, Discover, and American Express), money orders, cashier checks, and financing with an outside agency. Make sure finance arrangements are made in advance with a financing agency of your choice.


What causes enlarged breasts in the male, and what can be done?

Enlargement of the chest or breast area in male breast tissue occurs when men develop gynecomastia. There are many causes of gynecomastia in one or both breasts. The most common cause is idiopathic, or unknown. Many young men experience pubertal…

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Should weight loss be before or after surgery?

Heartland Plastic and Hand Surgery welcomes men and women from various communities of Missouri, including Farmington, Poplar Bluff and nearby Marion/Carbondale in Illinois. Occasionally we will have patients who will come in for a cosmetic consultation and be interested in…

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When is the best time of year to have cosmetic surgery?

Cosmetic surgery can be performed any time during the calendar year. The best time to have cosmetic surgery is the time that best fits the individual patient’s schedule, demands of work and family. It is best to pick a time…

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Will I need to stay in the hospital for this procedure?

Most male breast reduction surgeries are outpatient procedures. You should be able to return home the same day, unless the procedure is being covered by insurance and the provider requires that you stay overnight. Dr. Humphrey will make an assessment of your health and then decide whether the surgery can be performed in the Cape Girardeau office or in a hospital.

How do I prepare for this surgery?

You must plan this surgery to occur at a time when you can take anywhere from two to six weeks off of work for recovery, and when you will not be required to do any heavy lifting. All male breast reduction patients have a 10 to 15-pound lifting limit for at least 10 days after the surgery. Keep in mind that adjustments may need to be made in your daily routine to account for pain, swelling, and being on pain medication.

You will be required to quit smoking for one month before surgery and one month afterward (two months smoke-free, in total). You should also eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke through this period. Stop taking blood thinners and vitamin E at least two weeks before and after surgery. You may need to obtain medical clearance and instructions from your normal doctor to stop taking these medications. All of this is to ensure that your body has a normal blood supply during surgery and recovery. We also require that you abstain from all herbal supplements and diet pills two weeks before and one week after surgery.

At Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery, we require that all patients are in good general health before undergoing cosmetic procedures. Because of this, clearance from your normal physician may be necessary before we can proceed.

What are the first steps I can take to begin this process?

Contact the Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery office in Cape Girardeau today to schedule your first consultation appointment. We take patients from the Cape Girardeau, Jackson, and Sikeston areas of Missouri. Our Cape Girardeau office is located 58 miles from Marion, IL and 50 miles from Carbondale, IL. Be sure that you have all of your questions and concerns ready for your consultation. Dr. Humphrey will be happy to address them. Call us now at (888) 515-2847 to take the first steps toward full body confidence!


Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Dr. J. Stewart Humphrey is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the gold standard for plastic surgery certification in the United States. Dr. Humphrey…

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