Body

The Cost of Male Breast Reduction Surgery

Man boobs.” They’re a subject itching for attention because—and to shatter any body-shaming stigma surrounding it—it’s a condition that affects up to 90% percent of male children, 50% of adolescents, and 70% of men aged 50 to 69,1 making male breast reduction surgery the 4th most common elective surgery for the 163 million men in America.

So begins our series on the cost of cosmetic surgery.

And what better place to start than here, collectively getting the weight off our chests?

A series that’ll shortly culminate in a guide on all you need to know about the costs involved and how to find the “best plastic surgeon,” whether you live in Beverly Hills, California, Boise, Idaho, or Bear Creek, Alaska.

Contents

  1. Average cost
  2. Cost by year
  3. What are you paying for exactly?
  4. Cost variables
  5. Financing caution
  6. Cost calculator
  7. Cost in major US cities
  8. How to get an exact cost
  9. Insurance coverage
  10. Cost vs. other male procedures
  11. Cost to decrease in 2021, 2022

This is an analysis and breakdown of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ official data and statistics on the cost of male breast reduction surgery. Data analyzed covers the period from 2005 to 2019, the most recent year for which it’s available.

If you’d like to see the complete official report, you’ll find it here, 2019 ASPS Report, and for ASPS information on the condition of gynecomastia, you’re welcome to click here.

What Is Male Breast Reduction Surgery?

According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, male breast reduction surgery is the “most effective known treatment for gynecomastia.”2

Gynecomastia is an enlargement of a man’s breasts that occurs due to hormone imbalance.

Obesity, puberty, age, the use of steroids, prescription and other drugs, or alcohol consumption can also play a role.3

Its symptoms can include a swelling of the breast tissue which is occasionally accompanied by tenderness or pain. Swelling can affect one breast, the whole of both breasts, or be localized to around the areola.4

How Much Does Male Breast Reduction Surgery Cost?

The average cost of male breast reduction surgery in the U.S. is not $4,123.5

That price is commonly parroted around. You will very likely NOT find a board-certified plastic surgeon doing gynecomastia surgery for 41 hundred dollars. That is the average surgeon’s fee alone and it does not include anesthesia fees, or OR/Hospital fees, recovery garments, and pain medication if needed. (A more realistic cost average is between $6,500 and $11,000, however, there are many variables which we will cover.)

Over the past five years, this average surgeon’s fee has increased by an average of $155 per year.

Cost of Male Breast Reduction Surgery, 2005 to 2021

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of gynecomastia surgery from 2005 to 2019 has been:

  • 2005: $2,981
  • 2006: $3,124
  • 2007: $3,400
  • 2008: $3,282
  • 2009: $3,099
  • 2010: $3,013
  • 2011: $3,051
  • 2012: $3,194
  • 2013: $3,196
  • 2014: $3,333
  • 2015: $3,345
  • 2016: $3,525
  • 2017: $3,641
  • 2018: $3,978
  • 2019: $4,123 (latest year for which data is available)
  • 2020/21: $3,628 – $3,958 (projected)

As the ASPS notes, costs vary by geographical area, and upon the unique concerns and condition a patient presents with.

The fees ASPS collates and makes available, listed here and graphed above, “do not include anesthesia, operating room facilities or other related expenses.”

(Note that on 27 April 2021, the ASPS released a very short-form version of its annual statistics report for 2020 but it did not include any cost or pricing information, thus the 2019 price point of $4,123.00 remains the latest available.)

Break Down of Costs Involved in Male Breast Reduction Surgery

Your final out-of-pocket price for a gynecomastia surgery will include the cost for the following:

1 | SURGEON / PHYSICIAN FEES: (The fee for which the American Society of Plastic Surgeons provides data.) This fee currently averages $4,123 in the United States and will vary according to the expertise of the performing surgeon and the amount of time and effort required in surgery. A consultation fee is often included here, the price of which is typically put toward the procedure itself should one be needed, or, occasionally, to another service the practice offers should a male breast reduction surgery be deemed unnecessary.

2 | ANESTHESIA: Male breast reduction surgery is most often done under general anesthesia, with less severe cases treatable under local anesthesia. Anesthesia can range anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000.

3 | SURGICAL CENTER / HOSPITAL FACILITY FEES: For surgeries performed at a hospital or other off-premise accredited medical facility, an additional fee is required.

4 | OTHER RELATED EXPENSES: These can include medical examinations, pain medication that may be prescribed, and a compression garment to be worn throughout a relatively short recovery period.

Cost Variables in Male Breast Reduction Surgery

1 | DEGREE / SEVERITY OF GYNECOMASTIA A PATIENT PRESENTS WITH: Patients experiencing the more advanced grades of gynecomastia will pay more than patients on the lower end of the Gynecomastia Scale. Gynecomastia is rated on a scale graduating from Grade I, “Small breast enlargement with localized button of tissue that is concentrated around the areola” to Grade IV, “Marked breast enlargement with skin redundancy and feminization of the breast.”6

2 | EXPERTISE OF PERFORMING SURGEON: The “best male breast reduction surgeon” in Beverly Hills is going to cost more than the “best male breast reduction surgeon” in the perhaps less bougie Boise, Idaho. (After all, California is the cosmetic capital of America and more cosmetic surgery is performed in Beverly Hills, CA, than in any other city in America.) In reality, for a procedure like male breast reduction, both will likely do a fine job, but this is an important decision you’ll want to do due diligence on and discuss with your primary physician. Nevertheless, a patient pays, correctly so, for the long-term education and expertise of his surgeon.

3 | WHAT PROCEDURES ARE PART OF YOUR SURGERY: Male breast reduction surgery may involve liposuction and/or the surgical excision (removal) of breast gland tissue. Patients requiring additional procedures should expect a higher fee.

4 | CITY, STATE, OR COUNTRY: Minimum wage and the economy vary state to state. Elective surgery prices will, too.

5 | YOUR CREDIT SCORE: All cosmetic surgery financing options, including loans and medical credit cards, will take into account your credit score. While this isn’t a direct cost of the procedure per se, it is a factor that can greatly influence your total out-of-pocket costs for a male breast reduction.

Caution: Deferred Interest Financing for Gynecomastia Surgery

Be sure to carefully read the accompanying contract and paperwork in full and be sure that you understand the concept of deferred interest versus a true 0% APR.

With a deferred interest offer, if you fail to pay the full balance within the promotional period, you will be charged interest retroactively—that means paying interest on the full cost of the procedure and every related expense you used that card for.

CareCredit, for instance, states “the standard Cardholder’s APR is 26.99%”7 — that’s 11.02% higher than (worse than) the current average credit card interest rate of 15.97%.8

GreenSky, another cosmetic surgery lender, states this about the deferred interest rates that have surprised so many, “During that promotional period, interest is billed to your loan, but you are NOT REQUIRED TO PAY that interest YET.”

Should you be unable to repay the entire purchase balance before that promotional period ends, “you will be responsible for repaying the interest that was billed to your account during the promotional period and any interest that is subsequently billed to your account.”9 (I’ve added the bolding in case it was missed elsewhere.)

That’s not to say that all medical credit cards are always a poor choice, but that a careful, educated decision will save you some unwelcome surprises as well as thousands of dollars in the long run.

Male Breast Reduction Surgery Cost Calculator

The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery makes available a cost calculator for male breast reduction surgery (and other cosmetic surgery procedures) by ZIP Code.

The calculator currently returns a wide range of prices based on data from 2018. The cost of Male Breast Reduction in Beverly Hills (ZIP Code 90212) ranges from a “Low Price Range” of $5,520 to a “High Price Range” of $9,330 for example, but that broad range should help you arrive at an approximate amount nevertheless.

Note that unlike the costs quoted above from ASPS, the prices this calculator returns aim to be all-inclusive: They include surgeon’s fees, operating room fees, anesthesia, pre- and post-operative visits, and surgical garments.

Gynecomastia Surgery Cost in Major U.S. Cities (All-Inclusive Costs)

#CityGynecomastia Surgery Cost
1U.S National Average$4,845 – $7,315
2Albuquerque, NM$4,915 – $6,400
3Anaheim, CA$5,520 – $9,330
4Antioch, TN$3,960 – $5,725
5Atlanta, GA$3,960 – $5,725
6Austin, TX$4,915 – $6,400
7Bakersfield, CA$5,520 – $9,330
8Baldwin Park, CA$5,520 – $9,330
9Baton Rouge, LA$4,835 – $7,120
10Bell Gardens, CA$5,520 – $9,330
11Bellflower, CA$5,520 – $9,330
12Beverly Hills, CA$5,520 – $9,300
13Bronx, NY$5,000 – $8,000
14Brooklyn, NY$5,000 – $8,000
15Brownsville, TX$4,915 – $6,400
16Charlotte, NC$3,960 – $5,725
17Chicago, IL$4,835 – $7,120
18Chino, CA$5,520 – $9,300
19Corona, NY$5,000 – $8,000
20Cypress, TX$4,915 – $6,400
21Dallas, TX$4,915 – $6,400
22El Paso, TX$4,915 – $6,400
23Elmhurst, NY$5,000 – $8,000
24Flushing, NY$5,000 – $8,000
25Fontana, CA$5,520 – $9,300
26Fresno, CA$5,520 – $9,300
27Grand Prairie, TX$4,915 – $6,400
28Hawthorne, CA$5,520 – $9,300
29Hayward, CA$5,520 – $9,300
30Hesperia, CA$5,520 – $9,300
31Houston, TX$4,915 – $6,400
32Huntington Park, CA$5,520 – $9,300
33Katy, TX$4,915 – $6,400
34La Puente, CA$5,520 – $9,300
35Lakewood, NJ$5,000 – $8,000
36Lancaster, CA$5,520 – $9,300
37Las Vegas, NV$5,520 – $9,300
38Lawrenceville, GA$3,960 – $5,725
39League City, TX$4,915 – $6,400
40Long Beach, CA$5,520 – $9,300
41Los Angeles, CA$5,520 – $9,300
42Mckinney, TX$4,915 – $6,400
43Mission, TX$4,915 – $6,400
44Moreno Valley, CA$5,520 – $9,300
45Nashville, TN$3,960 – $5,725
46New York, NY$5,000 – $8,000
47Norwalk, CA$5,520 – $9,300
48Olathe, KS$4,835 – $7,120
49Oxnard, CA$5,520 – $9,330
50Pacoima, CA$5,520 – $9,300
51Palmdale, CA$5,520 – $9,300
52Pearland, TX$4,915 – $6,400
53Pharr, TX$4,915 – $6,400
54Pittsburg, CA$5,520 – $9,300
55Porterville, CA$5,520 – $9,330
56Reseda, CA$5,520 – $9,330
57Rialto, CA$5,520 – $9,330
58Riverside, CA$5,520 – $9,330
59Sacramento, CA$5,520 – $9,330
60San Diego, CA$5,520 – $9,330
61San Juan, PR$4,845 – $7,315
62Santa Ana, CA$5,520 – $9,300
63Simi Valley, CA$5,520 – $9,300
64South Gate, CA$5,520 – $9,300
65Sugar Land, TX$4,915 – $6,400
66Sylmar, CA$5,520 – $9,300
67Tampa, FL$3,960 – $5,725
68Virginia Beach, VA$5,000 – $8,000
69Watsonville, CA$5,520 – $9,300
70Westminster, CA$5,520 – $9,300
71Woodbridge, VA$5,000 – $8,000
72Woodside, NY$5,000 – $8,000
73Yuma, AZ$4,915 – $6,400
Source: American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.
Note: “Procedure price range information is based on data gathered from a 2018 national survey of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery diplomates. Price ranges include all patient costs (i.e., surgeon’s fees, OR fees, anesthesia, pre- and post-operative visits, implants, and/or surgical garments, etc) and are averages per region. This data is intended to provide cosmetic surgery price estimates by region. Exact procedure prices should be determined during a consultation with a board certified cosmetic surgeon.”
Access: The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery’s Cosmetic Surgery Pricing Calculator here.

How to Get an Exact Cost Estimate for Gynecomastia Surgery

Due to the wide number of patient and practice variables, the only way to obtain an exact cost of male breast reduction surgery is for a patient to choose a cosmetic surgeon and visit them for a personal consultation.

Dr. Joseph T. Cruise, M.D., a Newport Beach, CA gynecomastia surgeon says, “It’s important to note the cost of gynecomastia surgery varies depending on the severity of the case presented.” Dr. Cruise categorizes gynecomastia cases on a 1 to 6 scale, 6 being the most extreme.

“Cost increases as the category increases. On average, gynecomastia costs $6,500 at Dr. Cruise’s Newport Beach office,” he says.

In November 2018, Dr. Cruise also shared a patient’s video, “My Gynecomastia Surgery – Let’s Talk Cost.”

“So when I did walk into my surgeon’s office on the morning of January 5th, 2017, I walked in with a check for the total of $8,882.00 USD.”

Against Dr. Cruise’s gynecomastia scale, the patient above says he had Grade 3 gynecomastia.

“If you’re wondering what that means,” the patient says, “I could have been a Victoria Secret swimsuit model. I had straight up C cups, no, maybe like some B-minus cups. I had some straight up breasts going on. They were pretty serious and on top of that I also had some excess skin hanging here [under the arms] as well. So I had a pretty serious case of gynecomastia.”

(Note that the patient says Dr. Cruise’s scale ends at 4, not 6 as it actually does, so his cost may not apply to a 3, but a 5.)

Is Gynecomastia Surgery Covered by Insurance?

Patients with certain advanced grades of gynecomastia and who meet a laundry list of criteria may be granted insurance coverage for male breast reduction surgery.

Understanding the ASPS’s recommended insurance coverage criteria for adolescents and adults with gynecomastia can be helpful.

Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Corporate Medical Policy on Breast Surgeries can be found here. United Health Care’s policy on the same can be found here.

Upfront payments, a practice’s own payment plans, credit cards, and medical credit cards or loans (CareCredit, Alphaeon, AccessOne) are among the financing options.

Cost of Gynecomastia Surgery Versus Other Male Cosmetic Surgeries

Of the 29 types of surgery for which the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) annually provides national average cost estimates, gynecomastia surgery ranks as the 11th priciest procedure for men.

Following are the most costly male cosmetic surgeries of 2019 according to ASPS data:

  1. Lower body lift — $8,073
  2. Facelift (Rhytidectomy) — $7,467
  3. Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty) — $6,092
  4. Nose reshaping (Rhinoplasty) — $5,409
  5. Thigh lift — $5,171
  6. Neck lift — $5,110
  7. Buttock implants — $5,004
  8. Buttock lift — $4,960
  9. Upper arm lift (Brachioplasty) — $4,550
  10. Pectoral implants — $4,244
  11. Breast reduction in men (Gynecomastia) — $4,123

Male Breast Reduction Surgery is the 4th Most-Commonly Performed Cosmetic Surgery for Men in the U.S.

Gynecomastia surgery is the 4th most commonly performed cosmetic surgery for men, following rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty and liposuction.

The most commonly performed male cosmetic surgeries in 2019 were:

  1. Nose reshaping (Rhinoplasty) — 49,528 procedures in 2019
  2. Eyelid surgery (Blepharoplasty) — 31,533
  3. Liposuction — 30,288
  4. Breast reduction in men (Gynecomastia) — 24,123

Age of Male Breast Reduction Surgery Patients

In 2019, 24,123 patients had male breast reduction surgery in the U.S.

Thirty-five percent of those patients were between the ages of 20 and 29, and 60% were younger than age 29 at the time of the operation.

AgePatients (2019)% of Total
Age 13 – 196,16925.6%
Age 20 – 298,41934.9%
Age 30 – 394,27217.7%
Age 40 – 543,20613.3%
Age 55 – Up2,0578.5%
All ages24,123100%

Candidacy for male breast reduction surgery can only be determined in-person by a qualified medical practitioner.

Cost of Gynecomastia Surgery Liable to Drop 4-12% in 2021

Using statistical data from the recession of 2008 and its subsequent impact on the national average cost of all cosmetic surgeries, we anticipate the cost of male breast reduction surgery is liable to drop by between 4% and 12% in 2020 and 2021.

In recent months, cosmetic surgery has risen in popularity as potential patients find more time on their hands, spend more time in front of cameras and in virtual meetings, and face a near-ideal at-home recovery scenario. Virtual consultations are also now available at almost every cosmetic surgeon’s office and the industry has responded well with safety precautions and additional online service portals for patients.

As with the costs of any service or commodity, that vary by region since they ultimately reflect consumer sentiment and market demand, as well as local wage levels, price drops in cosmetic surgery, will likely parallel the market drop just as they did in 2008.

References

  1. ASPS; Gynecomastia
  2. ABCS; Gynecomastia Surgery Guide
  3. NHS; What is Gynecomastia
  4. MayoClinic; Gynecomastia Symptoms and Causes
  5. ASPS; 2019 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report (PDF)
  6. ASPS; Position on Insurance Coverage for Gynecomastia (PDF)
  7. CareCredit, FAQs
  8. CreditCards, Rates Report
  9. GreenSky, FAQs