How Breast Implants Work

Not Just for Women

While men don't have breasts to enlarge, there is a procedure that uses implants to increase chest size. Pectoral implants come in different contoured sizes that naturally curve to the shape of male pectoral muscles. Pectoral implants can create a larger, more defined chest on a man.

Pectoral implant surgery is done with an armpit incision. Using an endoscope, the doctor guides the implant through the patient's body and lodges it behind the pectoral muscles. The procedure is nearly identical to transaxillary breast implant surgery for women.


On the other end of the spectrum is male breast reduction, for gynecomastia. Age, diet or heredity can result in fatty deposits or gland formation over the pectoral muscles that resemble breasts. Plastic surgeons can remove this abnormality by cutting small, elliptical incisions under the nipple and performing a type of liposuction. Using a suction rod called a cannula, the excess fat is vacuumed from the area.

If glands are the reason for growth, the surgeon simply removes them and stitches the incision. The procedure usually has to be preformed more than once to completely eliminate the extra tissue.

In the next section, we'll examine the some of the controversies surrounding breast implants.