If you are considering Gynaecomastia surgery, you may wish to have several questions answered.
This is a condition which presents a swelling of the male breast area – sometimes referred to as ‘moobs’ or ‘man boobs’ in the popular press.
The Male Breast Reduction is carried out to correct the appearance of enlarged breasts in males commonly referred to as ‘man boobs’ and medically known as Gynaecomastia. The condition is often linked to obesity however there are several possible causes including a hormone imbalance, the intake of certain medication and of course medical predisposition. In the same way that some women have larger breasts than others, males do too.
The condition itself is caused by an excess of either glandular proliferation or fatty tissue and in some cases both. The aim of the surgery is to create a more shapely and symmetrical chest contour with minimal scarring.
Surgery is carried out under General Anaesthesia and takes 1-2 hrs in theatre, patients can usually return home the same day although depending on the extent of the surgery may require an overnight stay.
The surgery itself is dependant on the condition, if fatty tissue is the cause this can usually be corrected by the use of liposuction alone however if there is an excess of glandular tissue in addition this will need to be excised. The incisions are made around the areola and in severe cases of Gynaecomastia may require a horizontal or vertical incision along with the repositioning of the areola.
The incisions are then sutured, surgical bandages are applied, drains are usually in place to drain away any excess fluid and a compression garment is placed around the area. The compression garment should usually be worn for around 4-6 weeks following surgery.
“I had a wonderful experience with Patrick, he is not only a great surgeon but he has extraordinary empathy and I always felt totally at ease with him.”
Operations for Gynaecomastia are generally carried out under a general anaesthetic and can be carried out either as a day case or as an overnight stay in hospital.
The type of surgery depends on the extent of the Gynaecomastia and on the two components which make it up ie fat and gland tissue. Most surgery consists of a combination of liposuction and/or open excision of the breast disc (glandular tissue). In such cases very small incisions (3 or 4 mm) are placed carefully to allow liposuction cannulae access to the breast for suction of the fatty component. If open excision of the breast disc is required this is done via an incision around the nipple. For cases of more extensive Gynaecomastia skin may also need to be reduced or excised. In cases of very large breasts it is often a two stage procedure.
Timing of treatment
There is no rule as to when this should be treated.
Each case has to be assessed individually. It can be a distressing time for teenage boys who develop Gynaecomastia early to go through school and puberty with the condition. Many are told that it will get better o its own or that they will ‘grow out of it’ – unfortunately this is not the case. It is advisable to seek a plastic surgery opinion early on to discuss the timing of the treatment.
Recovery from surgery
This will depend on the extent of the Gynaecomastia and the type of surgery involved.
For milder cases where liposuction alone is used, recovery is rapid with minimal down time. For open techniques the recovery may take longer. It is important to discuss with your surgeon these issues so that you can plan your treament.
Risks and Complications
Most elective procedures are undertaken without complication however it is important to understand any possible risks.
Common complaints following Male Breast Reduction can include bruising, swelling and numbness, all of which should subside in the short term. More uncommon complications can include infection, haematoma, seroma, scar thickening, delayed healing and skin loss or necrosis. Patients should also consider the risks of General Anaesthesia which can include respiratory issue and DVT. Our team of nursing staff monitor the progress of patients for signs of these complications very carefully post operatively and patients are given contact information should they need medical assistance once discharged from the hospital.
Once the healing process is complete it is important to maintain a healthy weight through a stable diet and exercise plan following surgery to minimise the risk of the condition returning.