About Gynecomastia Treatment
Gynecomastia treatment, also known as male breast reduction.
The aim of gynecomastia surgery is to reduce breast size for men whose overly large breasts.
Reduction methods include liposuction, the removal of excess glandular tissue, using a combination of liposuction and excision. With the help of a board-certified plastic surgeon, it is not a major issue to safely remove signs of gynecomastia.
The results of a gynecomastia procedure are permanent. This is assuming your weight remains stable. If the condition arose from the use of a certain medication or anabolic steroids, then further use could lead to recurrence of the condition.
How is it performed?
The aim of gynecomastia surgery is to restore a normal male breast shape and correct deformities of the breast, nipple and areola. This will usually be achieved through liposuction or excision (surgical removal of tissue) or a combination of both techniques. Glandular breast tissue is far denser than normal, fatty tissue and therefore is not appropriate for liposuction. Your surgeon will make a choice based on the likelihood of skin redundancy after surgery, as skin shrinkage can vary depending on anatomy and age.
What are my options?
Enlarged breasts may be composed of excess fatty tissue (pseudogynecomastia) rather than normal breast tissue and if this is the case, your surgeon should recommend treatment with diet and exercise. Treatment of puffy nipples often associated with gynecomastia will typically involve liposuction combined with a chest reduction by glandular excision.
What result can I expect?
Assuming you maintain a stable weight, Gynecomastia results are permanent. If your condition was caused by over-use of medication, then continued use could cause a recurrence. You should make sure you maintain a good relationship with your surgeon, and return at prescribed times for evaluations.
- You can feel comfortable showing your chest.
- The results are permanent
- Scarring from surgery could make you self-conscious.
- You may be disappointed with your results.
- Weight gain following this surgery will compromise results.
After your surgery you will be bandaged or wearing a compression garment and you may have a surgical drain. The first three days after surgery are crucial to your recovery. You must be at full rest at home, but not necessarily in bed. Sitting and watching TV or having meals in the kitchen or living room is usually acceptable. You should aim to keep movements of the waist and elbows to a minimum and avoid vigorous shoulder movement. You may move your arms laterally, but do not lift your arms up vertically. Once the anaesthesia wears off, you may experience some pain and you will find you have some swelling and redness after the surgery. Contact your surgeon to find out if your pain, redness and swelling are normal or a signs of a problem.
Your recovery time depends on how severe your condition was and which surgery was performed. The average patient treated with a combination of liposuction and breast gland tissue excision will likely be back to work after about a week. Gynecomastia surgery typically has a relatively gentle recovery period, but it is still essential you follow all instructions your physician gives you. It is important to realize everyone will recover at a different rate.
Your first follow-up visit will be within the first week of your recovery. You should avoid all strenuous activities for up to three weeks, but typically you will be able to resume low-impact activity between two to three weeks and gentle upper extremity resistance exercises at three to six weeks. Most gynecomastia patients return to work within seven to ten days of their surgery.
Swelling and bruising can vary between minimal to massive, but is usually confined to the breast area, chest and abdomen. Bruising will increase in intensity over the first three to four days before gradually diminishing and becoming yellowish for another week. This discolouration will usually disappear within about two to three weeks. As with most surgeries, you may notice a decrease in sensation in the area around the operated wound. This tends to happen more often with patients whose enlarged breasts require significant liposuction, but many men find this temporary loss of sensation insignificant, especially as normal sensation generally returns after a about a year.
In some patients with diminished elasticity (most commonly older patients) there may be excess skin or skin creases that are more noticeable post-operatively. You will find the majority of these creases will persist for between 6-12 months, and then diminish significantly as the loose skin tightens. After male breast reduction surgery there is a phenomenon of spontaneous shrinking of the entire areola. It is not uncommon for the areola’s diameter to decrease up to fifty percent from its original size. This usually only occurs when the surgeon has removed large amounts of glandular tissue. It may be three months or more before the swelling subsides and you can see your final results.
Limits & Risks
Fortunately, significant complications from gynecomastia are infrequent. You should discuss your specific risks for gynecomastia surgery during your consultation with your cosmetic surgeon. Remember that all types of surgery come with some degree of risk.
Some complications that can arise from any surgery:
- Adverse reaction to anaesthesia
- Hematoma or seroma
- Loss or changes in sensation
- Allergic reactions
- Damage to underlying tissue structures
- Unsatisfactory results
- Blood clots
Other risks specific to gynecomastia surgery are: