Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)

Male Breast Reduction

Male Breast Reduction or Gynecomastia is a condition of over-developed or enlarged breast in men, and common in men of any age, especially during puberty. In the majority of cases, there is no known cause. Although rarely talked about, it can be the result of hormonal changes, heredity conditions, disease or the use of certain drugs. For men who feel self-conscious about their appearance, tissue reduction surgery can be helpful.

Gynecomastia is characterised by:

  • Excess localised fat
  • Excess glandular tissue development
  • A combination of both excess fat and glandular tissue
  • The condition can be present in one or both breast.

Why have a Surgery for Gynaecomastia?

Male Breast Reduction Surgery can:

  • Reduce the size of the abnormal breast development to normal proportions
  • Improve body shape and self-image enabling you to wear the clothes you desire
  • Restore a more natural male appearance to the chest.

Male breast reduction consultation

During your consultation, your surgeon will take a general medical history and ask you about any previous surgery. You will also be also asked about any regular medications you might be taking, including vitamins or supplements. For example, the breast enlargement can be caused by medicines (for high blood pressure, heart disease and prostate cancer), drugs (such as marijuana and anabolic steroids), some diseases (such as liver failure and some cancers) and some very rare congenital abnormalities). These causes should be excluded by the surgeon during an initial consultation.

Also, your surgeon will want to determine your current level of fitness and discuss your goals for the procedure.Your surgeon will also explain the procedure to you, describe any scars the procedure will leave and discuss what you can expect after your surgery. Remember gynecomastia surgery will not change you or solve any life crises but should boost your self-confidence and enjoyment of life.

Male Breast Reduction Procedure

The breast is made up of two main components, glandular tissue (firm and dense) and fatty tissue (soft). The type of gynecomastia surgery procedure required to achieve the best result will depend on the amount of fat deposit and breast tissue present. Rarely is it necessary to remove the skin from the breast, therefore scarring should be minimal.

If your circumstances are predominantly due to fatty enlargement of the breast, liposuction is the usual treatment. If excess glandular tissue is the primary cause of breast enlargement, it may need to be surgically removed. This will leave a scar, usually around the nipple edge. This excision can be performed alone or in conjunction with liposuction. Major reductions that involve the removal of a significant amount of tissue and skin may require larger incisions that result in more noticeable scars.

Most operations for gynecomastia take about 90 minutes to complete and are performed under general anaesthesia, or in some cases, under local anaesthesia with sedation.

Recovery From the Procedure

Following the surgery, the chest is swollen and bruised for a while, and it can be difficult to assess the full effect of the operation. Bruising and swelling are expected after surgery and may last for a week or more. Hardness or lumpiness within the tissues due to swelling can persist for a few months. To help reduce swelling, patients are often instructed to wear an elastic pressure garment continuously for one or two weeks.

Depending on your occupation and the degree of your surgery you may return to work after one or two weeks. Lifting must be avoided for about 14 days. It is advisable to refrain from exercise for about three weeks and, in general, it takes about six weeks before one can return to completely normal activities.

Further Reading:

Neck Lift

British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons

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