What is Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia is a medical term rooted from the Greek language which means women-like breasts. This condition actually affects an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men but to different degrees. There is no singular cause in the vast majority of gynecomastia cases, although certain drugs and medical problems have been linked with male breast over-development.
The surgical treatment for gynecomastia is gynecomastia excision, and usually results in a flatter, firmer and better-contoured chest. This breast-reduction surgery may greatly benefit men who feel self-conscious about their appearance. The procedure eliminates fat tissue from the breasts, achieving a chest that is flatter, firmer, and better-contoured.
Obesity, hormonal metabolism imbalance, liver disease, or medicinal effects may be some of the causes of gynecomastia. Before taking a surgical solution to gynecomastia, a period of diet and exercise is required. A surgical intervention may be performed should all else fail.
Effects of Gynecomastia
For young boys, having enlarged breasts may last for only a few years, and in most cases resolve at the age of 18. However, enlarged breasts on men can be awkward, not to mention socially and psychologically destructive.
In today’s demanding corporate world, looking your best is essential. This is the reason why an increasing number of men opt to have cosmetic surgery, a trend that studies have proven is associated with career development. A study showed that 84 percent of men surveyed deemed that physical appeal is vital in attaining power and success on the job.
Many patients who went through breast reduction surgery are pleased with their new, more attractive shape and have boosted their self-confidence.
Candidates for Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia surgery is best recommended for healthy men who have overly developed breasts. Overweight or obese men who have not sought exercise or weight loss as preliminary solutions are discouraged from undergoing surgery. Gynecomastia is also not recommended for individuals who drink many alcoholic beverages or smoke marijuana. These drugs, as well as anabolic steroids, may cause gynecomastia. Patients are advised first to stop the use of these drugs to know if the breast fullness will be reduced before resorting to surgery.
Your surgeon will discuss with you your goals and expectations of the surgery. The doctor will evaluate the nature of your breasts and the elasticity of your skin to determine the cause of your breast enlargement, which can be brought about by fatty tissue and/or glandular tissue.
Your doctor may present you several pre- and post-surgery photographs of patients having similar breasts. The procedure will then be explained to you as well as the possible outcome.
The Gynecomastia Procedure
Male breast reduction is done on an outpatient basis with the use of a general anesthesia. The procedure takes from one to three hours depending on the extent of correction.
Options and Alternatives:
Liposuction is preferred if your gynecomastia shows fatty tissues as the primary cause. Liposuction surgery is the process used to actually take out unwanted localized deposits of fat cells from the body. A straw-like cannula is inserted through a tiny incision placed in an inconspicuous location on the skin. With the use of a vacuum system attached to the cannula, excess fat cells are sucked out. The result is the transformation of bulging breasts into more attractive contours.
Traditional Surgical Excision
Should your gynecomastia prove to be a result of a glandular disorder, liposuction alone may not likely be beneficial. Traditional surgical excision may be the best way to go.
The excision may be done alone or in combination with liposuction. The incision is typically placed on the edge of the areola (colored area of the nipple) or in the underarm area. Your surgeon will work through these incisions to eliminate the excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin from the breast. If your reduction necessitates the removal of significant amounts of tissue, larger incisions may be required.
In extreme cases where there are large amounts of fat and/or glandular tissue that have to be removed, excess skin may also have to be excised.
Silicone implants for men are called "Pec" implants. These are used to enhance the pectoral muscles of a man’s chest. Pec implants can be inserted simultaneously with your breast reduction surgery and may add an hour to the process.
Bed rest is advised for the first day. You will experience some pain for a couple of days. For the first few days after your surgery, you will have to wear surgical dressings which will be substituted for a special compression garment. This will have to be worn for a period of two weeks. Your surgeon may prescribe oral medication for the control of discomfort related with breast surgery. Antibiotics may also be prescribed.
A majority of men who undergo the procedure experience some degree of swelling, bruising, and tenderness. These symptoms should mellow down in a short time. Within about two weeks, all sutures are cleared away. Your surgeon will discuss with you the appropriate time to return to your normal activities. Most patients are back to work within the first week.
As with any other surgery, the risks with a procedure like this involves bleeding, infection, numbness, poor healing or a reaction to anesthesia. The specific risks of Male Breast Reduction surgery can be discussed thoroughly in your personal consultation with our doctors.
You can minimize the risk of bleeding by terminating the use of aspirin products a few weeks before your surgery, as well as two weeks after your surgery. Patients can diminish the risk of poor blood supply or dead tissue by not smoking before or after the surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What type of anesthesia will be used for this procedure?
A: General or local anesthesia with sedation is often utilized in gynecomastia surgical procedures.
Q: How long will the procedure take?
A: The gynecomastia surgery usually takes between one to three hours.
Q: How will I feel after the procedure?
A: The healing process of each patient varies. Some may experience temporary pain, swelling, some bruising, soreness, numbness, a burning sensation, or fatigue.
Q: How long can I return to work after the surgery?
A: Recovery periods may vary, but patients who have undergone gynecomastia surgery are oftentimes able to go back to work within five days to one week following the surgery. It should be noted that exercise and any strenuous activities should wait until three to six weeks after the surgery.
Q: Will the procedure leave scars?
A: It will take a period of time for the small incisions around the areola to fade and flatten. Scars can be improved with topical gel.