What Is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is the over-development of breast tissue in men. Though the exact cause of gynecomastia is unclear, the condition has been linked in adults to obesity and certain medications.
Surgery to correct gynecomastia, known as male breast reduction, is considered cosmetic and generally not covered by insurance.
Before considering surgery it is important to undergo a complete medical evaluation with your primary care physician before making an appointment to see a plastic surgeon to rule out a more serious underlying medical condition.
Who is a Good Candidate for Gynecomastia Surgery?
For men who feel self-conscious about their appearance, male breast reduction surgery can help.
Gynecomastia in adults is treated at almost any age. Breast size should be stable for one to two years before considering surgery.
Boys going through puberty and newborns may develop gynecomastia as a result of normal changes in hormone levels and are not considered candidates for surgery. The condition usually resolves on its own as hormone levels stabilize.
What To Expect
A successful gynecomastia surgery should:
- Remove unwanted excess breast tissue in men
- Restore a more normal shape and contour for a masculine chest
The procedure itself is somewhat similar to a mastectomy. A small, half-moon shaped incision is made just along the edge of the areola. Careful placement of the incision minimizes scars. Your surgeon may use liposuction to remove excess fat or a scalpel to cut away the extra glandular tissue, depending on the make-up of your breast.
In either case, some men need to have extra skin removed during the same procedure. A consultation with one of our surgeons will help determine the best surgical approach to meet your needs and establish realistic expected outcomes.
Recovery After Gynecomastia Surgery
Most patients go home the same day as their surgery. A drain in each breast will stay in place for about a week. Expect to have some discomfort while the drain is in place and then slight discomfort while the wound heals over the next two to three weeks.
You will be prescribed medications to be applied topically or taken orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection as the wound heals.
Carefully following your surgeon's post-operative instructions will help speed your recovery and help you achieve your desired surgical results.
Risks and Outcomes
All surgery has risks, but you can help prevent complications by carefully following all pre- and post-operative instructions provided by your surgeon.
The most common postsurgical problems are infections and scarring. Each complication, when identified and treated early, can be managed successfully.
On rare occasions loss of sensation in the nipple area may occur.