Gynecomastia: aka male breast reduction
What is it?
Gynecomastia is a condition that occurs in some males, giving them over-developed or enlarged breasts in men. This is common and can often develop from hormonal changes, heredity, certain illnesses and certain prescription medications. While this is not a painful condition physically, it often causes men embarrassment and emotional discomfort.
The condition is characterized by excess fat in the breasts, excess gland development in the breast area, a combination of both and can be experienced in one or both breasts. While it is not necessary to remove the tissue, many men choose to have the tissue or fat removed in a cosmetic procedure. The procedure is ideal for men who are in good physical condition, who do not smoke and who have stopped physical development.
The first step of the operation is to administer anesthesia through an IV. The amount of anesthesia and type will be determined by the surgeon prior to beginning the procedure based upon the patient’s weight, height, and health status.
Next, liposuction will be used to remove excess fat from the breast areas. There are several available liposuction options to consider and the type will be determined by your surgeon. Overall, liposuction is performed by inserting a thin, hollow tube into a small incision to remove the fat through vacuum suction. The amount of fat removed will be dependent upon the total fat within the breasts currently and the patient’s desired outcome.
In some cases, excision may be used individually or in combination with liposuction to correct this condition. Excision is used most commonly when there is also glandular tissue to be removed. Also, excision will be used if the man’s areola needs to be reduced or repositioned.
Alternatives to Surgery
As this is a cosmetic procedure and considered medically unnecessary, the alternative option would be to live with the medical condition. Gynecomastia does not cause any pain for men, although can be embarrassing enough for many to decide to undergo this medical procedure.
Before the Operation
It is common for a surgeon to require lab work to be completed along with a medical examination prior to surgery in order to ensure that the man is in good health. Also, certain medications may be recommended to stop prior to the procedure and some medications may be recommended to add daily before the procedure. It is important to follow any and all suggestions to ensure the best possible surgical outcome possible.
After the Operation- In the Hospital
While the patient is in the hospital, it is a time to recover from the anesthesia and to prepare to go home for recovery. In most cases, this procedure is outpatient, meaning the patient will leave the same day, requiring a driver to be present to take the patient home. Most surgeons and medical facilities will require the patient to achieve certain milestones before they are allowed to leave following their procedure.
After the Operation- At Home
The patient is often sent home with a bandage wrapped around to reduce swelling. In some cases, a tube may be used to help with drainage, although they are not used in all circumstances. There will be specific instructions provided about when to come back for an appointment, about how to manage and care for the incision site or the bandages and about what changes are normal and which should be reported if noticed. If there are any complications or sudden changes in your health status, it is crucial that these are reported immediately to your surgeon or medical facility.
While not all patients will experience complications, it is important to review the list to become familiar with the possible effects of going through this surgical procedure.
Some of the most common side effects include:
- Bleeding and hematoma
- Blood clots
- Slow to heal wounds
- Changes in breast or nipple sensation
- Skin discoloration
- Breast asymmetry
- Fluid accumulation
- Persistent pain
As with any cosmetic procedure, it is important to consider all available options as the surgery is not medically necessary. When the decision to have the surgery has been made, it is important to meet with several surgeons I order to find someone that is the best possible personal match for the patient. It is advised to ask about the surgeon’s experience, their results and whether the patient is a good match for the procedure.
Estimated Cost for Gynecomastia Surgery
The costs for gynecomastia surgery will vary from country to country based upon the medical facilities, physicians, country and amenities offered.