FAQ - Gynecomastia Surgery
It is natural to have questions about cosmetic surgery. We are committed to helping you understand the surgical considerations taken to plan a male breast reduction. Well informed patients are better equipped to make decisions about gynecomastia surgery.
Developmental gynecomastia commences concurrently with puberty. The majority of these adolescent cases spontaneously resolve and eventually disappear. When gynecomastia persists into adulthood, cosmetic improvement by male breast reduction can be considered.
Less common causes for male breast enlargement include diseases of the pituitary gland, endocrine dysfunction, medications, tumors, illness, and recreational drug use.
Nonsurgical gynecomastia treatments have little or no effect. Be suspicious of product advertisements and nonscientific articles saying otherwise. The topical application of skin creams is not effective at reducing gynecomastia. Surgical male breast reduction is the only effective solution.
Men with gynecomastia considering male breast reduction should be in good health, have stable body weight, have no serious or active illnesses, no pre-existing medical conditions, and must have realistic outcome expectations. Patients developing gynecomastia from anabolic steroid use must cease and reframe from use in the future.
Gynecomastia surgery is not a treatment for obesity nor a substitute for good nutrition and exercise. Potential patients intending to lose weight should delay their male breast reduction until they have reached a stable body weight. It is important to discuss weight loss plans with your plastic surgeon before surgery.
Despite the swelling associated with surgery, meaningful results are apparent immediately following male breast reduction. In the months following gynecomastia surgery, the edema will resorb and the skin will retract to further accentuate the masculine chest contours gained by male breast reduction.
Gynecomastia refers to male breast enlargement resulting in a feminine chest contour. The tissue composition of the enlarged breast is biologically comprised of fat and mammary gland.
Glandular gynecomastia most often appears as an oval subareolar mass attached to the nipple. The excess breast tissue is firm, inelastic, and does not respond to liposuction. Direct excision techniques are necessary when planning glandular gynecomastia surgery. Anabolic steroid use and innate hormone sensitivity are thought to be potential causes of glandular gynecomastia.
Fatty gynecomastia is principally composed of excess fat. Its causes are more diverse. Hormonal sensitivity, obesity, steroids, and medications all may trigger this condition. The excess fat is diffusely spread throughout the breast and chest. With fatty gynecomastia, the breast is soft, compressible, and blends indistinctly with adjacent normal tissue. Liposuction is especially effective in the treatment of fatty gynecomastia.
Most patients presenting with gynecomastia have an excess of fat and gland. Optimal gynecomastia treatment outcomes are usually achieved with a combination of liposuction to aspirate fat and direct surgical excision to remove the gland.
Mild and moderately severe grades of gynecomastia do not require skin excision and often heal with minimal scars (at access points used for liposuction and direct excision). Liposuction scars are tiny and imperceivable. Direct excision access incisions are strategically positioned around the areola and/or inframammary fold. The resulting scars are short and concealed at the margin of the areola or hidden in the inframammary crease.
Severe forms of gynecomastia with excess skin necessitate skin excision and nipple grafts. Unfortunately, the skin excisions do result in visible scars around the areola and at the inframammary crease.
Gynecomastia surgery results in mild discomfort, swelling, and bruising. These symptoms spontaneously and gradually improve over the weeks following surgery. The expected discomforts respond well to mild analgesics such as Tylenol.
We tailor our physical activity recommendations to every patient’s unique situation. Patients having local anesthesia for minor gynecomastia surgery can often return to their usual routines without disruption. For moderate male breast reduction performed under general anesthesia, we advise a 1-week cessation of work. Return to sports and intense physical activities is usually possible after 3 weeks.