Gynaecomastia is a common condition in which men develop breast tissue. It occurs for a short period in many teenage males, but usually resolves spontaneously. Breast development may persist in some men, or develop later in life usually in association with weight gain.
The enlargement of the male breast can be caused by either excess glandular tissue, excess fat, or both. Some of the causes include hormone fluctuations, medical or recreational drugs, obesity, as well as some genetic disorders. Breast cancer can be a cause of one-sided gynaecomastia in men. Always check with your doctor if you are concerned or notice changes.
Questions and answers
Your surgeon will perform a thorough medical examination, answer all your questions, and suggest the most appropriate treatment. Photographs will be taken before and after your surgery to plan your operation and to record your results.
Sometimes laboratory tests or a medical specialist referral may be indicated and a breast X-ray (mammogram) may be performed in some cases of gynaecomastia to rule out the presence of breast cancer, and to determine whether your breast enlargement is secondary to an increase in fat, glandular tissue, or both. The appropriate procedure can then be determined.
Like any surgical procedure there are some risks and possible complications, including post-operative bleeding, infection, scaring and asymmetry. These are uncommon, but your surgeon will discuss them with you.
Surgery may include liposuction only, gland removal through a small cut around the nipple, or a combination of both. The ideal treatment depends on the consistency of the breast tissue (whether it is more firm and glandular, or more soft and fatty), and a patient’s age.
Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL) has proven to be very beneficial in the treatment of gynaecomastia. This is a safe, proven technology using sound waves to help melt some of the fibrous fat and tissue. It may be possible to reduce relatively large male breasts solely by UAL without necessitating large scars. Sometimes a second, smaller procedure may be required to remove excessive skin which does not shrink back after UAL.
A breast reduction can take approximately 1.5-2 hours. Depending on the complexity of the operation, your surgeon will either use a local or general anaesthetic.
In most cases, an overnight stay is not required.
After surgery you will wear a pressure vest for several weeks to minimize any swelling and bruising. Your surgeon will advise you to stay off work for a week and to avoid contact sports for about four to six weeks. You should be able to resume most of your normal activities within a month.
More detailed information can be obtained during a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons. Please contact the Institute for a consultation.
Pre and post operative photographs of all procedures are available to view at the Institute during your consultations.
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