Just For Men – Gynecomastia


Gynecomastia Overview

Gynecomastia refers to the enlargement of the male breast. Hormonal imbalances can be the cause, but it is usually not related to any measurable change in these chemicals. If there are detectable changes, then treatment may be directed to treating these with medications. In the more common situation, overgrowth of the male breast simply occurs around puberty, and the only reliable treatment is surgical.

Depending upon the extent of the breast enlargement and the proportion of fat and breast gland present, the recommended surgical treatment may vary. In cases where there is little loose skin, removal of the excess breast tissue and fat is all that is needed. These approaches may involve liposuction alone, or a combination of excision through a nipple incision with liposuction. If the breast enlargement is much more substantial and associated with notable skin excess, then skin removal might be necessary. These incisions might be in the pattern of a female breast reduction – upside down T or anchor styles – or others.

Gynecomastia Recovery

Most patients recover quite quickly from surgical treatment of gynecomastia. If liposuction alone is performed, many will return to activities in a few days. Activities may be performed to comfort, meaning that any activity that does not result in pronounced pain or discomfort may be performed right away. Patients should be cautious to avoid activities that are associated with more significant pain.

Should skin removal or an incision be needed to directly remove the excess tissue, then recover might be prolonged up to 2 weeks. These patients will generally be able to resume more vigorous activities at that time.

Occasionally a drain may be inserted into the surgical area. This device will be removed in the office once the volume of liquid that drains out is low enough.

Lastly, expect to be placed in a compression garment to minimize swelling and bruising. You will want to wear this religiously night and day for two weeks. For the following two weeks, you will be asked to wear the garment as much as you are willing. From that point forward, the garment may be worn as desired.

Risks of Gynecomastia Surgery

As with any operation, there are risks of bleeding, poor healing, infection, dissatisfaction with the results, and complications from the anesthetic such as blood clots and etc. Certain behaviors around the time of your surgery can influence your risks of problems such as smoking and failing to follow instructions regarding wound care and activities. Specifically, smokers are required to discontinue smoking a minimum of 3 weeks prior to surgery and not resume smoking until proper healing as been verified.

Because the breast tissue is densely adherent to the undersurface of the nipple and areola, removal of this tissue must be accomplished very carefully. If this requires an incision at the lower edge of the areola, then there exists a risk of excess removal of tissue and subsequent death of the areola secondary to loss of blood flow. Loss of sensation to the nipple and a deep indentation (called saucer defect) is also possible. Certainly there is a risk that too much or too little breast tissue and fat can be removed, and differences in size and shape of the chest comparing sides could occur. Although infrequent, breast tissue can enlarge again at some point after surgery, possibly requiring further treatment.

Learn More about Gynecomastia

If you feel that treatment for gynecomastia might be right for you, schedule a private consultation with Dr. Brzowski to discuss your desires.