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Gynecomastia – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a medical term that originates from the Greek words for “women-like” breasts and this condition affects over 50 percent of the male population in one or both breasts.

What causes Gynecomastia?

The primary cause of gynecomastia is largely hormonal, as it usually starts to appear at puberty when hormone levels surge from the onset of physical maturity.  Testosterone develops male characteristics while estrogen brings on female traits, and low testosterone or high estrogen levels in males can cause the development of female-like breast tissue, or gynecomastia.  Although certain drugs such as anabolic steroids, medications containing estrogen, alcohol, marijuana, and certain medical conditions including cancer, impaired liver function, or thyroid issues may cause or contribute to enlarged male breasts: it is widely accepted that a large percentage of gynecomastia cases derive from hormonal issues or in some cases unknown sources.

How is Breast Reduction Surgery performed?

During Breast Reduction Surgery, an incision is made either on the edge of the nipple (Areola) or in the underarm area allowing your surgeon

To remove the excess glandular tissue, fat and skin from around the pigmented area surrounding the areola and from the sides and bottom of the breast.  Major reductions that involve the removal of a significant amount of tissue and skin may require larger incisions and more visible scars.  Surgery may be performed alone or in conjunction with lipoplasty, where the suction device will typically be inserted through the existing incisions.

What is Pseudogynecomastia?

Pseudogynecomastia makes the male breasts abnormally large, but it is not true gynecomastia. This is a condition in which fatty tissue is responsible for the enlargement seen mainly in men who have had significant weight gain, and it can be reversed with weight loss, if the skin has not been overly stretched.

What is scarring like from Gynecomastia Surgery?

There will be scarring around the nipple of the breast (areola) from this procedure, but any scars will fade over a period of time and become less visible.

Who is a good candidate for Gynecomastia Surgery?

Men of any age who are physically healthy and emotionally stable, are considered good candidates for male breast reduction surgery. The best candidates are those who have firm, elastic skin that will reshape to the body’s new contours, and in some instances, surgery may be discouraged for overweight men who have not first tried an exercise and diet regimen.

What are the benefits of Male Breast Reduction Surgery?

The results of gynecomastia surgery are permanent, although subsequent obesity can create a gynecomastia-like effect. Some of the benefits of surgery include a firmer, flatter, more contoured chest with little downtime enabling most patients to return to work within one week, unless strenuous activities are involved.

How long does male Breast Reduction take to perform?

The procedure for male breast reduction takes 1-2 hours, depending on the amount of glandular tissue, fat, and excess skin that needs to be removed.  Gynecomastia is typically performed on an outpatient basis using general or local anaesthesia.

Is there any non-surgical treatment for Gynecomastia?

Although you can read about easy, non-surgical cures in the news and advertisements, and there is considerable ongoing research aimed at finding a way to reverse it without surgery, no effective medical treatment exists at this time.

Can Liposuction be used alone for Male Breast Reduction?

Male breast reduction surgery may be performed with liposuction, but in most cases it is not an adequate technique when used alone.   Removing the fat around the gland only can create an unnatural bulb, causing a “re-do” surgery in the future.

Will the entire gland be removed during the Surgery?

Male breast reduction surgery for gynecomastia is a cosmetic procedure, and in most cases only enough gland is removed to create a flat, contoured chest. In extreme cases, sometimes excess has to be removed and this will be discussed and determined during your consultation with one of our Reconstructive Consultant Plastic Surgeons.

Is Male Breast Reduction Surgery painful?

Pain tolerance is different for every patient, but generally gynecomastia reduction surgery is not particularly painful, and most men find they only need pain pills for 2-3 days.

Will the nipple sensation be lost after Breast Reduction Surgery?

With any breast surgery, it is always possible to have a change in nipple sensation, and some patients report changes in sensation, while others do not experience any change at all.

What are the risks or complications from Male Reduction Surgery?

Although rare, surgery complications can occur and include bleeding, infection, bruising, swelling, temporary numbness, lack of sensation, postoperative asymmetry, pigment changes, and fluid accumulation.

 

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