Male Breast Reduction
“Man boobs”, or gynaecomastia, refers to the condition where males develop abnormally large breasts. This can very from very minor lumpiness just beneath the nipple to fully developed feminine breasts.
This is a benign condition that commonly occurs during pubescence in approximately 60 to 70% of healthy males between the ages of 12 and 15. In most of these cases the gynaecomastia disappears.
Adult gynaecomastia can affect as many as 30% of men and whilst most causes are unknown, there are multiple possible causes that need to be explored. These include a persistence of pubescent gynaecomastia, obesity, steroid abuse, endocrine disorders and certain drugs. Gynaecosmastia can understandably cause significant distress for those affected. The surgery required to correct this problem depends on the severity of the condition.
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YOUR CONSULTATION WITH DR DONA
At your first visit with Dr Eddy Dona will take a detailed medical history and assess your chest to determine the severity and possible cause of your gynaecomastia. You should disclose any health problems, symptoms and concerns as well as a list of all medications you are currently taking and have taken in the past.
Dr Dona will then discuss your surgery options, including the procedure, scarring, usual post-operative course and potential complications.
PREPARATION FOR SURGERY
If you plan to lose a large amount of weight it is recommended that you stabilise your weight before surgery.
Blood thinning medication such as aspirin, or any medicine containing aspirin, large amounts of vitamins or anti inflammatory drugs should be stopped for 2 weeks prior to surgery.
If you are a smoker, you should not smoke for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery, as smoking increases surgical and anaesthetic risks and can lead to serious complications.
THE DIFFERENT SURGICAL PROCEDURES
Male breast reduction surgery is generally performed on an outpatient basis under local or general anaesthesia. The procedure can last from 1 – 3 hours depending on the extent of correction. The type of surgery required depends on the severity of the gynaecomastia, but there are generally two types of procedures:
Liposculpture – If your gynaecomastia is primarily caused by fatty tissue, Dr Dona may recommend liposculpture. Liposculpture removes unwanted localised deposits of fat cells from the body. A thin cannula is inserted through a tiny incision to remove excess fat cells. The result is a resculpting of bulging breasts into more attractive contours.
Surgical Excision – If your gynaecomastia is the result of an excess of glandular tissue, liposculpture alone is unlikely to be adequate. Traditional surgical excision may be a better option. The excision may be performed alone or in conjunction with liposculpture. Typically, the incision is placed on the edge of the areola (coloured area of the nipple). Dr Dona will work through these incisions to remove the excess glandular tissue and fat.
Removing excess breast tissue typically results in excess skin which will naturally retract to fit the smaller breast. In general, the younger the patient, the more easily the skin can retract. In quite extreme cases of gynaecomastia, incisions will be extended beyond the areolar to remove excess skin along with the breast tissue. Some patients may require more than one operation to correct the problem.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING YOUR RECOVERY?
After gynaecomastia surgery, most patients go home the same day. Some discomfort and pain is normal, and you are likely to need pain relief for the first few days. You’ll also be given post-operative prophylactic antibiotics to assist with recovery, and a surgical garment to wear for support in the first 4 – 6 weeks.
All surgery results in some swelling and bruising but should start to settle after a couple of weeks. Scars are red to begin with, but like any scars will fade with time.
We’ll give you detailed post-operative instructions to help you recover quickly and safely.
Blood thinning drugs such as aspirin should not be taken for at least 2 weeks after surgery as they increase the risk of bleeding.
Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks after surgery as it impairs wound healing.
Dr Dona will advise you when you can return to normal activities and work, however, avoid heavy upper body activities and sports for at least 4 weeks after surgery.
We will take photographs of you after your operation as part of your ongoing evaluation. You will need to come in for periodic check-ups so that we can monitor the long term results of your surgery.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS?
As with any surgery, there are always potential risks and potential complications.
Fortunately, they are few and infrequent, but may include – wound infection, bleeding, chest infection, blood clots, bruising and swelling.
Other potential complications include:
Scarring – Is impossible to avoid with any surgery, and the scar itself can have an unpredictable healing response. Our aim is to provide the best possible scar.
Asymmetry of Breast Shape and Size – Prior to any surgery, all breasts have some slight asymmetry. Such slight asymmetry can exist post-operatively.
Loss of Sensation in Nipple and Areola – This can occur in a small percentage of patients. If it does, it is usually temporary and feeling usually returns over a period of several months. In some cases the loss of sensation may become permanent.
Loss of Nipple and Areola Tissue – is fortunately rare. It happens when the nipple and areola loses its blood supply. Reconstruction can be performed at a later stage.
Breast Lumps – uncommon and are likely due to a small collection of blood or dead fat cells that are still healing. If it does occur it generally resolves on its own over time.
More Surgery – due to the potential difficulty with gynaecomastia surgery, some patients may require more than one operation to fully correct the problem.
Permanency – The results are permanent but ageing and lifestyle factors such as weight gain can alter the appearance.