Gynaecomastia is the development of excess breast tissue in men. It is a fairly common condition in men. It is sometimes colloquially referred to as “man boobs”.
Gynaecomastia is usually a combination of excess breast tissue, as well as fatty excess on the chest, depending on the age and size of the patient. In severe cases the breasts are so enlarged that there is also excess skin.
Gynaecomastia is a normal phenomenon in babies and in boys around puberty, but in most cases it settles by itself. However, if it persists for more than 12 months or in its severe form it may need plastic surgery to correct it.
Gynaecomastia can also be a pathological condition e.g. as a result of some medications (anabolic steroids, or some prescription medication), hormonal imbalance, obesity or rarely male breast cancer. Often no apparent cause is found. It usually affects both sides but can be just on one side.
Correction of Gynaecomastia, also called ‘gyno surgery’ or ‘male breast reduction’, is a plastic surgery procedure that removes excess breast tissue with or without some excess chest fat. In severe cases where there is excess skin, it may also be necessary to do an extended operation to remove the excess skin, although this is not as common. The male breast reduction surgery is usually done with a combination of liposuction, and surgically cutting out the excess breast tissue. Dr Safvat at Ethique Plastic Surgery in Sydney and the Southern Highlands makes sure the scars are well hidden at the lower half of the areola border. Incision sites heal well with minimal scaring.
Gynaecomastia procedure is done under a general anaesthetic in a fully accredited private hospital in Sydney or the Southern Highlands. The male breast reduction procedure usually takes about 2-3 hours. The operation is usually done as a day-only procedure but some patients may require to stay in hospital overnight depending on the extent of the procedure.
Male Breast Reduction Recovery
Upon discharge the patient is required to wear a surgical garment for four to six weeks in order to reduce swelling and bruising. Depending on the extent of the gyno surgery procedure, you are required to take around one week off work to rest. This will be discussed with Dr Safvat prior to surgery and it also depends on type of work you do. Walking is actively encouraged postoperatively but exertion and heavy lifting are not allowed for 3-4 weeks. Initially the male breast reduction surgery scar may be visible around the areola but it will settle in time. There will be bruising on the chest that will take 1-2 weeks to go away.
Gynaecomastia has a Medicare Item number and patients will get a rebate from Medicare and their health fund if privately insured. The hospital costs are covered by private health funds depending on the patients’ level and type of cover. We strongly advise patients to check their cover with their health Fund well in advance to make sure they have the right level of cover. After the first consultation, you will be given an estimate of Dr Safvat’s Surgical cost and process of booking your Sydney gyno surgery will be explained by our staff.
What You Need To Do Before The Operation
Smoking has been shown to cause more complications after surgery, so Dr Safvat will insist that you stop smoking at least 4 weeks before your male breast reduction surgery. Continuous use of anabolic steroids also increases risk of recurrence of Gynaecomastia. It is also recommended to be at your normal weight.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What happens during the consultation process?
The consultation process is an opportunity to discuss what you would like to achieve with male breast reduction and find out more about the procedure.
In addition, Dr Safvat will ask more about your medical history and examine your chest to see what can be achieved with the procedure. The best options and technique for your needs will be discussed in detail, whether that involves just removing excess tissue or combining it with liposuction. Dr Safvat will also let you know more about the recovery process and possible complications with your gyno surgery.
How much scarring will there be after male breast reduction?
The size of the scar depends on the size of the excess tissue that needs to be removed. For most people, Dr Safvat makes the gyno surgery incision around the areola which is only around one inch in size. This scar is made following natural contours of the body and not noticeable in the long term.
Some patients with very large breasts will also need the excess skin removed with varying scar on their chest. Some patients will also have liposuction to remove excess chest fat. It is also important to remember that scars take up to 12 months to fade.
What is the recovery from gynecomastia like?
After the procedure, patients can experience some discomfort and feel tender over the chest although this is minimised with pain relief that is administered during the procedure. Patients are also put into Surgical garment straight after the surgery to reduce swelling and bruising but some bruising and swelling over the chest is normal. You will need to wear the garment for 4 to 6 weeks. It is advised that you take around 1 week off work for recovery depending on type of work you do Depending on the extent of your procedure, you will need to take a few days off work to rest. Avoid heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, swimming and strenuous sports until Dr Safvat advises you.
Can weight gain affect the results of male breast reduction surgery?
Gynaecomastia is the removal of almost all of the abnormal breast tissue. This is made of both glandular as well as fat tissue. Weight gain can result in excess fat accumulation around the chest but it will be only fat not glandular. Patients should always live a healthy lifestyle to ensure that their results are not lost.
Are there risks associated with gynaecomastia?
Any surgical procedure can be associated with some general risks and complications. Having your male breast reduction surgery procedure done in an accredited Sydney hospital and by an experienced plastic surgeon like Dr Safvat minimises risks. Although uncommon, the complications include, collection of blood (heamatoma) or other fluids (seroma), mild to severe infection, risks associated with general anaesthetics. The sensation around the areola can be affected by the procedure and may take several months to return.