What is Gynaecomastia?
As a man, your chest is a primary way to express your masculinity. When this aspect of your physique does not live up to your expectations, it can affect your entire outlook on life. Your chest may not look the way you want for many reasons. You may have excess fat deposits or glandular tissue in your breasts due to genetic factors or hormone imbalances or, perhaps, from past substance use. Rapid weight gain or loss can also stretch the skin in this area, leading to sagging which diet and exercise cannot repair.
Whatever the causes of your dissatisfaction, options exist to correct and restore this vital feature so that you can enjoy renewed confidence in your appearance and masculinity. This condition, formally known as gynaecomastia, has several treatment pathways. One option to consider if other options have failed — and perhaps the longest-lasting and most successful treatment — is male breast reduction surgery. During a male breast reduction surgery, excess fat, glandular tissue or skin is removed from the body or excised, eliminating the cause of the problem and leaving you with a healthy, masculine look.
Who does this procedure suit?
All men who suffer from excess skin, fat or glandular tissue in the breast area are potential candidates for this procedure. However, if the origin of the problem has been diagnosed as prior substance use or prescription medications, you must first end the substance use or complete your course of medication. If issues related to rapid weight loss or weight gain have contributed to the issue, you doctor will likely ask that you demonstrate the ability to maintain a stable weight first. You must also be at a healthy, sustainable weight before your procedure.
What results will I expect?
A male breast reduction surgery directly treats the causes of your enlarged or sagging breast tissue, and so it provides an effective, often permanent solution for gynaecomastia. After your male breast reduction procedure, you should expect to have improved skin tone and chest contours and a more masculine looking chest. Provided that you continue to keep a normal, healthy weight and avoid any drugs or medications which may have incited the problem, you should be able to enjoy your more masculine look for a very long time.
What’s the first step to take?
Before having a male breast reduction procedure, you will want to visit with one of our specialist plastic surgeons for a full evaluation and personalised consultation. During this consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your current health and medical history and discuss your cosmetic goals with you. You will also select the type of male breast reduction procedure that will work best for your needs. For example, if you suffer primarily from excess fat deposits, a reduction procedure for you might rely on liposuction. However, if you suffer from excess skin, a reduction procedure might focus on excision. In certain cases, you may benefit from both techniques in one procedure.
In some cases — especially in cases where you have surgery on only one breast — you may need a subsequent surgery to achieve optimal results and balance between your two breasts. Also, you might need a second surgery to be necessary on your other breast or for a second surgery to be performed on the operated-on breast to get the best possible outcome. The factors which determine whether you will need more than one surgery are the initial condition of both of your breasts. Your surgeon will discuss this possible occurrence with you during your initial consultation.
How do I prepare for surgery?
As you prepare yourself for breast reduction surgery — as with any surgery — you will want to ensure your optimum general health before your procedure. You must quit smoking, if you smoke, several weeks before your surgery. Any blood-thinning medications you may be taking should also be discontinued to prevent excess bleeding during surgery. During your pre-operative consultation, your surgeon may also recommend you curtail or cease taking other medications, such as anti-inflammatories or herbal supplements, to eliminate potential complications.
What should I expect during surgery?
During your surgery, your surgeon will cleanse the surgical area, and your anaesthesiologist will begin either intravenous or general anaesthesia. Your surgeon will recommend the best anaesthesia option for you. Next, your surgeon will mark the areas where they will make your incisions or the entry points for your liposuction.
If your procedure relies primarily on liposuction, your surgeon will introduce a cannula (a thin hollow tube) into your concern area and gently loosen and suction the fat out of your breast tissue. If your procedure relies primarily on skin excision, your surgeon will make incisions around your areola and your lower breast to begin the skin excision.
Incisions will carefully preserve the blood vessels and nerve endings in your areolae to ensure their health and continued sensation there. Combination procedures including liposuction and skin excision benefit some patients. After your surgeon completes liposuction or skin excision, they will carefully close any incisions and bandage your surgical area, completing your surgery.
What should I expect after surgery?
After surgery, you will find swelling and bruising in the surgical area which is a normal symptom of any surgical procedure. Immediately after your surgery, your surgeon will bandage your incisions and ask you to wear a compression bandage. A compression bandage will support your incisions, minimise swelling and offer you additional comfort during the first few days of your recovery. Before your surgery, your surgeon will have prescribed you medications to manage pain and prevent infection which you will take during your recovery.
You may have had a draining tube placed in the surgical area to minimise blood or fluid accumulation which could cause complications or harm your results. Any strenuous physical activities, workout routines and excessive upper-body motion should wait until several weeks have passed from your surgery date as they could affect the integrity of your sutures. You should also plan on visiting with your surgeon as recommended during your recovery so that your doctor can verify you are healing successfully.
While you will experience some scarring which is natural to surgery and the healing process, with time, the appearance of scars from your incisions will fade. Please call your surgeon immediately for advice if you notice any of these symptoms during your recovery — heart palpitations, excessive pain or bleeding, abnormal or prolonged swelling, fever during the first 24 hours or any visible abnormalities in your sutures.
What are the possible side effects?
Few areas of your body convey your masculinity as clearly and prominently as your chest. This area of concerns matters for more than just appearance’s sake. Your feelings about your body affect all aspects of your life — from your relationship satisfaction, your performance at work and even your general mood and outlook on life. When you feel unhappy with this key body area — and diet and exercise aren’t working to correct the problem — a male breast reduction surgery can give you the self-confidence and personal satisfaction you want.
While no solution is perfect, and surgery will leave behind some scarring, these healing signs should fade well over time, leaving behind, in most cases, results which are enhancing and permanent. In fact, you can expect significant improvement in your chest after a male breast reduction surgery including a noticeable minimisation in excess fat, skin and glandular tissue and an improved masculine appearance. And while all surgeries carry some risks, breast reduction surgeries are among the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures done today, giving thousands of men and women each year a new hope and a great new look. If you suffer from gynaecomastia, a male breast reduction surgery can effectively give you the results you want.