Gynecomastia FAQs

Gynecomastia Surgery – Male breast reduction Information

Gynecomastia is the medical term for enlargement of the male breast and chest. A surprising number of plastic surgery patients actually suffer from this ”cosmetic“ condition.

Over 80% of men will experience Gynecomastia at some time during their life. Most will have Gynecomastia during their teen years, and will have a temporary form of the condition which resolves spontaneously by the time they are in their twenties. However 20% of men will develop a permanent form of the condition.

What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is in itself not a medical abnormality; rather it is the result of possible abnormalities and as such not merely a cosmetic surgery problem. For example the breasts get large in patients who are overweight. Indeed, there are a multitude of conditions which can cause the condition including drugs such as Dilantin, smoking of marijuana, liver diseases, kidney diseases, hormonal problems and others. However, the huge majority of the causes leading to Gynecomastia are idiopathic (unknown).

The problems that male breast enlargement causes can not be understated. Having large breasts is particularly difficult on a psychological basis for men and especially for a young teenager. Gynecomastia leads to sexual taunting, embarrassments and accompanying changes in behavior such as wearing tee-shirts at pools and in the water, never taking their shirt off. This has devastating and long lasting psychological effects; and to think that the condition can be remedied within an hour and a half of surgery under general anesthesia!

Gynecomastia recovery
For Gynecomastia surgery recovery, a garment must be worn in the post-operative period for about two weeks to aid in the retraction of the skin. Massaging the skin for a few months will also improve the final result. Time off work or other usual daily activities is about 2-3 days; many patients have Gynecomastia surgery performed on a Friday and recuperate over the weekend in time for work on Monday!

The risks are like those of liposuction, and typically minimal; infection is very rare as is bleeding. Some numbness is normal for a few months after the surgery. Final results are visible, like in liposuction, in about 4 months.

How long does the surgery take?
Gynecomastia surgery usually takes between 2- 2.5 hours as an outpatient procedure in a surgery center.

How long is the recovery?
Patient return to their daily activities within 3-4 days.

What are the risks of the surgery?
Risks include infection, bleeding and irregularity of the contour of the chest which mau need a touch up procedure in less than 5%.

What type of anesthesia is used?
General anesthesia is used for this surgery.

What technique is used?
I prefer the use of ultrasonic liposuction for this type of surgery. In some cases the thick breast tissue under the nipple areas may have to be excised with an incision around the areola.

Is there much discomfort with the surgery?
Discomfort is minimal and is commonly compared to having worked out hard and having muscle soreness.