Gynecomastia is a medical term that comes from the Greek words for “woman-like breasts.” Though this oddly named condition is rarely talked about; it’s actually quite common. Gynecomastia affects an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men. It may affect only one breast or both. Though certain drugs and medical problems have been linked with male breast over-development, there is no known cause in the vast majority of cases. For men who feel self-conscious about their appearance, breast reduction surgery can help. The procedure removes fat and or glandular tissue from the breasts, and in extreme cases removes excess skin resulting in a chest that is flatter, firmer, and better contoured.
The Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Surgery for gynecomastia may be performed in our office-based surgical suite, in an ambulatory surgical center or a hospital. The surgery itself usually takes about an hour and a half to complete. However, more extensive procedures may take longer. Most often we use a local anesthetic and intravenous sedation (twilight sleep) to make you drowsy. Our medical staff will monitor your physical status throughout the surgery and during your recovery. If you and your surgeon select general anesthesia the surgery will be performed in an ambulatory surgical center or a hospital setting.
The amount and consistency of the tissue is the determining factor in the approach used to remove the tissue. If your gynecomastia consists primarily of excessive fatty tissue, the physician will likely use liposuction to remove the excess fat. Laser Assisted Liposuction (LAL) and Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction (UAL) are sometimes performed. A small incision, less than a half-inch in length, is made in the underarm area. A slim hollow tube called a cannula attached to a vacuum pump is then inserted into the incision. Using strong, deliberate strokes, the surgeon moves the cannula through the layers beneath the skin, breaking up the fat and suctioning it out. If the glandular tissue is dense and fibrous, it will be excised, or cut out, with a scalpel. In a typical procedure, an incision is made in an inconspicuous location generally on the edge of the areola. Working through the incision, the surgeon cuts away the excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin from around 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 that result in more conspicuous scars.
Sometimes, a small drain is inserted through a separate incision to draw off excess fluids. Once closed, the incisions are covered with a dressing. A compression garment (vest) is placed to provide optimal healing and to keep the skin firmly in place.
Be sure to ask if you are a candidate for Laser Assisted Liposuction (LAL) or Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL).
Your New Look
Gynecomastia surgery can enhance your appearance and self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal. If your expectations are realistic, chances are good that you’ll be very satisfied with your new look.