Gynaecomastia, a condition of over-developed or enlarged breasts in men, is common in men of any age. It can be the result of hormonal changes, heredity conditions, disease or the use of certain drugs.
Gynaecomastia can cause emotional discomfort and impair your self confidence. Some men may even avoid certain physical activities and intimacy simply to hide their condition.
Gynaecomastia is characterised by:
Gynaecomastia surgery is a highly individualised procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfil someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
This procedure is a good option for you if:
Adolescents may benefit from surgery, although secondary procedures may be needed in the future should breast development continue.
Surgical correction of gynaecomastia is best performed on:
Even though most gynaecomastia are physiological (i.e. part of normal hormonal changes during puberty and growth), some may be caused by underlying medical problems such as endocrine disease, or secondary to prescription or recreational drugs. If these underlying causes are not corrected and surgery is undertaken, gynaecomastia will recur and your results will be temporary and disappointing. As part of her complete assessment, Dr Vrtik may refer you to an endocrinologist to exclude any hidden causes prior to surgery.
Plastic surgery to correct gynaecomastia is technically called reduction mammaplasty, and reduces breast size, flattening and enhancing the chest contours.In severe cases of gynaecomastia, the weight of excess breast tissue may cause the breasts to sag and stretch the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple). In these cases the position and size of the areola can be surgically improved and excess skin may be reduced.
Gynaecomastia Surgery is performed under general anaesthesia to ensure your comfort.
In cases where gynaecomastia is primarily the result of excess fatty tissue, liposuction techniques alone may be used. This requires insertion of a cannula, a thin hollow tube, through several small incisions. The cannula is moved back and forth in a controlled motion to loosen the excess fat, which is then removed from the body by vacuum suction.
Excision techniques are recommended where glandular breast tissue or excess skin must be removed to correct gynaecomastia. Excision also is necessary if the areola will be reduced, or the nipple repositioned to a more natural male contour. Incision patterns vary depending on the specific conditions and surgical preference. Sometimes gynaecomastia is treated with both liposuction and excision.
Any surgical treatment to correct gynaecomastia will require incisions. While most incision lines are concealed within natural contours, some may be visible and are a necessary result of breast reduction surgery.
The decision to have gynaecomastia surgery is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.
Dr Vrtik and our staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.
The risks include:
After surgery, dressings and an elastic foamy tape will be applied to your incisions. Small thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin in the breasts to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. You may be required to stay in hospital for 1-3 nights dependent on your drainage output.
You will be required to wear a garment for 6 weeks to minimize swelling and support your new chest contour as it heals. You should not do any strenuous or heavy activities for at least 6 weeks.
The final results of gynaecomastia surgery in men are permanent in many cases. However, if gynaecomastia resulted from the use of certain prescription medications, drugs including steroids or weight gain you must be fully free from these substances and remain at a stable weight in order to maintain your results.
All scars are permanent, even though some scars may be concealed in the natural contours of the breast. Your improved upper body contour will likely enhance your self-image and confidence, whether in a shirt or without a shirt.
Gynaecomastia surgery may be covered by private health insurance. Please contact your insurer or check your policy details prior to booking.
(Some Information & Illustrations are courtesy of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons).