What Are the Chances of Full Sensation After Massive Gynecomastia Surgery?

I'm a guy with a hormonal problem (it's in the process of being corrected)looking to get chest surgery. My "man boobs" are a BIG problem and from what I've been told are approximately an F cup size. There is a lot of breast tissue and I do want surgery but not if there is a high risk of losing sensation (I can tolerate the compression vests). So, given that information, how high likely am I to lose or reduce nipple sensation, and about how long would it take to regain maximum sensation?

Doctor Answers (9)

Risk of Sensation Loss following Gynecomastia

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Chances are very likely that you will loose erogenous sensation but have a reasonable chance of recovering protective sensation after significant gynecomastia surgery. For most men the surgery is worth it and few complaints about this loss of sensation occur, quite the opposite situation for most women. 


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Loss of sensation in male breast reduction (gynecomastia repair)

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In all likelihood, it is probable that you will lose nearly all sensation to the nipples with a full correction of your gynecomastia. Some cutaneous sensation and deep pressure sensitivity (not true nipple sensation) may recover over a two year period.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

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Gynecomastia excision

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Without evaluating you it is hard to say.  If you have rather large breasts, some surgeons would do a free nipple graft type of resection and then you definitely would lose sensation.  Even if you have a "pedicled' type reduction, you can lose sensation.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Sensation after large Gynecomastia removal

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You will require a total mastectomy with nipple transplant. This entails removing the nipple/areola, doing a mastectomy (just like for cancer in women), and then replacing the nipple back on the chest as a skin graft in the proper position. The difference between this and a cancer operation is that not as much tissue is removed and the surface of the skin can be left smooth and even. The nipple complex usually grows back normally. The residual skin retains its normal sensation. The nipple, since it was cut totally free, will be insensate until the nerves from the underlying skin grow into it. This takes several months to a year. By then, however, sensation is usually back to near normal, particularly if you do some sensibility reeducation exercises.
 

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Nipple Sensation Retention would depend on the TYPE of Man Boob Surgery required

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Gynecomastia is extremely common. Although the vast majority of teens outgrow it, it persists in a very large number of men and is a life time source of shame. Because Gynecomastia (Man Breasts) comes in different degrees, no one therapy and mode of treatment can adequately correct the full spectrum of Man Boob anomalies; Obviously, a small prominence of the breast would be a lot easier to correct than having sagging, large breasts hanging over ones chest. While many cases of gynecomastia can be treated with Liposuction (especially VASER liposelection), in cases of a large skin envelope and hanging breasts formal mastectomies must be done to flatten the chest. The nipples may be moved higher on the chest by leaving them attached to deeper breast tissues OR they may need to be placed higher up as full-thickness skin grafts. Under such circumstances the sensation to the nipples may well be compromised. If you are not willing to take the chance of scarring and decreased sensation to correct F cup breasts, by all means, you should NOT have this procedure. But be aware that there is NO other, less invasive operation that can handle this large skin excess and flatten your chest. Good Luck Peter A Aldea. , MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Gynecomastia surgery

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Many men, including teens, are too ashamed of their overdeveloped breasts to take off their shirt at the beach. The common condition known as gynecomastia (Greek for "womanlike breasts") is characterized by enlarged breast tissue. The surgery can now be performed through a small incision under the nipple and it is also possible to have gynecomastia correction as an outpatient procedure under twilight anesthesia administered by a board certified anesthesiologist.

Problems one may experience after this surgery include skin loss at the incision sites, permanent pigment changes in the breast area, and slightly mismatched breasts or nipples, which can be easily fixed through a second procedure.

Another possible complication is "saucer deformity", a craterlike irregularity that can result from poor liposuction technique or poor healing ability. You should consult a board-certified plastic surgeon who is professionally bound to engage only in techniques that have been deemed safe- after rigorous testing.
 

Michelle Copeland, MD, DMD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Depends...

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But, I would say you are very likely to loose nipple sensation. If you are really that large, you may require skin excision and a nipple graft -- so I doubt you would have nipple sensation.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

chances of full sensation after massive gynecomastia

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Very limited but anything is possible. Have you seen any plastic surgeons? In person evaluations are necessary. Best of luck from MIAMI DR. B

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.