Gynecomastia and Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Gynecomastia is a relatively common disorder affecting men that involves an abnormal development of breast tissue. Male breast reduction is the term commonly used to describe the surgical treatment of gynecomastia. There are a variety of causes of abnormal breast development in males including medications, recreational drug use, steroids, hormonal imbalances and genetic conditions. In most cases, no precise cause can be determined. Affected patients typically feel very self conscious and the psychological impact of this condition can be severe. I have heard it said that “gynecomastia is akin to a woman having a full beard.” Many patients have shared how they have not taken off their shirts in public for decades if ever at all.
Treatment options vary from liposuction alone to the removal of breast tissue and excess skin. The most appropriate procedure really depends on the presence of excess fatty tissue, the amount of breast tissue and the quality of the skin. Most patients choose to undergo surgery with a general anesthetic. Male breast reduction surgery can last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours depending on the actual technique used. Complications typically are uncommon and minor in nature. These include infection, bleeding, unsightly scars, contour deformities, recurrence, asymmetry, and loss of nipple sensation.
After surgery, patients usually require oral pain medication for 3 to 4 days and return to work within a week. Normal activity can be slowly resumed within a few weeks. A compression vest is worn for roughly six weeks while the swelling resolves. Most patients feel back to normal by around six weeks or so. The surgical results should last indefinitely.
I have always considered gynecomastia one the more rewarding conditions to treat in my practice.