Treatment of Male Breasts (Gynecomastia)

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Male Breasts

Gynecomastia is the medical term for benign enlargement of the male breast tissue. This condition can be socially and psychologically disconcerting, yet it is relatively common. Gynecomastia can be the result of excess skin, fat, or breast tissue. The treatments are designed to deal with the particular problem that is causing the contour abnormality. Liposuction is used to correct the contours caused by excess fat. Excisional surgery is used to correct the problem caused by excess glandular tissue. Some patients will benefit from a combination of excision and liposuction. In extreme cases, skin can be removed. The effect is a flatter, firmer and more contoured chest.

Gynecomastia Initial Evaluation

At the initial consultation, your health history will be reviewed and the procedure you are interested in will be explained in great detail. Any alternative procedures, as well as the risks and benefits of surgery will be discussed. You will view before and after photographs of Dr. Lawton‘s patients, and all of your questions will be answered.

During the examination, your breast width, height, and nipple position will be measured. Any differences in the breasts from left to right will be evaluated. You will have the opportunity to point out particular characteristics of your anatomy that you would like to improve or change.

After an extensive discussion, you and Dr. Lawton will arrive at the surgical plan that will best achieve your goals. It is our commitment that you leave this initial visit with a clear understanding of your surgical options, so you may make an informed decision. We are happy to answer any questions you may think of later by telephone, email, or at another private consultation. There is never an additional charge for these subsequent visits.

Surgery

Gynecomastia surgery is performed in our own private AAAASF Certified Class-C Outpatient Surgical Center. The procedure takes between 1 and 2 hours. During surgery, the excess fat and/or glandular tissue is removed as appropriate. The tumescent technique is used for liposuction. The tumescent fluid contains epinephrine to decrease the risks of bleeding and bruising, and lidocaine to decrease the amount of anesthesia needed during surgery. The lidocaine also provides pain relief after surgery.

The liposuction cannulae are 3.7 mm, 4 mm, 4.6 mm, and 5 mm in diameter. Which ones are used depends on the amount of fat, the condition of the skin, the area being suctioned, the character of the fat, and the amount of fibrous tissue. The wounds are just large enough to allow passage of the cannulae. The incisions are hidden in areas that are inconspicuous.

For this outpatient procedure, we utilize general intravenous anesthesia administered by an elite group of carefully selected, highly qualified, board certified anesthesiologists. The techniques employed are designed to provide a smooth, gentle anesthetic experience, and prevent postoperative nausea and eliminate postoperative pain.

Recovery

Rest is recommended after surgery. At home, you will have medications to ease the pain. We also prescribe antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection. Surgical vitamins, arnica, and bromelain are used to reduce the swelling and bruising, and to speed your recovery.

We will see you in the office the day after surgery. By the fourth or fifth day, the discomfort should be significantly reduced. At one week, you will return for suture removal. By this time, you should be feeling well enough to be back to most of your normal activities. You should be back to work within this first week. Because it takes 6 weeks before the wounds reach 50% of their full strength, you will be able to return to vigorous activities only after this healing period.

We will see you in follow-up at 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and every year thereafter. We will see you more frequently if necessary. There are never charges for follow-up visits.

Studies have shown that men often deny their pain and are uncomfortable about asking for help after surgery. During your recovery, it’s especially important to be patient. Your body will undergo its own course of healing, so Dr. Lawton will monitor your progress during follow-up visits. For the best results, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions closely.


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San Antonio Plastic Surgeon