Gynecomastia can occur in boys and men of all ages and is most common in infancy and adolescence, or in middle-aged to older men.
When a man develops excess tissue in the breasts, he may have a condition known as gynecomastia. This is a benign (non-cancerous) disc of palpable tissue beneath the nipple that can occur on one side of the body (unilaterally) or on both sides (bilaterally).
The condition occurs when a man experiences an increase in the ratio of oestrogen to androgen in the body or due to excessive weight gain. Sometimes the condition of enlarged male breasts is referred to as 'man boobs'. The experienced cosmetic practitioners at Chelsea Cosmetics can help men rectify Gynecomastia with male breast reduction surgery, also known as Gynecomastia surgery (man-boob surgery).
The surgical procedure for the treatment depends on its severity. Some patients only require liposuction, whereas optimal results might be achieved by removing the tissue manually through tissue excision. This may remove dense glandular tissue and excess skin too. Nonetheless, there are times when both techniques are used (i.e., liposuction and the tissue excision method) to accomplish the result the patient desires.
Before the procedure, the specialist plastic surgeon discusses the patient's customised surgical treatment plan.
Gynecomastia surgery can take from 1 to 3 hours.
Before and After
Problems Experienced With Gynaecomastia
A man may experience breast pain ranging from a mild sensitivity to a continuous 'tension feeling' usually accompanied by pain. The condition causes many men to avoid participating in certain activities or to refrain from wearing certain clothing. This is due to embarrassment or emotional discomfort, interfering with the patient's lifestyle.
What are the Causes of Male Breast Increases?
- Excess Body Fat: One of the most common causes of excessive enlargement of the male breast tissue is the loss of a significant amount of weight. For example, men who undergo weight loss plastic surgery (e.g., gastric sleeve surgery, gastric banding) frequently develop gynecomastia as they lose excess weight.
- Certain Medications: Medications that alter hormone levels could lead to the development of enlarged breasts in men. Patients must inform their surgeon which medications they take regularly.
- Underlying Health Conditions: There are health conditions linked to the development of an enlarged male chest, including:
- Kidney failure.
- Chromosomal disorders.
- Recreational Drug Use: Besides the other negative effects associated with the use of recreational drugs, some of which are potentially fatal, the development of gynecomastia can also be a side effect of substance abuse.
- The Frequent Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages: Alcoholic beverage consumption can affect an individual's hormone levels. In addition, alcohol can alter the fat-to-muscle ratio and increase an individual's Body Mass Index (BMI).
- Xeno-oestrogens: Xeno-oestrogens are xeno-hormones that imitate oestrogen, which is why it can cause a man's breast size to increase. Much of the meat and dairy products available today contain xeno-oestrogens. The meat and dairy from cows receiving bovine growth factors are the most concerning products.
Difference Between Pseudogynaecomastia and Gynaecomastia
Men with obesity typically have Pseudogynaecomastia (i.e., excess fat in the breast gland). True Gynaecomastia refers to the development of a firm disc of subareolar tissue located just beneath the areola. Occasionally, it results from a collection of dispersed Fibroglandular tissue resembling that found in the female breast.
Preparing for Male Breast Reduction Surgery
If a patient has surgical complications or develops complications after surgery, he could experience an extremely painful recovery. Nonetheless, patients can reduce the likelihood of experiencing complications by taking some steps before their procedure.
- Avoid Alcoholic Beverages for 2 Days Before and 2 Days After Surgery - Alcohol increases inflammation, and drinking alcoholic beverages while taking pain medication can be dangerous. It can also result in complications, negatively affecting the body's healing ability.
- Discontinue smoking for at least 4 Weeks Before and 4 Weeks - Following this requirement is vital because smoking and using products that contain nicotine can inhibit the body's ability to heal.
- Stop taking certain medications, vitamins and herbs ten days before and ten days after surgery - Certain medications can cause unnecessary bleeding or prevent the clotting process, including aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ibuprofen and blood thinners. Patients requiring medication ten days before surgery may use acetaminophen (Tylenol).
- Vitamins and herbal supplements can also cause unnecessary problems during and after surgery; therefore, patients must stop taking these products ten days before and ten days after surgery.
- Prescription and Doctor-Recommended Products - Patients taking medications (i.e., prescription or over-the-counter), vitamins or herbs at the direction of their physician must continue taking these products, as prescribed until they speak with their doctor about modifications.
Find out more.
What to Expect Directly After Male Breast Reduction Surgery
After their male breast reduction surgery, patients receive compression garments. These garments must be worn continuously for at least 14 days. After these initial 14 days have passed, the patient can begin wearing the garment for 12 hours instead of 24. The patient can decide whether he wears it during the day or at night. Wearing it as directed is essential because disregarding this requirement can negatively affect the final results.
Some patients receive a small, thin tube just beneath their skin for drainage purposes. It provides a place for excess fluid and blood to exit the body. Allowing these fluids to exit reduces inflammation, which decreases the patient's pain level. The tube will be removed a few days after the cosmetic surgery.
Patients, who underwent liposuction or a combination of liposuction with the tissue excision method, will also receive a binder. The patient wears this binder during the first week of recovery. This binder ensures that any remaining tumescent fluid drains from the patient's chest.
Recovering After Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Every patient is unique, which means recovery experiences are too. The timeline below provides a general overview of the recovery process.
Days 1, 2 and 3:
Following surgery, patients typically have bruising and experience discomfort with slight pain. Nonetheless, patients receive medication to help manage these symptoms. Resting during this stage of recovery is essential. To maintain adequate circulation in the lower extremities, patients should walk around periodically. While showering and bathing must be avoided during this time, it is okay to take a sponge bath.
7 Days Post-op:
Most patients can return to work, perform light exercises, and shower.
14 Days After:
As long as patients refrain from putting pressure on their chest, they can return to their normal activities.
Weeks 3 and 4 of Recovery:
The patient's inflammation has decreased substantially, so he can discontinue wearing his compression garment. In addition, he can take baths.
6 Weeks After Surgery:
Patients can return to their exercise regimens and sleeping styles.
Tips for a Smooth Recovery
- Stay hydrated - Neglecting to drink enough water can result in complications. In addition, dry skin can cause the surgical area to appear blotchy.
- Get plenty of rest - The body heals the best during sleep. Therefore, getting plenty of rest is vital to a smooth recovery.
- Avoid placing pressure on the chest - This is especially important during the first week of recovery. Patients must sleep on their backs, propping themselves up at a 45-degree angle. Patients must speak to their surgeon before sleeping on their stomach or side.
- Follow the surgeon and anaesthetist's instructions about Wearing Post-surgical Garments such as binders and compression garments to help reduce inflammation and prevent fluid from building up within the chest cavity. In addition, these garments provide support for the surgical incisions while they heal. Furthermore, wearing these garments can speed up healing and prevent infection.
- Good Wound Care Is Crucial - Until the plastic surgeon removes the patient's wound coverings, he must keep his surgical wounds dry and covered with gauze.
- Use Cryotherapy to Reduce Inflammation - Ice packs can help reduce inflammation, decreasing the patient's pain level. Nonetheless, patients must avoid placing the ice directly upon the skin to prevent freezer burns. Instead, patients should wrap these ice packs in a towel.
- Limit the Amount of Time Spent in the Sun - Exposing surgical incisions to UV light while they are still healing can lead to permanent, highly visible scars.
- Wear Loose, Comfortable and Breathable Tops - Choosing these tops allows the incisions to breathe. Moreover, loose tops should make it easier for the patient to move his arms.
- Follow-up Appointments Are Important - Attending post-op appointments is essential because we can see how well the patient is healing and determine when they can resume their normal activities.
- Refrain from heavy lifting or other strenuous activities until advised.
Post-op Problems to Watch For:
- Fever - A fever could indicate that an infection is present before any bleeding or oozing of fluid from the incision occurs.
- Signs of Infection - Bleeding or oozing fluid from an incision site could be a symptom of infection. Reporting bleeding or oozing fluid right away can prevent additional complications from arising.
- Leg Pain and Inflammation - Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a potential complication for people with general anaesthetic during surgery. Patients experience inflammation and pain in their legs (especially if these symptoms are only present in one of the individual's lower extremities). DVT occurs when a blood clot develops in the leg.
- Severe Pain - This type of pain can indicate an underlying medical problem. If a patient develops severe pain, he must call Chelsea Cosmetics at +61 3 8822 3472 immediately.
- Trouble Breathing - When an individual experiences difficulty breathing after the procedure, this is a medical emergency. Patients must seek medical assistance immediately.
- Constipation - To avoid the onset of constipation, patients need to drink more fluids, take stool softeners and prescribed medications.
Risks and Possible Complications Associated With Gynaecomastia Surgery
People need to way up the potential benefits and risks associated with gynecomastia surgery into consideration, which include:
- A negative reaction to anaesthesia.
- Blood clots.
- A reaction to the products being used
- Irregularities in the shape and contouring
- Asymmetrical breasts.
- Damage to the blood vessels, the nerves, the muscles and the lungs.
- Changes in the sensations of the nipple-areolar complex or the breasts
- Pulmonary and cardiac complications.
- Persistent pain.
- An accumulation of fluid.
- Fat necrosis.
- Persistent pain.
- The need for a revision.
- Unfavourable scarring.
- Poor wound healing.
- Reactions to injected agents, surgical glue, topical preparations, suture materials or tape.
Speak to a Breast Augmentation Expert
Our very own Dr Mark Attalla is a member of the Australian Society of plastic surgeons and a specialist in breast augmentation procedures. He has extensive knowledge and experience with male breast reduction surgeries. If you would like to book a no-obligation consultation with Dr Attalla to answer your questions, get a fixed cost and discover if the procedure is right for you, please fill in our form below.
*All cosmetic surgery is invasive and carries risk
**Individual results vary as the outcomes experienced by one person do not necessarily reflect the outcomes that other people may experience, due to many factors, including the individual’s genetics, diet and exercise.
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Speak to one of our experts and get personalised advice on gynecomastia surgery or male breast reduction procedures. Contact us today and schedule your free consultation.