Gynaecomastia is the medical term for men that are suffering with enlarged breasts. While a fairly common problem, it can lead to severe emotional distress and embarrassment.
An enlarged chest area can be the result of excess fat which stretches the skin. Even if weight is lost, often you are left with sagging skin that will not snap back into shape and is resistant to exercise.
However, it can also be the result of an enlargement of the glandular breast tissue which all men have in the chest area. This is more common during puberty as hormonal changes occur, but it can also develop later in life sometimes due to various medical conditions. These should be ruled out and treated before you consider gynaecomastia surgery.
What is gynaecomastia surgery?
Also known as a male breast reduction, gynaecomastia surgery aims to eliminate volume from the pectoral region. There is often excess skin around the breast that will also be removed during the procedure if required. The actual technique differs depending upon the severity of the condition and the underlying cause.
If you’re suffering from mild gynaecomastia as a result of excess fatty tissue and with good skin laxity, liposuction alone may work well. With this method, minimal incisions are required. However, if the condition is more severe and if you have a lot of extra glandular tissue, you may also need to have an excision. With this technique, a small incision will be made around the lower part of the nipple.
If excess skin needs to be eliminated, this will usually be done by cutting a small amount of skin from the top of the nipple, raising it to a more normal position. Or a section of skin will be removed in a donut shape around the entire nipple
Whichever technique is being used, the procedure will be performed under general anaesthetic. You may also be required to stay up to two days in hospital. You will likely experience swelling and bruising after the surgery which can become more prominent over three to four days. However, after this time it should start to disappear, fading completely after around two to three weeks.
You will need to fully rest for up to a week after the procedure. Standard exercise should be avoided for up to three weeks, while chest exercises should be avoided for six weeks. You should also avoid sun exposure to the chest for six weeks after the surgery as it can impact on how well the scars heal.
During your initial consultation, Mr Paul Tulley will assess the underlying cause of the gynaecomastia and then advise you on which treatment option is most appropriate for you.