Male Breast Reduction
Gynecomastia affects an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men. It may affect only one breast or both. Though certain drugs and medical problems have been linked with male breast overdevelopment, there is no known cause in the vast majority of cases. For men who feel self-conscious about their appearance, breast-reduction surgery can help. The procedure removes fat and or glandular tissue from the breasts, and in extreme cases removes excess skin, resulting in a chest that is flatter, firmer, and better contoured.
Male Breast Reduction
Is Gynecomastia Surgery for You?
Surgery to correct gynecomastia can be performed on healthy, emotionally stable men of any age. The best candidates for surgery have firm, elastic skin that will reshape to the body’s new contours. The initial consultation with your surgeon is very important. Your surgeon will need a complete medical history, so check your own records ahead of time and be ready to provide this information. First, your surgeon will examine your breasts and check for causes of the gynecomastia, such as impaired liver function, use of estrogen-containing medications, or anabolic steroids. If a medical problem is the suspected cause, you’ll be referred to an appropriate specialist. Once your surgeon knows how much fat and glandular tissue is contained within the breasts, he or she can choose a surgical approach to best suit your needs.
Understanding The Surgery
If excess glandular tissue is the primary cause of the breast enlargement, it will be excised, or cut out, with a scalpel. The excision may be performed alone or in conjunction with liposuction. In a typical procedure, an incision is made in an inconspicuous location–either on the edge of the areola or in the underarm area. Working through the incision, the surgeon cuts away the excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin from around the areola and from the sides and bottom of the breast. If your gynecomastia consists primarily of excessive fatty tissue, your surgeon will likely use liposuction to remove the excess fat. A small incision, less than a half-inch in length, is made around the edge of the areola–the dark skin that surrounds the nipple. Or, the incision may be placed in the underarm area. A slim hollow tube called a cannula, which is attached to a vacuum pump, is then inserted into the incision.
What to Expect After Surgery
Whether you’ve had excision with a scalpel or liposuction, you will feel some discomfort for a few days after surgery. However, discomfort can be controlled with medications prescribed by your surgeon. You’ll be swollen and bruised for awhile–in fact, you may wonder if there’s been any improvement at all. To help reduce swelling, you’ll probably be instructed to wear an elastic pressure garment continuously for a week or two, and for a few weeks longer at night. Although the worst of your swelling will dissipate in the first few weeks, it may be three months or more before the final results of your surgery are apparent. In the meantime, it is important to begin getting back to normal. You’ll be encouraged to begin walking around on the day of surgery, and can return to work when you feel well enough–which could be as early as a day or two after surgery. Any stitches will generally be removed about 1 to 2 weeks following the procedure. You’ll be told to stay away from any sport or job that risks a blow to the chest area for at least four weeks. In general, it will take about a month before you’re back to all of your normal activities.
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The New You
Gynecomastia surgery can enhance your appearance and self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them frankly with your plastic surgeon. It is realistic however to expect a more masculine chest contour after gynecomastia surgery. The results of the procedure are significant and permanent. If your expectations are realistic, chances are good that you’ll be very satisfied with your new look.