When people think of breast reduction surgery, they usually think of women. In reality, men also undergo this procedure when they feel self-conscious about the appearance of their chest due to enlarged breast tissue and excess fat.
Gynecomastia is a condition that causes enlarged breasts in men. It is normally caused by an imbalance between male and female hormones.
Table of Contents
Causes of gynecomastia
- Hormonal imbalances
- Underlying health problems
- Side effects of certain medications
The important point about gynecomastia is that the enlarged breasts are not solely due to fat tissue, which could be reduced with overall weight loss. Gynecomastia also involves male breast tissue swelling and growing larger, which can be corrected with gynecomastia surgery.
What is Gynecomastia Surgery?
Gynecomastia surgery is a type of cosmetic procedure that helps correct the overdevelopment of breast tissue in men. However, undergoing a surgical procedure is not always advised for those with gynecomastia. Many times, gynecomastia will resolve itself within a few months to three years.
To determine if gynecomastia surgery makes sense for you, you’ll be taking part in a consultation with your plastic surgeon. They will let you know how you can achieve your desired appearance and whether that would involve things like excess skin removal, tissue excision, liposuction, or surgical alterations of the areola.
If there is any asymmetry between the breasts, the plastic surgeon will attempt to create a more even and symmetrical appearance.
The following description is of a gynecomastia surgery procedure that involves surgical tissue excision. This ensures that both fat and breast tissue are removed to provide the greatest degree of male breast reduction.
The area in which the incisions will be placed, as well as their length, is dependent upon the extent of required surgery. The incisions are normally placed around the edge of the areola, or within natural chest creases. Your plastic surgeon will attempt to place your incisions in as inconspicuous a location as possible.
Gynecomastia surgery with tissue excision is normally performed at an outpatient facility under general anesthesia. The procedure can also be performed under local anesthesia and sedation.
Here is a day by day guide of what you can expect following your gynecomastia surgery and what will be expected of you, the patient:
Immediately After Surgery
Gynecomastia surgery is an outpatient procedure that should take between one to two hours. After you’ve recovered from the effects of the anesthesia in the recovery room, you will be taken home by the driver that you selected before your procedure.
Count on getting plenty of bed rest while you are recovering, but it is also important to get up and walk some, if only to the bathroom. This ensures that blood is properly circulating throughout your body to lower the risk of developing blood clots. Take your pain medication as directed, along with your antibiotics.
You may be meeting with your plastic surgeon to learn how to handle your drains, if they were placed during your procedure, so that any accumulated fluid and blood is removed.
Wear your provided compression garment, except when showering. You can shower in 48 hours after your gynecomastia surgery.
You will be under a couple of restrictions during this first week. You need to be sleeping on your back at about a 25° angle. Avoid lifting objects over 10 pounds, and do not lift your arms past a 90° angle. Avoid all vigorous physical activity at this time.
At the end of your first week, you can have all of your dressings removed. You’ll also have an opportunity to get your first glimpse of your new chest.
Avoid strenuous physical activity and lifting anything over 15 pounds. You can now sleep on your sides, and lift your arms over your head. You have probably completed your course of antibiotics by now, and you should be off of your pain relievers. Most patients can return to work.
Keep wearing your compression garment at all times, for now. You should have been able to return to work by now, unless your work activities involve heavy lifting.
You will probably return for a visit with your plastic surgeon around this time. They will examine your progress and let you know when you can resume strenuous activity.
Many patients can begin exercising again between now and the next two weeks, depending upon the extent of their surgery and amount of swelling still evident.
The six-week mark after gynecomastia surgery is when you can usually stop wearing your post-surgical compression garment for good. In some cases, the garment will no longer need to be worn a week or two earlier.
A recent survey conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that the average cost of a gynecomastia procedure is $4,239. The cost of your individual procedure may vary, depending upon factors like your geographical location and the individual plastic surgeon performing your gynecomastia surgery. When meeting with your plastic surgeon during your initial consultation, you will learn the exact cost of your individual gynecomastia surgery.