Gynecomastia Surgery Overview
Gynecomastia surgery, also known as male breast reduction surgery, is a breast reduction procedure for men who have over-developed or enlarged male breasts. This surgery is done to reduce the appearance of unusually large male breasts when a cancerous tumor is not present, and is performed on an outpatient basis. Gynecomastia surgery is usually performed for aesthetic reasons and can be done through excision of glandular tissue or through power-assisted liposuction to remove excess fatty tissue. Dr. Vallecillos will sometimes use both of these methods during a single surgery in order to get the desired results.
Gynecomastia is classified into four grades, based on the severity of the clinical presentation.
Grade I: Small enlargement with no loose skin
Grade II (A): Moderate enlargement with no loose skin
Grade II (B): Moderate enlargement with extra skin
Grade III: Marked enlargement with extra skin
In moderate to severe cases, gynecomastia surgery is a good option for re-sculpting the chest.
- Preparation: In preparation for gynecomastia surgery, you should refrain from taking any medications that might thin the blood during the two weeks before the procedure. This includes any anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, and herbal supplements. Patients are also encouraged to avoid smoking for at least two weeks before and after surgery. Medical clearance by an independent physician is necessary for patients over the age of 45.
- Anesthesia: Depending on the severity of the condition, Dr. Vallecillos may use a local anesthetic, general anesthesia, or intravenous sedation. Most patients have gynecomastia surgery done while under general anesthesia.
- Several options for gynecomastia surgery exist: liposuction, excision, or a combination of the two. Dr. Vallecillos will discuss beforehand which option is best for you, given your specific diagnosis and the severity of your condition.
Liposuction alone can be used in instances where excessive fatty tissue is the cause. With this technique, incisions are made in the skin where the excess fat exists. The surgeon then inserts a cannula (a thin, hollow metal tube attached to a vacuum pump) through the incisions to loosen excess fat cells, which are then suctioned from the body.
In instances where there is an excess of glandular tissue and skin (usually Grades IIB and III), or where the areola and nipple need to be reduced or repositioned, excision techniques will be used. In some cases, both techniques may be utilized.
Ideally, men who have gynecomastia surgery will come away with a re-sculptured, symmetrical chest area.
Gynecomastia Surgery FAQs
What causes gynecomastia ?
There are a number of changes in the body that can cause gynecomastia. Hormonal changes, whether as a result of natural causes (such as puberty) or supplements (such as steroids), can cause an increase in ductal tissue and stroma, or the structural framework, of the male breast, causing it to appear overly large and fatty.
Who is a candidate for gynecomastia surgery?
You should consider gynecomastia surgery if you are an adult male who suffers from an excess of breast tissue or fatty enlargement of the breasts.
What is the recovery time for gynecomastia surgery?
Gynecomastia surgery is usually completed in less than two hours, and patients are given some type of pain medication to use during the first few days after surgery. Men may resume some activities the day after surgery, but sexual activity and strenuous work or exercise should be avoided for 1-2 weeks. Dr. Vallecillos will provide a compression garment, which should be worn consistently for the first month after surgery. Any redness or bruising caused by gynecomastia surgery should disappear within two weeks.
Are there risks or side effects with gynecomastia surgery?
As with all surgeries, infection and excessive bleeding can occur, but gynecomastia surgery carries a very low risk factor. Some men are left with light scarring while others experience some differences in the size and contouring of the two breasts, although this is a rare occurrence for experienced surgeons. A few patients also have rippling of the skin at the surgical site. Patients should keep the chest area out of the sun for at least six months following gynecomastia surgery to prevent pigmentation problems.
How long do the results last?
Serious side effects from gynecomastia surgery are rare, but they can include nerve damage, allergic reactions, and deep vein thrombosis. Fluid accumulation occurs in some patients, and a small number of patients develop heart or lung complications.