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Gynaecomastia

Male Breast Reduction Surgery in Newcastle and Sydney NSW

Gynaecomastia is the development of excess breast tissue (also known as gyno or ‘man boobs’) that can lead to both social and professional embarrassment. The plastic surgery to correct this condition is called a male breast reduction.

It is a problem that can affect up to 30% of the Australian male population, and is often a normal occurrence that is not related to any underlying medical condition. Up to 90% of adolescent boys will develop some male breast enlargement, which resolves in the majority as they grow into adulthood.

What causes Gyno?

Gynaecomastia may be associated with obesity, hormonal metabolism imbalance, liver disease or medicinal causes.

The most common cause of problematic gynaecomastia is residual breast tissue that does not go away through puberty. Less commonly, certain drugs (prescription and “recreational”) and hormonal medical problems can cause gynaecomastia. In the vast majority of cases there is no identifiable cause, and non-surgical treatments have no role in the treatment.

Male breast reduction or gynaecomastia surgery can contour the chest area to provide a more toned, athletic chest and increased self-confidence. The results of the procedure are significant and long lasting..

What are the Benefits of Gyecomastia Surgery?

• Reduce the size of breast tissue
• Reduce the amount of fatty tissue
• Remove excess skin if required
• Overall flatter, firmer and improved chest contour
• Improve asymmetry
• Increased self-confidence
• Improved fitting of clothing
• Reduce discomfort from sore or tender breast tissue

Am I Suitable?

Good candidates include men of any age who are healthy, emotionally stable and close to their ideal body weight. Generally, patients best suited for male breast reduction are those who are unhappy with the size or appearance of their breasts and experience physical discomfort.

Obese men are not ideal gynaecomastia surgery candidates and should first attempt to correct their enlarged male breasts through weight loss and exercise. Also, men who drink alcoholic beverages in excess, or regularly smoke marijuana or take anabolic steroids should stop the use of these substances, as they may have caused their enlarged breasts. It is prudent to discontinue the use of these substances for four to six months before considering gynaecomastia surgery.

Gynecomastia Surgery Overview

Male breast reduction/gynaecomastia surgery is performed under general anaesthesia in a fully accredited hospital with the assistance of a qualified anaesthetist. Expect the operation to take two hours, and you are discharged the same day – no overnight stay required.

Surgery involves removes excess fat and glandular tissue from the breasts, and in severe cases excess skin may also need to be removed. The surgery is usually done by a combination of liposuction to remove the excess fat and contour the chest wall, and a small incision around the lower part of the areola to resect the glandular breast tissue. The scars around the areola once healed are barely perceptible.

For the extremely enlarged and droopy male breast, a more significant breast reduction may be indicated. Extended male breast reduction involves removal of considerable breast tissue, fat and skin. This procedure may require larger incisions and create more conspicuous scars, as for female breast reductions.

Recovery After Your Gynecomastia Surgery

Recovery from a male breast reduction procedure is generally quick and easy, and many patients can return to their normal activities after a few days. Strenuous exercise of the upper body and arms should be avoided for six weeks.

It is recommended that all patients are on bed rest for the first day. Patients who have undergone the gynaecomastia procedure will experience discomfort for up to one week which is eased with pain medication. Each patient will wear surgical dressings and a compression garment for about 4-6 weeks. Most patients are back to work within 7-10 days.

You may experience some mild discomfort over the first week, for which you are prescribed oral pain medication. Mild swelling of the chest area and bruising will resolve within two to three weeks. A compression garment is worn under the clothes for six weeks to facilitate the best chest contour and minimise swelling.

The final results of male breast reduction surgery can take up to six months to be fully apparent.

Risks Associated with Gyno Surgery

All plastic surgery carries some risk and should only be performed by a specialist plastic surgeon, preferably with lengthy experience, to minimise complications. In general, for male breast reduction, risks may include:

Risk Associated with Surgery

• Visible scars
• Infection
• Bleeding

Specific Risks Associated with Gynaecomastia

• Irregular chest contour
• Asymmetry
• Persistent tissue
• Nipple sensation changes
• Recurrent gynaecomastia

Your Gynecomastia consultation with Dr Scott Turner

Firstly, you are fully informed of the normal surgery process, plus possible complications. After a thorough history and discussion about your desires / goals, Dr Turner examines you to assess you are a good surgical candidate. It is important that a potential male breast reduction patient is physically and psychologically healthy, aware of the risks and side effects associated with the procedure, and expecting improvement rather than perfection.

Dr Turner will assess the nature of your breasts and the elasticity of your skin to determine the cause of your breast enlargement. It may be caused by fatty tissue and/or glandular tissue. In severe cases, there can also be excess skin resulting in droopy breasts.

It is essential that a thorough assessment be done prior to embarking on Gynaecomastia Surgery. This may involve several blood tests and an assessment by a specialist endocrinologist. As the vast majority of cases have no identifiable cause, non-surgical treatments have no role in the treatment of the majority of patients.

Male breast reduction can result in scarring. The patient should understand this, and be prepared for the outcome, before deciding to undergo gynecomastia surgery. Based on the primary cause that we determine for gynecomastia, Dr Turner will discuss with you the ideal surgical technique that will deliver the best results with minimal scarring.

Gynecomastia FAQs – Questions about Male Breast Reduction

Am I a good candidate for gynaecomastia surgery?

• If you feel self-conscious about the appearance of the gynaecomastia
• If you experience discomfort, some gynaecomastia can be tender and painful
• If you are physically and mentally fit and have realistic expectations
• Not overly overweight
• Non-smoker, Ceased marijuana or anabolic steroid use

What are the risks of male breast reduction surgery?

All plastic surgery carries some risk and should only be performed by a specialist plastic surgeon, preferably with lengthy experience, to minimise complications. In general for male breast reduction, risks may include visible scars, irregular chest contour, persistent tissue, contour asymmetry, infection and bleeding.

Could gynaecomastia (male breasts) be breast cancer?

Male breast cancer is rare, but it does occur, usually in men in their 60s and 70s. It is often present on one side only, starting as a firm and painless lump. If you find a lump in your breast, you should seek medical attention immediately.

What scarring will there be after male breast reduction?

Dr Turner will ensure that scarring from your breast reduction is minimal. Incisions are positioned to be least noticeable, if not hidden, along the lower border of the areola, where the pink and white skin comes together. Within six to 12 months after surgery, most scars have usually faded to be indistinguishable from the surrounding skin.

Is there much pain in having a breast reduction?

Most patients report discomfort after male breast reduction surgery, but not significant pain. As a precaution, long-acting local anaesthetic is injected during the procedure to minimise sensation during the first 24 hours after surgery. Pain relief medication is supplied for the early recovery period if required.

What happens during recovery after male breast reduction surgery?

All stitches are dissolving. Dressing is put over wound to assist with healing. Compression vest worn for 6 weeks. You will usually need 1 week off work and can ease back into exercise after 4 to 6 weeks.

Do I need any special tests?

For most men with gynaecomastia there is no underlying abnormal condition that causes it to occur. After your examination with Dr Turner you may be required to get a blood test or ultrasound.

Will the entire gland be removed during the Surgery?

Male breast reduction surgery for gynecomastia is a cosmetic procedure, and in most cases only enough gland is removed to create a flat, contoured chest.

Is there any non-surgical treatment for Gynecomastia?

Although you can read about easy, non-surgical cures in the news and advertisements, and there is considerable ongoing research aimed at finding a way to reverse it without surgery, no effective medical treatment exists at this time.

Can Liposuction be used alone for Male Breast Reduction?

Male breast reduction surgery may be performed with liposuction, but in most cases it is not an adequate technique when used alone. Removing the fat around the gland only can create an unnatural bulb, causing a “re-do” surgery in the future.

Will the nipple sensation be lost after Breast Reduction Surgery?

With any breast surgery, it is always possible to have a change in nipple sensation, and some patients report changes in sensation, while others do not experience any change at all.

How long is the recovery time?

Everyone’s recovery time is different, but most people resume daily activities 2-3 days after the procedure, and typically return to work around 1 to 2 weeks later. You can expect to be exercising again in 3-4 weeks. To optimize the healing process, you will be required to wear a surgical vest for up to two weeks following the procedure. Any stitches applied to incisions will dissolve naturally.

How long does the surgery take?

Most male breast reduction surgery is completed in as little as an hour depending on the nature of your procedure.

How long do the effects of male breast reduction last?

The effects are long lasting however if you gain weight following the procedure, fat cells can return to the chest area.

How do I know if I have gynaecomastia or just excess fat (pseudo-gynaecomastia)?

Examination of the consistency of your chest tissue by your surgeon, along with a series of blood and other diagnostic tests will determine whether your problem is due to gynaecomastia (glandular tissue) or just fat. Your surgeon will then advise you on the most appropriate course of treatment for your particular condition.

Could drugs or medications cause gynecomastia?

There are some men who are on medications known to cause gynecomastia, whether by prescription or illicitly. It is advisable to curtail all illicit substances for many reasons, beyond just the gynecomastia. If you are on prescription medicines that might be related to causing gynecomastia, discuss with your prescribing doctor whether there are alternative drugs for you to take.

Is Gynecomastia common?

Don’t worry you’re not alone. Approximately one third of the men suffer with gynaecomastia. As many as 65% of 14 year old boys have this percent of these boys will have complete “recovery” within 18 to 36 months without any treatment and is usually caused by changes in hormones at puberty or as part of aging.

Sometimes, gynecomastia may be caused by prescription drugs (cardiac, high blood pressure meds, etc.), over-the-counter medicines (allergy, asthma meds, etc.), illegal drugs, tumours or disease (as liver problems).

If you are considering gynaecomastia surgery contact one of our friendly staff on 1300 437 758

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