Gynaecomastia is the development of excess breast tissue (also known as ‘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. 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.
WHAT CAN GYNAECOMASTIA SURGERY DO FOR ME?
• 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.
Your gynaecomastia consultation
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.