Gynecomastia is an enlargement of the breast tissue in men of any age. It can affect one or both the breasts and is a result of heredity, hormonal changes, use of drugs or obesity. Even though breasts don’t develop in the male the way they do in women, all men are born with a considerable amount of breast tissue.
Gynecomastia can evoke different emotional discomfort in men and even causes a little pain. It is not a serious problem which may also go away on its own. However, if the problem persists, it is better to consult a doctor.
Gynecomastia surgery candidates include:
- Men who want to gain back their confidence
- Men whose condition has not improved by alternative medical treatments
- Men who are healthy and have elastic skin for the surgery
- Non-drug users and non-smokers
- Men who are unhappy and think their breasts are too large
- Men with stabilized breast growth
What is the risk?
There is a certain degree of risk involved with every surgery. Skin injury, infection or excessive bleeding are some of the risks associated with Gynecomastia. Along with that, the surgery may lead to pigment changes in the breast area, scars, numbness, loss of breast sensation, and mismatched breasts or nipples. However, a second attempt with the procedure may correct unevenness.
How is the surgery performed?
Nonsurgical procedures like gyming, dieting and Ayurvedic medicines should be preferred to heal mild gynecomastia. If these cures don’t help the patient, it is better to consult a doctor. The first step is to opt for a complete medical evaluation and understand the whole procedure. The surgery is suitable for any male above the age of 18 years who are medically fit. The duration of the surgical procedure is around one and a half hour or two and usually takes place after the patient is made comfortable with the use of local anesthesia plus sedation.
After that, an incision is made around the nipple by the doctor to remove excess fat and/or glandular tissue from the breasts. In some cases, it becomes necessary to remove excess skin also for which additional incisions are made. Further, your plastic surgeon may also suggest performing liposuction along with gynecomastia surgery.
What about recovery?
Few days after the surgery, the patient may feel a little discomfort for which the doctor will prescribe medication. There are chances, one can experience swelling and bruising which will take some time to heal and can be minimized by wearing a pressure garment. Besides, within a month, the patient can resume to his/her normal activities.
Causes for gynecomastia
One major myth that is associated with gynecomastia is that it occurs in males who have extra fat from being overweight. Gynecomastia results from a hormonal imbalance in the body which leads to enlargement of male breasts. The human body is blessed with male hormones, androgens, and female hormones, estrogens to a certain extent. Gynecomastia is very normal and occurs when estrogens are more compared to androgens in the male body. Besides, 70% of boys get it during puberty, and the same resolve on its own as hormone levels return to normal.
Medications that can cause gynecomastia:
- Anti-androgens such as flutamide, spironolactone (Aldactone), and finasteride (Proscar, Propecia).
- Anabolic steroids and androgens
- Gastric motility medications, such as metoclopramide (Reglan).
- Tricyclic antidepressants.
- Anti-anxiety medications, such as diazepam (Valium)
- Heart medications, such as digoxin (Lanoxin) and calcium channel blockers.
- AIDS medications.
- Cancer treatment (chemotherapy).
Other causes for gynecomastia:
- Alcohol consumption
Certain health conditions can cause gynecomastia such as follows:
- Malnutrition and starvation
- Liver failure and cirrhosis
- Kidney failure
Precautions to take into considerations:
It is necessary to understand that gynecomastia caused by health conditions that can be prevented. In cases where the hormonal balance goes off in the male body, gynecomastia cannot be prevented. However, it is best to take a few precautions from one’s end.
- Avoid the use of illicit drugs
- Don’t drink alcohol
- Always keep a check on your medications
FAQs of Gynecomastia Treatment
Gynecomastia is an upsurge in the amount of breast gland tissue that results in the male breast. This is caused by a hormonal imbalance of estrogen and testosterone and it can happen at any age. It can affect one breast or both breasts and sometimes unevenly. Gynecomastia is not a serious problem and surgery can treat it. It is also known as male breast reduction surgery, which corrects overdeveloped and enlarged breast tissues.
Gynecomastia causes due to the decrease in the amount of testosterone as compared to the amount of estrogen. The hormonal imbalance can decrease the testosterone or increase the estrogen in the body. There are several reasons due to which Gynecomastia occurs which include natural hormone changes, medications, drugs, alcohol, obesity, tumor, aging, kidney failure, liver failure, malnutrition, etc.
It depends on each patient. In some patients, this procedure can be done between 16 to 18 years, but their breast development should be stable for at least two years. Gynecomastia can also be treated in adults with good skin elasticity.
Gynecomastia surgery involves the liposuction of the excess fat and surgical removal of excess glandular breast tissue. In many patients, enlarged breasts are actually fat which can be treated by liposuction. But some patients, have excess breast tissue or breast skin that should be removed surgically.
The breast reduction surgery takes approximately 1 to 2 hours.
Yes, the doctor will decide before the procedure what kind of anesthesia will be given to the patient. Most of the surgeons provide general anesthesia. However, in this procedure, it is well-suited to being performed under either local anesthesia or oral sedation.
Yes, there are some investigations required like CBC, PT, PTT, HbcAg, ultrasound of breast, etc.
Yes, you will have small scars. Mostly the incision lines are hidden below the armpit. If you have undergone breast reduction with lift, then scars will be on your areola which can conceal the natural contour of the skin in some time.
Mostly puffy nipples are part of the Gynecomastia problems. So this surgery made a change to the nipples. The actual aim of male breast reduction surgery is to reduce extra fat and provide a masculine look to the chest.
Yes, this surgery is permanent and provides long-lasting results as those tissues will be removed. But in some cases, Gynecomastia can return after the surgery. If patients do not follow a healthy lifestyle, then it can reoccur again.
There are no major risks after Gynecomastia surgery. However, there are some side effects such as swelling, bruising, discomfort and some sensation in your chest after this surgery. It can be resolved in 1 to 2 weeks with medicines and proper care.
After the surgery, there will be mild tightness and discomfort. Although, the pain will be less which can be easy to tolerate. The doctor will prescribe a few medicines to reduce your pain.
You have to undergo some pre-operative tests. You should avoid taking Vitamin E, medicine that increases the risk of bleeding, herbal remedies, and stops smoking. You should not consume anything at least 6 hours prior to your surgery.
Yes, you will have a small dressing around your chest and a pressure garment will be applied on your chest to minimize the swelling and to support the fresh chest shape. The dressing will be removed the next day of the Gynecomastia procedure. You can even take a shower once your dressing is removed.
Yes, you need to wear a compression vest after the Gynecomastia surgery as it helps in healing properly and it provides support to the new chest contour. Usually, doctors recommend patients to wear compression vests for 6 weeks.
A proper diet and exercise are great sources for your health. Most of the cases of Gynecomastia resolves without treatment but if breast tissues are made from breast glands, then they cannot be treated with exercises or diet. It is a common misconception that if you do proper exercises and diet, you can reduce male breast. For this underlying condition, surgery is the only treatment.
Lipo Excision is the common technique for Gynecomastia correction. This procedure is a mixture of fat removal which is liposuction and breast gland removal.
After 5 to 10 days, you can go to your work. However, you need to discuss the same with your doctor as the healing time for each patient is different.
Many medical studies have mentioned that the risk of cancer did not increase after Gynecomastia. It is very rare to develop breast cancer in men. If you find any symptoms like one-sided growth of the breast, a new lump, any changes in skin of breast or nipple then you should consult with your doctor.
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