What men need to know before having gynecomastia surgery?
Gynecomastia is a condition that causes the enlargement of male breast tissue. It is often a great source of shame and embarrassment for men. The numbers of men seeking out surgery for gynecomastia have continued to increase over the years. We have seen patients range from 10 years to 40 years.
Common causes of gynecomastia include puberty, excess weight gain, use of anabolic steroids in bodybuilders, and use of marijuana. A number of other medications also cause male breast enlargement.
How do I know if I have gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia usually occurs in both breasts, but patients may have asymmetric or unilateral breasts. Breast self-exams usually demonstrate a palpable, firm, mobile, disc-like mound of tissue that is located centrally under the nipple-areolar complex. Many times it’s the Patients Friends or colleagues who point out this thing.
Options to correct gynecomastia?
When patients come in with a complaint of gynecomastia, they usually complain about lumps in their breasts with or without excess fat in the breasts. Surgery to remove the breast tissues usually involves liposuction of the excess fat, surgical removal of the excess glandular breast tissue through an incision in the margin of the nipple-areolar complex, and/or skin excision (in very large male breasts). Preparing for surgery involves making sure that you stop medications that increase the risk of bleeding, stopping smoking, and increasing your nutrition to support your healing and recovery after surgery. Most surgeons perform the operation under local or general anesthesia. The use of compression vests and icing is also common to help control pain, reduce swelling, and control bruising.
Recovering after surgery?
In patients who only need liposuction to correct their enlarged male breasts, return to exercise and work is typically less than one week. For patients who need surgical removal of the excess breast tissue, it can take between two to four weeks to heal enough to tolerate routine activities. In my practice, my patients are able to go back to work after surgery at 7-10 days. They are able to get back to the gym for cardio at 2 weeks and weightlifting at 4 weeks barring complications from surgery.
In general, surgery for gynecomastia is incredibly safe and most patients have smooth recoveries. Despite the greatest attention to safety on the part of the patient and surgeon, complications can occur. Common complications include bruising, bleeding, fluid collections, contour irregularities, loss of nipple skin, visible scarring, numbness of the nipples, inverted nipples, loose breast skin, and asymmetries. Attention to meticulous surgical technique and pre/peri/postoperative management is essential to good outcomes. That is the precise reason that you get your surgery done from a Board-certified Plastic surgeon.