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Gynecomastia surgery, also known as male breast reduction, is the surgical correction of overdeveloped or enlarged breasts in men. In severe cases of gynecomastia, the weight of excess breast tissue may cause the breasts to sag and stretch the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple). In these cases the position and size of the areola can be surgically improved and excess skin may be reduced. Plastic surgery to correct gynecomastia is technically called reduction mammaplasty.
What is gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a condition of overdeveloped or enlarged breasts in men that can occur at any age. The condition can be the result of hormonal changes, heredity, obesity or the use of certain drugs.
Gynecomastia can cause emotional discomfort and impair your self-confidence. Some men may even avoid certain physical activities and intimacy simply to hide their condition.
Gynecomastia is characterized by excess localized fat, excess glandular tissue development and sometimes excess breast skin. It can be present unilaterally (one breast) or bilaterally (both breasts).
Adolescents may benefit from surgery, although secondary procedures may be needed in the future should breast development continue.
The gynecomastia procedure
The procedure is carried out under sedation (general anesthesia).
In cases where gynecomastia is primarily the result of excess fatty tissue, liposuction techniques alone may be used. This requires insertion of a cannula, a thin hollow tube, through several small incisions. The cannula is moved back and forth in a controlled motion to loosen the excess fat, which is then removed from the body by vacuum suction. Excision techniques are recommended where glandular breast tissue or excess skin must be removed to correct gynecomastia. Excision also is necessary if the areola will be reduced or the nipple will be repositioned to a more natural male contour. Incision patterns vary depending on the specific conditions and surgical preference.
Sometimes gynecomastia is treated with both liposuction and excision.
What are the risks of gynecomastia surgery?
Complications are rare but the surgery risks include among others bleeding (hematoma), breast asymmetry, contour and shape irregularities, changes in nipple or breast sensation, infection and poor wound healing.
The result after gynecomastia surgery
Gynecomastia surgery results are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover from surgery. The final results of your gynecomastia surgery may take 3-6 months to achieve. Incision lines are permanent, but will continue to fade over time.