Many men suffer from prominent and abnormally enlarged breast tissue (gynaecomastia). While most boys develop this in puberty and grow out of it, it does persist in some men. Some men develop this later in life from medical treatments or other conditions that affect their hormone balance.
Often men have tried losing weight, gaining weight and focussed gym sessions on their chest to no avail by the time they come to surgery. The appearance leads many men to hunch their shoulders, wear baggy clothes and impairs self-esteem.
Gynaecomastia is defined as the enlargement of male breast tissue. The condition is more common than you might think and can occur on one or both sides of the chest. As a result, many of our patients have tried to reduce their chest size through diet and targeted exercise methods.
However, when this doesn’t work, it can cause emotional distress and feelings of low self-esteem.
It’s important to note that enlargement of male breast tissue is common in adolescents due to the hormonal changes present during puberty. As such, we do not recommend surgery in young males who are still experiencing such changes. However, Gynaecomastia in Adelaide is a common issue and can be addressed through various surgical techniques.
There are several reasons men may experience gynaecomastia. Most commonly, it is due to hormone sensitivity in the breast tissue or deposits of local fat. Sometimes, excess fat is addressed through exercise and other methods. However, hormone sensitivity will usually not be affected by lifestyle changes. This is when surgery is necessary.
The condition can be caused by underlying medical problems or medication side effects in some other cases. This is why our surgeons carefully analyse your medical history before making any recommendations.
Many people suffer from gynaecomastia in Adelaide, and most are suitable candidates for surgery. Generally, your surgeon will consider your overall health, your lifestyle and your reasons for wanting the surgery.
For example, if you are significantly troubled by your enlarged breast tissue and have made weight loss and exercise efforts, you’ll likely be considered suitable for surgery.
While this is considered quite a simple procedure, there may be other issues that need addressing, such as removing excess skin if you have already lost significant weight. Your surgeon will discuss your unique situation with you and advise the best way to move forward.
The surgical techniques will vary depending on the reasons for your surgery. Liposuction is normally the best method if your breast enlargement is due to excess fat. Liposuction is an increasingly common procedure and involves the insertion of a thin tube (cannula) into the skin. Excess fat is removed using controlled suction.
There are some cases where breast enlargement is caused by harder mammary gland tissue, which requires surgical excision. This only requires a small incision, usually under the areola. From there, excess glandular tissue is removed.
Preparing for surgery is just as important as how you manage your recovery. You will need to quit smoking before the procedure, as this will help your recovery. You should also be in generally good health, maintaining a good diet and level of exercise. Your surgeon will need to see your medical history to recommend the best course of action.
Remember that surgery is performed under general anaesthetic. Also, you will be in some pain after the surgery and find it difficult to move. As such, you’ll need someone to drive you to and from the hospital. You should also prepare your home for recovery. Have plenty of comfortable, loose-fitting clothes on standby, comfortable bedding and space for all of your medications.
Your surgeon will give you more detailed instructions that you should follow strictly. This may include fasting times.
You can expect to feel some pain and discomfort following your procedure, as with any surgery. Once released from the hospital, it’s recommended that you have someone care for you in the following 48 hours, as you will still find movement quite difficult.
Most people can return to work 1-2 weeks after surgery with proper rest. However, this timeframe may be longer if your everyday work involves manual labour.
Generally, most people should be able to return to more vigorous exercise and activity around six weeks after surgery. After that, you should be able to do some more gentle exercise such as walking after two weeks. However, this is just a guideline, and your surgeon will provide you with more accurate recovery times depending on your surgery and circumstances.
Contact us today to discuss gynaecomastia in Adelaide.
Male breast reduction (gynaecomastia) surgery is usually undertaken through limited scars hidden around the nipple, with liposuction and / or surgical removal of the central breast mound. In larger breasts with excess skin, larger scars may be required.
Surgery flattens the chest showing greater definition of the underlying pectoralis muscles, allowing improved self-confidence and greater ability to participate in sport.
Men who have a healthy stable weight and general good health, and are substantially troubled by their chest appearance, are best suited to this surgery.
The specifics of your situation will be discussed with you when you have your first consultation with your plastic surgeon.
A consultation with your plastic surgeon will enable personalisation of the procedure and care to your unique situation. If you have abnormal male breast enlargement (gynaecomastia), the procedure may be partly rebatable – you will require a referral from your family doctor to support this.
Surgery is usually booked under general anaesthetic as day surgery, or with 1 night in hospital to support your recovery. You will need to fast on the day of surgery, and organise a support person to take you home and be around to help in the first few days when you head home.
After surgery, it is normal to have some bruising and swelling in the area that will be most evident 1-2 days after surgery and mostly resolve over 2-3 weeks. Perhaps surprisingly, surgery is not particularly painful (simple pain medications such as paracetamol usually suffice after the first 24-48 hours), though it is important to rest after surgery to allow your body time to recover. You will need 1-2 weeks without driving, 1-2 weeks off for administrative jobs and duties and 6 weeks off physical jobs or activity (including gym or exercise). You will also need to wear a compression vest to support your recovery.
A post-operative appointment will be organised for you to see your plastic surgeon 1 week after surgery to check your wounds (dissolving sutures are used, so there are no stitches to remove), and provide advice to care for your scars as you recover – often you will have appointments every week or two for the first month so we can support your recovery.
Substantial improvement will be noticed straight away, though there will be some early swelling from surgery that settles in 1-2 weeks. It may take up to 6 months for all swelling to settle and scars to mature, to see your long term result.
Your chest size should remain stable if your overall body weight does (it is really helpful to get to your ideal body weight before surgery).
All operations have risks, though major complications are rare after gynaecomastia surgery. There is a small risk of concerns that may delay healing and require a little extra care (eg minor bleeding, infection, a small fluid collection, or over active scars). In the longer term, mild asymmetry in size or shape is not uncommon (though your surgeon will do their best to achieve a symmetrical result). Often the nipples may have some sensitivity early on, though long term discomfort or loss of the nipple skin from surgery is very rare. These risks may vary depending on your specific situation and will be discussed with you at your consultation. Please feel reassured that your plastic surgeon will only recommend surgery if they feel that the benefit of the procedure substantially outweighs the risks.
If you have gynaecomastia, the majority of the cost is rebatable through Medicare and standard private health insurance. This does require a referral from your family doctor.
After your consultation, a detailed quote will be provided to you including the surgeon fee, anaesthetic fee, hospital fee and chest compression vest for your initial recovery.
Please be aware that all surgical procedures require a consultation with our plastic surgeons to allow a thorough assessment and discussion of your specific needs.