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Gynaecomastia Surgery (Male Breast Reduction)

Gynaecomastia, often referred to as ‘man boobs’, is an enlargement of breast tissue in men. This common condition is prevalent in up to two-thirds of the male population, and is associated with significant psychological impact. Gynaecomastia is usually diagnosed in teenage boys and older males. Signs of Gynaecomastia include prominent breasts or lumps of fatty tissue below the nipples. In some men with Gynaecomastia, the lump/s may feel tender or sore. This excess tissue can be surgically removed, dramatically improving self-confidence.

What Causes Gynaecomastia?

It should be noted that true gynaecomastia involves enlargement of fatty tissue, whereas pseudo gynaecomastia encompasses enlargement of both fatty and glandular tissues. Several causes may be associated with these:

Hormonal imbalance:

While testosterone and oestrogen can be found in both males and females, testosterone is greater in males while oestrogen is greater in females. When males experience an increase in their oestrogen levels, it can cause breast tissue to swell. Hormonal changes during puberty and adulthood, including decreasing testosterone levels that accompany ageing, may give rise to Gynaecomastia.

Obesity:

High oestrogen levels are linked to weight gain. As breast tissue is largely composed of fatty materials, overweightness can also enlarge it. Therefore, weight gain and hormones play a role in this instance.

Age factors:

Gynaecomastia occurring during puberty usually resolves by the time boys turn 16 or 17 years. As older males tend to have more trunk and upper body fat, the higher levels of oestrogen produced in their body may cause Gynaecomastia.
Uncommon causes:
Rarely, excess breast tissue growth in men can result from diseases or injuries which affect the testicles, as this is the source of male testosterone production. Other potential but uncommon causes may include anabolic steroid use,overactive or underactive thyroid, lung/pituitary/adrenal gland tumours, liver disease or kidney failure, Klinefelter Syndrome, or alcoholism or drug use.

Is Male Breast Reduction
Surgery Right For Me?

Enlarged breasts can be a source of embarrassment, anxiety, and poor self-image in men, which can then impact mental health, working conditions and personal relationships. If you’re a healthy adult male who has been living with Gynaecomastia for a long time, then you’re likely a good candidate for the procedure.

What To Expect From Gynaecomastia Surgery :

The procedure involves making incisions around the nipple to remove excess fat tissue (true gynaecomastia) and/or glandular tissue (pseudo gynaecomastia) as well as excess skin from the breasts. Incisions are usually made around the edge of the areola or within the creases of the chest. The location and length (1-2 cm) of incisions are determined by the extent of tissue excision required. The incisions are made carefully to ensure aesthetic results with inconspicuous scarring. They are closed by dressings or bandages. Male breast reduction surgery can be done with local anaesthesia plus analgesic in clinic or in hospital if preferred. The procedure takes around 1.5-2 hours.
Post-Operative Care:
Your doctor will provide detailed post-operative instructions. This will include wearing a compression garment or elastic bandage to reduce swelling and bruising, taking oral or topical medications, and noting symptoms that require immediate medical attention, as well as your follow-up details. The recovery time for this procedure is 4-6 weeks. You will be advised to take complete rest 2-3 days after your surgery, and avoid strenuous activity for 1-2 weeks. Initially, you may feel pain, tenderness or tightness in the operated area. Your doctor will remove the dressing at your first follow-up visit. The results of the surgery are permanent, because the removed fat cells cannot be reproduced. However, excessive weight gain may lead to the expansion of other remaining fat cells.
Preparing For Surgery :
You will be required to undergo a medical evaluation or lab tests prior to surgery. This process will involve extensive physical and psychological evaluation to ensure you are a suitable candidate and to reduce risks as much as possible. You may be asked to adjust the medication you’re on, and you may need to discontinue taking anti- inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements. You must quit smoking or vaping completely at least 2-4 weeks before surgery, as the contained substances can impair oxygenation of the tissue, and could lead to necrosis (tissue death). You will need to shave your chest and underarms completely prior to surgery, and your doctor may require you to fast 6 hours prior. Arrange for a family member or friend to accompany you to the clinic or hospital, drive you back from surgery, and stay with you for the first 24 hours.

What Are The Risks?

Gynaecomastia surgery has a very high success rate, but as per any surgery, can include risks. These include bruises and hematomas, infection, breast asymmetry, fluid accumulation in the breast, temporary or permanent damage to muscles, blood vessels or nerves, and temporary or permanent changes in nipple sensitivity or tenderness.

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