Gynecomastia Surgery FAQs (Part 1) –
Gynecomastia surgery – also called male breast reduction surgery – is a type of plastic surgery to remove excessive or overgrown glandular breast tissue from men and sometimes teenage boys.
In this article Oakland County board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali answers patients most frequently asked questions about Gynecomastia surgery.
What is gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a common condition in men and boys where the breasts swell and become abnormally large. It is generally caused by a hormonal imbalance (either naturally occurring or from steroid use) that causes the growth of glandular tissue. Gynecomastia affects an estimated 80% of adolescents, but in normal cases, goes away on its own. However, in some cases it doesn’t, requiring surgical intervention. In mild cases, there is just a bit of protrusion; but in more severe cases, the male chest takes on the appearance of female breasts.
This can be very embarrassing to men, and some are hesitant to go to the beach or to take off their shirts in public. Many men find that their social lives are negatively impacted, and eventually seek medical advice. The good news is that gynecomastia can in most cases be corrected with surgery.
What is pseudogynecomastia?
Overweight men may develop an overabundance of chest fat, and even after losing weight, the fat in the chest area may remain. This condition is called pseudogynecomastia as opposed to true gynecomastia. True gynecomastia involves glandular tissue, as opposed to fat.
What causes gynecomastia?
There are many things that can cause gynecomastia, including hormonal level changes, some medications, heavy alcohol use, recreational drugs, some herbal products, various health imbalances, and excessive weight gain.
Pseudogynecomastia, on the other hand, is simply extra fat that has found its way to the chest area. Pseudogynecomastia can be caused by aging, weight gain, hereditary factors, or other non-medical issues.
Are there other treatments besides surgery for gynecomastia?
If you are overweight, losing the extra pounds may help, especially if you have pseudogynecomastia. In this case, liposuction or CoolSculpting may be able to remove remaining excess fat.
If you have true gynecomastia, however, losing weight may not necessarily help, because the chest enlargement is caused by excess glandular tissue. This firm and rubbery tissue cannot be removed by liposuction, and generally, surgery is the only option.
How is gynecomastia surgery performed?
Gynecomastia surgery involves surgical excision, which means the glandular tissue is cut out. The procedure is normally done using a general anesthesia, IV sedation, or local anesthesia, depending upon your physical anatomy and preference. A small incision is made in the lower part of the areola and the excess tissue is taken out through the incision. Dissolving stitches are used to close the incision. Normally, no drains are necessary, although in some more involved scenarios, you may be sent home with drains in place that will help your body eliminate excess fluid and blood.
Dr. Ali will discuss anesthetic options with you. Many patients prefer a general anesthetic, under which they are totally asleep. However, in many situations, IV sedations can work equally as well.
Are the results of gynecomastia surgery permanent?
While the surgical procedure is considered to be “permanent,” in some rare instances, gynecomastia can recur. For instance, if the gynecomastia was caused by steroids and the patient continues to use them after surgery, gynecomastia could easily reoccur. In cases of pseudogynecomastia, if the patient receives liposuction and then regains the weight, it may be necessary to repeat the procedure, or to opt for the surgical procedure that will yield more thorough results.
Gynecomastia Surgery – Oakland County
If you are considering gynecomastia surgery, no doubt you have a lot of questions. These articles give general answers to many frequently asked questions. However, you no doubt have more questions specific to your unique situation. Dr. Ali will help you decide which male breast reduction procedure is best for you, and will make sure you have all the information you need. If you live in or around the Oakland County area, call Dr. Ali’s office to schedule your consultation today.
Board certified Oakland County plastic surgeon Dr. Ali offers gynecomastia surgery, as well as liposuction and CoolSculpting, and can help you decide which male breast reduction procedure is best for you.