man-boobs-reduction

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GYNAECOMASTIA SURGERY

For men, having an enlarged chest can cause embarrassment and low self-esteem. Gynaecomastia, also known as man boobs, can negatively affect both your social and professional life.

If you avoid taking your shirt off at the beach, participating in sports or enjoying physical intimacy with your partner, then gynaecomastia surgery could improve your quality of life. This procedure removes excess tissue from the male breast, restoring the self-esteem and self-assurance that you have been missing.

This month, we share everything you need to know about gynaecomastia surgery, from what causes male breast enlargement to what to expect during the procedure:

WHAT IS GYNAECOMASTIA?

Gynaecomastia refers to the mild to severe enlargement of male breast tissue. This condition can occur in one or both breasts, and cause sagging, stretching or pain.

Over 50% of boys develop gynaecomastia during puberty, which will disappear naturally as they grow older. 1 in 3 men will also develop this condition during their lifetime.

Gynaecomastia is not caused by being overweight, where the enlarged chest is caused by excess fatty breast tissue. It is also different from male breast cancer, which commonly presents on one side as a lump or mass. Depending on the cause, gynaecomastia can go away by itself within 6 months to 2 years. However, if the condition is painful or difficult to cope with, there is always the option of gynaecomastia surgery.

WHAT CAUSES MAN BOOBS?

Gynaecomastia is common in men of all ages, and can develop for multiple reasons such as hormonal imbalance, medications, drug use, genetic conditions or disease.

The most common cause of male breast enlargement is a natural imbalance between the oestrogen and testosterone hormones. This can occur in infancy, during puberty and as you become older.

The condition can also be caused by medication which affects hormones, including anabolic steroids, antibiotics and some medicines used to treat high blood pressure, stomach ulcers or depression. 

Other causes of gynaecomastia include rapidly losing or gaining weight, kidney or liver disease, hereditary conditions and recreational drug use such as marijuana.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING GYNAECOMASTIA SURGERY?

Male breast reduction surgery removes excess fatty and glandular tissue, sculpting the chest for a flatter, firmer result in proportion with your body.

Gynaecomastia surgery can be performed through liposuction or surgical excision. Liposuction removes excess fatty tissues from the chest, while surgical excision removes glandular tissue and skin. The type of surgery required will rely on the severity of your condition. Some patients may require more than one procedure for the desired result.

There should be minimal scarring, although depending on the extremity of your gynaecomastia the surgeon may have to create larger incisions to remove the excess tissue. 

The benefits of having gynaecomastia surgery include improved self-esteem, reduced discomfort from tender breast tissue and being able to wear fitted clothing.

Gynaecomastia surgery can be performed through liposuction or surgical excision. Liposuction removes excess fatty tissues from the chest, while surgical excision removes glandular tissue and skin. The type of surgery required will rely on the severity of your condition. Some patients may require more than one procedure for the desired result.

IS MALE BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY RIGHT FOR ME?

Before making the decision to go under the knife, you should consider whether gynaecomastia surgery is right for you. Your best option is to book a consultation with a specialist plastic surgeon in Sydney, who will assess your condition and recommend the treatment suited for you. 

Please keep in mind that any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Your surgeon should educate you about the benefits and potential complications of gynaecomastia surgery during your consultation. Before proceeding, you should always seek a second opinion from a qualified health practitioner. To learn more, see our FAQ.

Male breast reduction surgery is generally not recommended if you are overweight, are still taking the medications or substances which have caused your gynaecomastia, or if your breasts are not yet fully developed. Adolescents or younger men may be advised to wait a number of years before undergoing surgery.

Gynaecomastia surgery may be right for you if you are physically healthy, have realistic expectations, have fully developed breasts and are not smoking or using drugs.

WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREPARE FOR MY PROCEDURE?

Before your procedure, you will receive preoperative instructions from your surgeon. Please follow these instructions carefully as it can affect the outcome of your gynaecomastia surgery.

You may be advised to stop taking certain medications that could affect clotting and anaesthesia, or asked to take a particular medicine such as antibiotics. You may also need to have a blood test or other examinations before the surgery.

Arrange for a relative or friend to drive you to and from your surgery, and to stay with you for at least 24 hours after you return home in case there are any complications. Preparing a ‘recovery area’ in your home with pillows, ice packs and other necessities is also a good idea.

Finally, you should ensure that you are at a healthy weight before your surgery, as this will make the recovery process easier.

HOW LONG DOES RECOVERY TAKE?

Recovery from gynaecomastia surgery can take between 6-12 weeks. Your surgeon will give you detailed postoperative instructions to follow, including how to care for your surgical site, what medications to take and the symptoms for any complications. If you have any concerns or issues regarding your procedure, then you should contact your surgeon immediately.

You may experience pain, bruising, swelling or numbness in your chest following male breast reduction surgery. This is normal, and you will be prescribed pain medication to deal with any discomfort. 

If your gynaecomastia surgery involved tissue excision, your recovery time may be longer than with a liposuction procedure. You may also be given a compression garment to wear, which will provide support for your breasts during recovery.

It is usual to take a few days off work following plastic surgery, and if you have an active job you should take 2-4 weeks off to ensure that your chest has healed. Avoid strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, swimming and sport during this period until cleared by your surgeon.

HOW DO I MAINTAIN MY GYNAECOMASTIA SURGERY RESULTS?

During and after your recovery, it is important to listen to your body. If you feel tired more often than usual, then make sure you get adequate sleep so that your body can heal. If you are cleared for exercise and work but do not feel ready, then it is fine to wait a few more days before resuming strenuous activities.

The best way to maintain the results of your male breast reduction surgery is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Follow a consistent diet and exercise program, and avoid poor lifestyle choices such as smoking and drug use. Weight gain and the use of certain medications can lead to a recurrence of gynaecomastia in some patients.

FINDING A QUALIFIED GYNAECOMASTIA PLASTIC SURGEON IN SYDNEY

When looking for a qualified plastic surgeon in Sydney for your gynaecomastia surgery, make sure that you confirm their certifications and look at their Before and After Gallery. A specialist plastic surgeon should have an extensive success portfolio, and be a member of respected professional associations such as the Royal Australian College of Surgeons. 

To learn more, see our 10 top tips that will guarantee good plastic surgery.

Dr Joseph Rizk is a trusted advanced reconstructive and plastic surgeon based in Sydney. He has undergone significant training to become an expert in the fields of breast, face and body surgery. Dr Rizk has performed gynaecomastia surgery for men of all ages and backgrounds, with the aim of improving the quality of life for his patients through uniquely tailored solutions.

Considering gynaecomastia surgery? Book a consultation with Dr Rizk today.