Male Breast Reduction (Gynaecomastia)
Male breast reduction surgery is an important surgical procedure which has the power to restore body confidence to teenage boys and older men suffering with gynaecomastia (where men’s breasts swell and become larger than they should).
Gynaecomastia can be very distressing for men, with many avoiding activities (like swimming and other sports) that involve dressing and undressing in front of other people.
It usually requires surgical correction, but an assessment with a breast and testicular examination and blood test investigations are usually required by your GP first, to rule out discrete lumps or known causes of breast enlargement (hormonal changes, medication or some drugs). Titus Adams sees those men with idiopathic gynaecomastia once hormonal or drug-induced causes have been ruled out.
There are different procedures avaiable to remove specific tissue and include:
- Peri-areolar breast bud reduction
- Combination surgery
- Standard breast reduction surgery (in rare or syndromic cases)
The type of surgical correction depends on the size of the Gynaecomastia, the nature (density) of the tissues involved in the enlargement, as well as patient wishes and desires. In general, liposuction is usually employed. However, in many cases, the nature of the tissue lying under the nipple area is too dense and fibrous for liposuction alone, and some type of formal removal is required. Surgical access is usually required around the lower part of the nipple/areola area. Occasionally, if there is a significant amount of skin laxity, the redundant skin will also need removing which would be managed through a scar running around the complete circumference of the nipple itself. In some cases, an additional (horizontal) scar may be needed on the lateral aspect of the chest skin for improved access to large amounts of breast tissue or to excise greater redundancies of skin. In rare cases, and especially after Bariatric Surgery (weight-loss surgery), the amount of skin and tissue excess can be considerable and may require further scars on the chest in order to improve the male chest profile.
The nature of the surgery is tailored specifically to the severity of the condition and the wishes (and expectations) of the individual. This is discussed very clearly with patients at the time of their consultation. Photographs are also available for viewing at this time.
Male Breast Reduction
What You Need to Know
The type of surgical procedure will have been discussed thoroughly at the time of the initial consultation. Further consultations are encouraged to answer any further questions and to re-cap on the procedure being planned. Pre-operative investigations will have been complete (including hormone profiling to rule out causes of Gynaecomastia which respond to hormone therapy alone). The surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic, and is usually accompanied by one hospital night stay. Smokers and very over-weight men are at greater risk of wound healing problems. Smoking should stop at least two weeks before and after surgery. Smoking can affect both wound healing and the vascular supply to the nipple. Aspirin and related anti-inflammatory medication should be avoided for a similar period of time to reduce the risk of bleeding.