What is a gynaecomastia?
Gynaecomastia is a common condition in men and boys where their breasts swell and become abnormally large due to a sex hormone imbalance.
These enlarged breasts are most common in new-born baby boys, teenage boys and older men as a result of their bodies producing more oestrogen than they should compared to testosterone and this causes their breast tissue to grow. Weight gain can also increase oestrogen levels and excess fat. Medications, drugs, alcohol and other health conditions may also cause gynaecomastia.
Also known as male breasts, man boobs or moobs, this condition can make a man feel unmanly and self-conscious about their appearance.
What does a gynaecomastia surgery involve?
Gynaecomastia surgery is often performed to remove the excess tissue that is causing gynaecomastia. There are two options depending on the type of excess tissue you have:
Liposuction – is performed if you have excess breast fat.
Liposuction for treating gynecomastia is typically performed using local or general anaesthetic. It involves a small incision on each side of your chest, the edge of your areola or within your armpit. Through these incisions your cosmetic surgeon will insert a thin tube to loosen the excess fat and remove it using a high-power vacuum and sculpt a new more natural chest contour.
Male breast reduction – is performed if you have excess breast gland tissue.
Male breast reduction surgery is usually carried out under general anaesthetic. It involves making a cut around your nipple that allows your surgeon to remove the tissue. Cuts may be extended and your nipples repositioned if you have a lot of tissue to remove. The procedure will typically take 90 minutes. Your cosmetic surgeon will take care to place incisions so that the resulting scars are as inconspicuous as possible.
Liposuction and breast reduction surgery can be performed at the same time if you have an excess of both fatty and glandular tissue.
What are the benefits of a gynaecomastia surgery?
The benefits of gynaecomastia surgery are that it will restore a naturally masculine appearance to your chest. With a firmer, flatter and better shaped chest, men often feel more confident with increased self-esteem and are able to wear more fitted tops and reveal their chests when they want.
Gynaecomastia surgery is typically a short procedure with a quick recovery and virtually invisible scars.
Gynaecomastia recovery and aftercare
You may go home the same day or stay overnight in hospital depending on the amount of fat and breast gland being removed.
Your breasts may be bruised and swollen but this will gradually fade. Any scars will also lessen over time.
You may be required to wear a supporting garment for up to six weeks to support your breasts and compress your chest.
Most patients will return to work, a week after their gynaecomastia surgery.
You should avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous activity for up to six weeks after surgery and not drive until you feel comfortable wearing a seatbelt.