Gynecomastia, also known as “man boobs” is a very common disorder that affects up to 70% of adolescents, but also older males. Gynecomastia causes can include hormonal changes, certain types of medications, drugs and certain health conditions. Hormonal changes can lead to breast development in men, especially during puberty. The increase in bust usually passes on its own in six months to two years. Older males can also experience gynecomastia, mostly due to a decrease in testosterone production caused by the natural aging process. Around 1 in 4 men, aged between 50 and 80 will suffer from gynecomastia at some point in their lives. Certain medications such as drugs used to treat prostate cancer, diazepam, valium, AIDS medications, antibiotics, and antidepressants can also cause gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is also linked with the consumption of alcohol and certain types of drugs such as marijuana, amphetamines and heroin.
Around 75% of gynecomastia cases pass by themselves within 2 years, without the need for any type of treatment. Gynecomastia without surgery is not an option if the condition lasts for more than two years, as medications will be ineffective. In most cases, gynecomastia exercises have little or no effect, so the only option is the surgery.
Some of the most popular surgical techniques used for gynecomastia treatment include:
● Subcutaneous mastectomy, also known as gynecomastia surgery
● Liposuction-assisted mastectomy
● Laser assisted mastectomy
● Laser-lipolysis without liposuction
Gynecomastia removal is recommended for individuals with a growing bust, either due to fatty tissue or enlarged breast tissue.
Am I Suitable for Gynecomastia?
Overweight patients or patients with serious health conditions may not be suitable for gynecomastia surgery.
Preparing for Gynecomastia
The patient should stop taking any blood thinners such as aspirin at least 2 weeks before the gynecomastia surgery.
How is Gynecomastia Performed?
Gynecomastia symptoms may look the same, but the causes are different. There are two main gynecomastia treatment options. If the patient suffers from gynecomastia from a simple build up of fatty tissue in the bust area, a liposuction procedure is a viable gynecomastia treatment. If the patient suffers from enlarged breast tissue, an intraareolar semilunar incision is required, sometimes combined with a liposuction procedure. In both cases the procedure is done under local anaesthesia, making it practically painless.
Local or General anesthetic
Patient is required to stay 1 night in the hospital
Duration of Operation
1 to 2 hours
Back to Work
3 to 4 days
The Gynecomastia surgery recovery period lasts around 3-4 weeks but the patient may return to work and normal activities in around 3-4 days. The gynecomastia recovery period requires wearing a special type of corset for two weeks – the corset speeds up the healing process and also reduces the chance of complications such as edema.
Gynecomastia Risks and Complications
Gynecomastia surgery, just like any type of plastic surgery has a few risks that need to be taken into consideration:
● Breast asymmetry
Gynecomastia Side Effects
Gynecomastia surgery side effects can include bruising, discomfort, slight pain which can be soothed with painkillers, scarring, bleeding and a temporary loss of sensitivity in the nipple.
Gynecomastia Success Rates
A gynecomastia surgery survey based on 126 gynecomastia patient reviews sets the patient satisfaction rate at 82%, one year after the surgery was performed. Recurrence rates are between 15 and 35% for cases treated with liposuction and just short of 10% for cases treated with excision.
Before and After Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia before and after pictures might look appealing, but the doctor’s instructions need to be followed thoroughly for the gynecomastia removal surgery to be a success.