Gynecomastia (Male Breast Reduction)
What is Gynecomastia?
Many teenage boys will develop fullness behind the nipple during puberty. As excess testosterone is flowing through their bodies, some of the testosterone converts to estrogen which stimulates the growth of glandular breast tissue behind the nipple. Occasionally the breasts will be tender and itchy. In most young males, the breast tissue involutes or disappears over time. In a small percentage, it may persist and become troublesome.
Who is a candidate for Male Breast Reduction Surgery?
Most boys with gynecomastia are not initially surgical candidates unless it becomes difficult socially, as it can be a large source of embarrassment and ridicule from peers. If the tissue does not resolve, surgery, as opposed to anti-estrogen compounds is curative. The anti-estrogens will only reduce symptoms, but never cause the tissue to disappear after puberty is over. Excessive anti-estrogens have been linked to problems with bone development and later in life, osteoporosis.
Older males can develop this problem too. They may have taken testosterone boosting drugs as athletes, gained and lost a lot of weight or simply just have the genetic pre-disposition to developing glandular breast tissue. Again, these patients typically have high levels of anxiety at the beach, in the locker room or in any situation when they may be shirtless.
What is Male Breast Reduction Surgery?
Gynecomastia surgery at Austin Cosmetic Surgery is a safe, predictable and reliable procedure assuming that the patient follows all of our pre-operative and post-operative protocols. It is not unreasonable to have the patient back to the gym in 2 weeks after the gynecomastia procedure. Pre-operatively they must be off all blood thinners and agree not to keep taking any substance (such anabolic steroids) or smoke marijuana. Post-operatively, they must avoid blood thinners, alcohol, sodium in excess of 1500 mg per day, smoking anything on fire and agree to wear the compressive garment 24/7 for the two week post-op interval unless they are in the shower.
How Long Does a Male Breast Reduction Procedure Take?
The procedure usually takes about 45 minutes on each side of the chest and is performed under an IV sedation, same-day, out-patient procedure. The incision is made in the pigmented, areolar (nipple) skin from 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock. The rubbery, glandular breast tissue is removed and the surgical access sites are closed with deep sutures and a very thin micro-stitch that is removed at 8-10 days post-operatively. Patients are placed on antibiotics, anti-swelling medication and require only small amounts of pain medication for 1-2 days at maximum.
Are Scars Noticeable After Gynecomastia Treatment?
The incision sites gradually disappear over a few months and typically no sensory loss occurs of the nipple area. Recurrence, or return of the breast tissue, is extremely rare which means this cures it for the patient!
To learn more, call and schedule an appointment with the Drs. Carlotti at Austin Cosmetic Surgery at (512) 688-8000 today.