Gynecomastia is a condition of enlarged breast in men. This can be the result of several factors including enlarged breasts glands or an increase in weight gain which increases the male breasts through fat deposits around the nipple.
Gynecomastia is becoming more commonplace as obesity rates have risen in the past decade. Other factors like hormonal imbalance and environmental pollutants have shown some evidence to contributing to gynecomastia in boys and men.
Typically the surgical procedure to treat gynecomastia is done by liposuction or an ablated technique which actually removes the glandular tissue and fat from around the nipple. Liposuction alone has shown to have a slightly higher reoccurrence rate when the breast gland is not resected.
Male breast enlargement can also be linked to cancer. If one breast becomes larger than the other then it is recommended that someone immediately gets it checked with a qualifying physician. Men who have gynecomastia generally show both breast as being enlarged and not just a single breast.
If the male enlarged breasts primarily consists of fatty tissue, then liposuction is generally used. If enlarged glandular tissue is the main cause, then it may be cut out by the plastic surgeon. This ablation may be performed by itself or in conjunction with liposuction.
During a gynecomastia procedure, an incision is made on either edge of the nipple areola. Sometimes the underarms are used instead. The surgeon will cut away the glandular tissue, additional fat and sometimes the skin from around the nipple areola. Some reductions involve the removal of a large amount of breast tissue and skin which may leave a more prominent scar. However, generally, scars are usually minimized in this procedure.
When liposuction is to used, a small cannula is inserted into the incision and fat is sucked out with a vacuum pump.
Where liposuction is only used in treating gynecomastia, the plastic surgeon will usually make a very small incision on the edge of the nipple areola or sometimes under the underarm area as well. In cases like this the surgeon may opt to use local anesthesia instead. Most patients report that there is very little discomfort and pain while under a local anesthesia.
Male breast reduction surgery for gynecomastia is generally performed on an outpatient basis. Rarely is an overnight hospital stay recommended. Surgery for this procedure is typically an hour and a half, however, more extensive male breast reduction surgery may take longer in some cases.
Male breast reduction may be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Dr. Stephens will discuss anesthesia options with the patient once they have decided upon surgery.