Speaking with a qualified board certified plastic surgeon prior to undergoing any type of plastic surgery can help to lay out the path to reaching the best possible outcome. Your surgeon will be able to prepare you for a healing process that will involve minimal scarring by giving you the proper details regarding scar treatments.
Gynecomastia is a condition characterized by enlarged breast tissue in males. This excess breast tissue or chest fat can significantly impact ones self-esteem. While male breast reduction surgery will offer relief mentally and physically, managing the resulting gynecomastia surgery scars is crucial to achieving a higher level of satisfaction.
Now let’s shed some light on the topic of scarring to better prepare you for the road ahead.
Factors that Impact Scarring
There are several factors that are unique to each individual when determining the impact of potentially significant scarring following a male breast reduction procedure.
All patients find some variations while treating gynecomastia. There are several factors that are unique to each individual that will affect how a scar heals. Here are a few considerations that you should think about:
The inherited characteristics of an individual’s skin play a significant role in how scars form and heal. Some people may be predisposed to developing raised, pigmented, or wide scars due to genetic factors.
Wound type and size
The nature and size of the wound or incision can influence the resulting scar. Large incisions or deeper wounds may produce more noticeable scars, while tiny incisions or shallower wounds may heal more inconspicuously in the areas you remove excess fat.
Location of the scar
Scars that occur at an incision site over joints or areas of high tension are more prone to widening or becoming raised due to increased stress on the healing tissue. Conversely, scars in areas with less movement and tension may heal more discreetly.
Younger individuals tend to heal more efficiently and may experience less prominent scarring compared to older individuals. This is because younger skin has better collagen production and elasticity, facilitating more optimal scar formation and quicker repair of broken skin.
Skin color and type
People with darker skin tones are more prone to developing hyperpigmented scars, while those with fair skin may experience more noticeable redness or hypopigmentation. Additionally, individuals with oily or acne-prone skin may be at higher risk of developing keloid or hypertrophic scars.
Types of Scars From Gynaecomastia Surgery
There are several types of scars that can result from gynecomastia surgery. The type of scar depends on the surgical technique used, the extent of the cosmetic surgery, and individual factors such as skin type and healing ability. Here are the most common types of gynecomastia plastic surgery scars:
In some cases, particularly when excess breast tissue or skin needs to be removed, a vertical incision may be made extending from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease of the chest. This type of scar is more visible than peri-areolar scars but can often be concealed under clothing.
In severe cases of gynecomastia or when significant amounts of skin need to be removed, horizontal incisions may be made along the crease of the chest (inframammary fold). Horizontal scars are typically longer and more visible than peri-areolar or vertical scars but can often be hidden beneath clothing.
This is the most common type of scar associated with gynecomastia surgery. It involves an incision made with an excision device around the edge of the areola, the pigmented area surrounding the nipple. Peri-areolar scars are typically well-concealed within the natural border of the areola, making them less noticeable.
Depending on the specific characteristics of the gynecomastia and the surgical approach chosen by the plastic surgeon, a combination of different types of scars may be used. For example, a patient may have both peri-areolar and vertical incisions to achieve the desired outcome.
Managing Gynecomastia Scars
While scar tissue management can significantly improve the appearance of surgery scars, complete elimination is rare.
Gynecomastia patients should understand that scars are a natural part of the healing process and that scars fade and improve with time.
Here are a few guidelines to follow to help minimize visible scarring following your surgical procedure:
- Follow post-operative care instructions closely to promote proper healing and minimal scarring.
- Avoid excessive sun exposure, as UV radiation can increase the appearance of dark scar tissue.
- Massage scars regularly with silicone gel or vitamin E oil to soften and flatten scar tissue.
- Consider scar treatments like laser therapy, steroid injections, or microneedling to smooth scars under the guidance of a qualified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
- Embrace scar camouflage techniques, such as makeup or specialized clothing, to conceal scars during the healing process.
- Use Silicone Sheets and Scar Gels. Silicone works to minimize excess collagen production and hydrate the scar tissue to ensure smooth scars. The use of scar gel will help skin heal more quickly and maintain moisture at the incision site.
- Maintaining proper hygiene will help to avoid infection and promote healing around your newly contoured chest
Gynecomastia Surgery FAQ’s
How long does it take to recover from gynecomastia?
Following your surgical treatment, the recovery process varies depending on the extent of tissue removed from the male breasts, but post-operative instructions remain consistent. Generally, expect a recovery period of 4-6 weeks.
Are gynecomastia scars noticeable?
Typically, minimal incisions are made discreetly around the nipple using a very thin excision device on most patients, resulting in barely visible scars once healed. Larger incisions can lead to more prominent scars, but in gynecomastia surgery, such sizable openings are generally unnecessary.
How long do gynecomastia scars last?
As time passes, swelling diminishes and scar visibility will gradually fade. Most patients transformed appearance tends to increase throughout recovery. Full results of gynecomastia surgery may take 3-6 months to fully become revealed. Though incision lines in the male breast tissue is permanent, they will gradually disappear over time.
How painful is gynecomastia surgery recovery?
During your gynecomastia surgery recovery time, initial soreness may be experienced for the first three days, typically with minimal pain. Temporary loss of sensation in the treated area can occur but usually resolves within a few weeks to months.
Do skin tightening treatments leave scars?
Excess skin tightening can be an important aspect of gynecomastia treatment, especially in cases where there is excess and saggy skin remaining following the removal of excess glandular tissue and excess fat.
Male breast reduction surgery typically involves the removal of excess breast tissue and fat through liposuction and/or surgical excision. However, in some cases, especially if severe or associated with large weight gain, the skin may have lost its elasticity and may not contract adequately after fatty tissue removal.
Choose The Right Gynecomastia Surgeon
Choosing a board certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Charles Galanis is one of the most important decisions you can make prior to your cosmetic procedure. He will be able to answer all of your questions and assess your natural contours to make a proper evaluation to meet your needs.
Contact us at Galanis Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills to set up your initial gynecomastia consultation and find out why.