Contrary to popular belief, women aren’t the only ones who deal with unwanted excess breast tissue – men can also be dealt a bad hand in this area. Gynecomastia is a condition in which breast tissue on men becomes swollen and enlarged, which can have a devastating impact on the body confidence men have. Fortunately, at Galanis Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, CA, we offer a solution to this condition in the form of gynecomastia surgery, which can restore and refine your masculine figure.
Is Gynecomastia Surgery Safe?
Yes, this procedure is safe. Although this is a surgical procedure that requires the use of a general anesthetic, the surgery itself is safe and straightforward. Patients who are healthy enough to tolerate general anesthesia are typically good candidates for breast tissue removal surgery. In fact, this surgery is contextually similar to mammoplasty.
A mammoplasty is any surgery that removes excess breast tissue from the chest, female or male. Mammoplasty is one of the most common surgical procedures in the world, and while this surgery is more commonly used by women, the surgery is equally as safe as men. Although the surgical technique is invasive, the removal method requires only superficial removal, meaning there is little risk to your internal organs.
What Can This Procedure Do for You?
The goal of gynecomastia surgery is to remove male excess breast tissue. This surgery can be performed at any point during the lifespan, although it’s more common in men who are between ages 30 and 50. This procedure effectively eliminates excess breast tissue that has created unwanted fullness on the male chest.
Is This Surgery Ideal for All Patients?
Gynecomastia surgery is often used by men who have undergone significant weight loss but who are struggling to tone pectorals due to excess breast tissue and fat. However, this treatment is also ideal for male patients who have any amount of unwanted breast tissue, regardless of current weight. For example, men who have been struggling with chest fullness since puberty or as a result of andropause can be good candidates for this procedure.
What Should You Expect From This Procedure?
Like any other surgery, you can expect your procedure to have several steps along the way. Because this is a surgical procedure, you will need to ensure that all criteria are met in each step so that your treatment can be as safe and effective as possible. The main steps of your procedure will include:
You will need to first attend a consultation appointment so we can assess whether or not you are a good candidate for this treatment. We will ask how long you have been experiencing symptoms and examine the amount of unwanted breast tissue you have. We will also gather relevant medical information about you, including current medications and supplements you are taking, any drug allergies you have, and your history of other relevant treatments or surgeries.
Part of your consultation may also include completing certain labs and examinations. It’s common to run a full blood panel and perform x-rays of your chest so that your surgeon can better understand your current health and the state of your condition.
Preparing for this surgery is similar to preparing for other surgeries. For example, you will be expected to follow several pre-operative guidelines to help prepare for your treatment, such as:
- Discontinuing blood-thinning medication for 10 days
- Avoid herbal supplements and certain vitamins (C and E) for at least 10 days
- Take out body piercings
- Do not wear contacts
- Stop drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours
- Fast the night before surgery
- Do not drink water for at least 8 hours before surgery
If you are on certain medications, such as those for blood-thinning, that you are meant to take continually, please let us know so we can speak with your primary care physician. If you have other medical conditions we should know about, please be sure to disclose this information so that we can complete your procedure safely.
You will also need to arrange for transportation after your surgery, as you will be unable to drive yourself home.
This surgery is performed under general anesthesia at a hospital or on an outpatient basis and generally takes about one to two hours to complete. The length of your surgery time will depend on the amount of breast tissue being removed, as well as any additional fat or skin removal necessary to achieve the desired result.
Your surgery will involve incisions made on the chest wall to remove unwanted breast tissue, just like with any other mammoplasty. After your unwanted breast tissue has been removed, your surgical site will be closed with surgical tape or sutures and bandaged.
Recovery for this surgery is easier than you might initially think. Most men feel minor soreness for about three days post-procedure and will need to take at least one full week from all activities to do the most crucial healing. The majority of patients are fully recovered after two weeks, which is when all normal daily activity, including strenuous activity, can be resumed.
Of course, there are a few instructions you will be asked to follow after your procedure. Some of these post-operative instructions include:
- Wash and dress surgical site
- Wear compression vest as instructed
- Increase fluid intake
- Avoid strenuous exercise for at least two weeks
- Do not perform chest exercises for at least four weeks
- Tissue massage
- Practice good posture
Of these post-operative instructions, the guidelines for wearing your compression vest and practicing good posture are perhaps the most important. The compression vest should be worn as much as possible during your immediate recovery period to encourage your surgical site to heal flatly. Meanwhile, correcting your posture will help shift your mental energy to embracing the newfound confidence of your results when they become evident after your recovery.
When Will You See Results?
While you may notice initial results in the early days following your surgery, the true results of your treatment will not be visible for several weeks. At the earliest, the end of your recovery period of two weeks is when you will be able to enjoy the results of this treatment. The majority of men require about four weeks to see the full impact of the surgery.
Are Results Permanent?
Yes and no. Frankly speaking, the results of this surgery will be permanent for as long as patients are able to maintain good lifestyle and health choices to prevent future excess fat from recreating the appearance of a fuller chest. When the root cause of gynecomastia is removed (the excess breast tissue), it’s unlikely that new breast tissue will generate. However, lifestyle factors such as weight gain are likely to undo the results of the surgery.
1. What Causes Gynecomastia?
This condition is much more common than most men assume. It’s estimated that about 40% to 50% of men will experience excess unwanted breast tissue throughout the lifespan, although the prevalence rate increases in direct correlation with age. That said, there are several factors that can cause this condition, such as:
Imbalanced Sex Hormones
Sex hormones are the most common causal factor for this condition. All people have the same hormones in their bodies, however secondary sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone rest at different natural levels for both men and women. Men are more likely to experience an increase of breast tissue when the amount of estrogen produced by the body increases.
Some medications may also interfere with normal hormone function or may cause an increase of breast tissue as a side effect. Medications such as anti-androgens for enlarged prostate, anabolic steroids to increase muscle mass and stamina, AIDs medication, chemotherapy, heart medications, anti-depressants, and anti-anxiety medications may all increase male breast tissue.
There are also some health conditions that may contribute to the development of this condition, such as hypogonadism, hyperthyroidism, cancer, obesity, and andropause.
Some herbal supplements you are using for your hygiene can also be causal factors, including products such as tea tree oil and lavender.
Drinking large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis can also increase the amount of breast tissue you have due to the unique way alcohol is metabolized by the body.
2. Does This Condition Affect Both Sides of the Chest?
Interestingly, no. Just as women do not have breasts that are perfectly symmetrical, men may not grow excess breast tissue on both sides of the chest. It’s common for one side to be larger than the other, sometimes by a significant amount.
3. Why Should You Consider This Surgery?
There is no universal reason for having this procedure. For example, it’s just as common for men to have this treatment for purely cosmetic purposes as it is to have this treatment to alleviate troubling symptoms of the condition.
Symptoms to Watch Out For
While the main symptom of this condition is the visible increase in breast tissue, there are other symptoms worth noticing. For example, men commonly have breast tenderness and swollen breast tissue, both of which can be uncomfortable. It’s also encouraged that men see a physician and seek treatment if they have more concerning symptoms, such as:
- Lingering pain and aching
- Darkening of the chest
4. What Are the Benefits of This Procedure?
This treatment is incredibly beneficial for men who seek the elimination of unwanted breast tissue. For instance, this surgery is the most effective solution for excess breast tissue in men and can be extremely adaptable to meet each man’s needs, such as also removing excess fat and skin during surgery. Other benefits of this procedure include:
Although some men may hunch due to increased weight on the chest, many men also hunch or adopt improper posture to hide enlarged breast tissue. When excess breast tissue is removed, you can improve your posture to correct the alignment of your spine.
Easier Physical Activity
Men who have a drastic increase in breast tissue may find that some physical activities, including exercise, is more difficult with this condition. The removal of excess breast tissue can make physical activity easier, as well as make it easier to define pectoral muscles.
The ability to increase body confidence and adopt a more masculine appearance is another important benefit, particularly for men who struggle with self-esteem and depression related to their appearance.
5. Who Are Good Candidates?
Good candidates for this treatment include men who are healthy enough to withstand general anesthesia and who are willing to commit to healthy lifestyle choices to maintain results, including decreasing alcohol intake and managing weight gain. Most men are good candidates for this procedure.
Refine Your Masculine Appearance With Gynecomastia Surgery
You don’t have to make peace with excess breast tissue on your body. If you think the best way to refine your masculine appearance and increase your body confidence is with gynecomastia surgery, please contact Galanis Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, CA to schedule your consultation appointment today.