As they move into the new millennium, more and more men are considering plastic surgery as a viable way to improve their appearance. Living longer and healthier lives, they now want to look as good as they feel. In 1999, close to 11,000 males underwent surgery in America for gynecomastia, which is the medical term for benign enlargement of the male breast tissue. In practical terms, this means abnormally large breasts on men. Rarely talked about, this condition can cause embarrassment and emotional trauma in boys and men alike who suffer from it. Some estimates reveal 30 to 40 percent of men are affected by this condition. For those males embarrassed or feeling self-conscious about their appearance due to this condition can consult the Dallas office of male breast reduction surgeon Paul Pin.
Who is a Candidate for Male Breast Reduction Surgery?
The best candidates are healthy, emotionally stable men of any age. When the condition is present in teenagers, it is usually advisable to observe the condition for at least a year as it commonly resolves spontaneously.
The well-motivated patient is usually socially inhibited by his breast enlargement and avoids situations where it is most evident. This includes wearing a bathing suit or tight-fitting shirts. Ideally, the patient will have elastic skin that will reshape to the body’s new contour.
Obese men are not good candidates and should attempt diet and exercise. Marijuana and anabolic steroid usage must cease completely prior to the surgery.
Gynecomastia Treatment Cosmetic Consultation
Treatment of gynecomastia begins with a visit to a board certified plastic surgeon. After a discussion about how the breast enlargement affects you, the doctor will try to identify potential causes, which can include prescription drugs, marijuana, anabolic steroids and, in rare cases, tumors. In the majority of cases, there is no identifiable cause.
A physical exam will then allow the plastic surgeon to determine what type of surgical procedure is most appropriate for you. The consultation is usually concluded with a discussion of options, expected outcomes, and risks.
Preparing for Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Gynecomastia surgery requires that the patient be in good health. A complete checkup with your doctor is recommended before surgery. When enlargement is significant, a mammogram may be advisable to identify possible tumors.
Generally, patients should stop smoking completely for two weeks prior to surgery, as smoking can interfere with healing.
The Breast Reduction Procedure
Surgery for gynecomastia is usually performed as an outpatient, rarely is an overnight stay necessary. Anesthesia for the procedure is normally general, though in mild cases, local anesthesia with sedation may be sufficient
For most plastic surgeons, the technique used is determined by the amount of excess skin present in the enlarged breast When the excess is minimal, liposuction is preferred; when skin must be removed, excisional treatment is necessary. Occasionally, combined techniques are utilized.
Liposuction for gynecomastia is similar to other liposuction. Through several quarter inch incisions placed inconspicuously, (tumescent) fluid is injected to facilitate tissue removal. A thin metal rod (cannula) attached to a vacuum is then inserted to accomplish tissue removal and sculpting of the new breast. When the breast tissue is very dense, an ultrasonic cannula may be needed to effectively remove breast tissue.
Gynecomastia Treatment Recovery
Depending on the extent of surgery, pain can vary from minimal to moderate, and will last from several days to two weeks. Usually, patients are swollen and bruised after the surgery and the breast will have diminished sensation. This will resolve within a few weeks.
To speed recovery and to enhance proper contour, a compression garment is usually worn for several weeks after the surgery. Normally, this would not be noticed under one’s clothing.
Walking can be resumed in a few days, and exercise is usually safe within two to three weeks.
Male Breast Reduction Surgery Risks
Male breast reduction is not a simple procedure, but in the hands of an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon it is normally safe. As with any surgery, there can be complications such as: a negative reaction to anesthesia; bleeding and infection following the operation; changes in nipple or breast sensation; and, scarring. Like all body contouring surgery, it is possible that either too much or too little tissue can be removed. In these cases, revisional surgery may be necessary.
Male Breast Reduction Surgery Cost
The total cost of male breast reduction surgery ranges from $3,500 to $8,000 depending on the extent of the surgery required and the region of the country. In cases where your doctor can prove to your insurance company that treatment of gynecomastia is medically necessary, the procedure would be covered. Most commonly, this is a cosmetic procedure and all of the costs are borne by the patient.
After Surgery – What Results Can you Expect?
This procedure can enhance your appearance and boost your self-confidence. If you have been feeling uncomfortable with the appearance of your breasts and found that diet and exercise did not reduce their size, and you have realistic expectations about the changes surgery can bring, then you will most likely be happy with your new look. The results of the procedure are significant and permanent. Most males undergoing surgery for gynecomastia have been very satisfied with the results.
Dallas Male Breast Reduction Consults
Contact our Dallas office to schedule your male breast reduction consultation.
Surgery for gynecomastia is real surgery and involves risks such as bleeding, infection, and scarring. Results vary. Dr. Pin will be happy to discuss these and other risks of surgery for gynecomastia.