Gynaecomastia is a medical term that refers to male breast overdevelopment. Though this condition is rarely talked about, it's actually quite common. Gynaecomastia affects an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men. It may affect only one breast or both. Though certain drugs and medical problems have been linked with male breast overdevelopment, there is no known cause in the vast majority of cases.

For men who feel self-conscious about their appearance, breast reduction surgery can help. The procedure removes fat and/or glandular tissue from the breasts, and in some cases removes excess skin, resulting in a chest that is flatter, firmer, and better contoured.

If excess glandular tissue is the primary cause of the breast enlargement, it will be excised, or cut out, with a scalpel. The excision may be performed alone or in conjunction with liposuction. In a typical procedure, an incision is made in an inconspicuous location - either on the edge of the areola or in the underarm area. Working through the incision, the surgeon cuts away the excess glandular tissue, fat and skin from around the areola and from the sides and bottom of the breast. Major reductions that involve the removal of a significant amount of tissue and skin may require larger incisions that result in more conspicuous scars.

Surgery to correct gynaecomastia can be performed on healthy, emotionally stable men of any age. The best candidates for surgery have firm, elastic skin that will reshape to the body's new contours.

Surgery may be discouraged for obese men, or for overweight men who have not first attempted to correct the problem with exercise or weight loss. Also, individuals who drink alcoholic beverages in excess or smoke marijuana are usually not considered good candidates for surgery. These drugs, along with anabolic steroids, may cause gynaecomastia. Therefore, patients are first directed to stop the use of these drugs to see if the breast fullness will diminish, before surgery is considered an option.

Additional Information

  • Duration of operation: 1.5 hours
  • Anaesthetic: General anaesthetic
  • Hospital stay: 1 night

Recovery

  • Driving: 1 week
  • Back to work: 1 week
  • Exercise: 4-6 weeks

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