Breast Reduction Los Angeles Thousand Oaks Ventura Agoura Hills Westlake Village Georgeanna Huang, MD Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon

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Breast Reduction for Men (Gynecomastia)
What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is derived from the roots gyneco- (“ woman”) and –mastia (“breast”).  In some men, enlargement of the breast tissue occurs with normal hormonal changes during puberty or later in life.  Other reasons that can cause male breast enlargement include a hormone imbalance, weight gain, recreational drug use, or certain prescription medications.  Most of the time gynecomastia is temporary, but if it persists, there are surgical options to improve it.

Would I benefit from surgery for Gynecomastia?

It is important to first determine the cause of your gynecomastia.  Only rarely is it associated with a tumor or hormone imbalance that requires underlying treatment.  In such a case, surgery should be deferred until your medical treatment has been completed.  Otherwise, once the underlying cause of the gynecomastia is gone, the breast tissue can be reduced by a combination of methods including liposuction. 

Most men who have gynecomastia simply have enlargement of the breast tissue.  A small incision made at the bottom of the areola (the colored oval around the nipple) allows access for liposuction of the tissue as well as final excisional contouring.  If there is excessive skin remaining, which would be signified by low set nipples on the chest, excision may be necessary.  This can be done at the same time or as a staged procedure to allow your body to retract as much skin as possible on its own.  The reason for waiting would be to minimimze the length of scars necessary.

What is involved in surgery?

Treatment of gynecomastia (male breast reduction) can range from simple liposuction to actual surgical excision.  Most of the time, contouring can be accomplished with the liposuction and a small incision made under the nipple to excise the firm breast tissue immediately underneath the nipple and areola (the colored oval/circle).  If there is a significant amount of skin, however, this would need to be excised either initially or at a second stage.

We would see you in the office the day before surgery to make markings for the surgical plan.  You will have to undergo general anesthesia for this procedure, which lasts 2-3 hours.  When you wake up from surgery, you will have a compression vest that you must keep on at all times for the first week.  This is to prevent any excess blood from collecting, which would interfere with your healing.  Any heavy lifting or aerobic activity is minimized for the first 4 weeks, and you would need to continue the compressive vest at night for a total of six weeks. 

Do I need to worry about any complications?

As with any surgery, there are the inherent risks of infection, bleeding, scarring, and anesthesia.  The most common untoward side effect is a contour deformity, which means that your chest wall may not be completely smooth.  Often this resolves with time as you heal, but sometimes can lead to a second procedure to correct this.  A hematoma, or collection of blood, can form if you do too much immediately after surgery.  This would require emergent return to the operating room to locate the bleeding vessel.  Numbness of the chest wall and nipple sensation can be temporarily dulled, but will come back with time.

Any other questions?

 We encourage you to ask questions so that you feel comfortable and informed in making this important decision for yourself.  If there is a question we have not answered, please do not hesitate to call us.

 
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is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, with subspecialty training in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast.
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