COSMETIC BREAST SURGERY IN MEN
The Most Suitable Candidates for Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia corrective surgery can be performed on healthy and emotionally stable men of any age. The most suitable candidates are those with tight and elastic skin that can be shaped to the new contours of the body.
Surgery is not recommended for obese or overweight men who have not tried to correct their problems with exercise and/or losing weight. Individuals who drink alcohol or use marijuana are also not thought to be suitable. Together with anabolic steroids, these substances may lead to gynecomastia. For that reason, patients are advised to stop using these substances in order to see whether their chest decreases in size before going on to consider surgery, one treatment option.
Few complications are seen when breast reduction surgery for men is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, and those which do arise are minor.
If asymmetry is particularly evident, a second procedure can be performed to remove excess tissue. Temporary effects of breast reduction include loss of sensitivity or numbness, and this can last for up to a year.
If the suspected cause is a medical one, you will be referred to an appropriate specialist. In extraordinary conditions, your plastic surgeon may ask for a mammogram or x-ray. These requests will not only eliminate the risk of breast cancer, but also reveal the structure of the breast.
Preparation for Surgery
Your surgeon will give you special instructions about how to prepare for your operation in terms of what to eat and drink and taking certain vitamins and drugs.
Smokers should plan to quit for at least two weeks before surgery and throughout the healing process. Cigarette smoking reduces blood circulation and obstructs proper healing.
What Will Happen during Your Operation
Gynecomastia surgery is generally performed without hospitalization, although in exceptional cases or suspected medical conditions, overnight hospitalization may be recommended.
The operation is generally completed within an hour. More comprehensive procedures may take longer, however.
Type of Anesthesia
Male breast reduction can be performed under general anesthesia, or under local anesthesia with sedation in certain cases. You will be awake, but relaxed and insensible to pain.
More radical correction can be carried out under general anesthesia, and the patient will thus sleep right through the procedure. Your surgeon will tell you which option is best for you, and why.
If excess gland tissue is the main reason for breast growth, this tissue will be removed. This process can be carried out alone or together with liposuction.
In a typical procedure, an incision is made from an unexposed area (from the edge of the areola or the arm pit). Larger incisions may be made in more major surgery requiring the extraction of a significant quantity of skin and tissue, and this may lead to visible scarring. If liposuction is used to remove excess fat, a cannula is generally inserted through the incisions.
In exceptional situations in which very large amounts of fat and gland tissue are removed, the skin may not adapt to the contours of the new, smaller breast. In these cases it may be necessary to remove more skin so that the remaining skin will fit the new breast contour.
Whether the scalpel or liposuction technique is employed, you may feel discomfort for a few days after surgery. But this discomfort can be controlled with drugs prescribed by your surgeon.
In any case, you will need someone to drive you home after the operation and, if necessary, help you for a day or two.
You may experience swelling and bruising for a while, and you may even wonder whether you are healing or not. In order to reduce swelling you will be asked to wear an elasticated pressure garment every day for a week or two and then at night for a few weeks.
Most swelling disappears within the first few weeks, though you may have to wait three months or more to appreciate the full effect of the surgery. Meanwhile, it is important to begin resuming normal life. You will be encouraged to start walking immediately after surgery, on that same day, and to return to work when you feel well enough – and this may be just one or two days after the operation.
Sutures are generally removed one or two weeks after surgery. You will be advised to avoid strenuous exercise for three weeks. You will also be told to avoid jobs and sports that might involve a risk of blows to the chest region.
Generally speaking, it will take about a month for you to be able to resume all your usual activities.
You must protect the resulting wounds from the sun for at least six months. Sunlight can permanently affect skin pigmentation and may cause the wound to turn a dark color. If it is impossible to avoid the sunlight, you will be advised to use high protection factor sun cream.