What is it?
Men can suffer from enlarged breasts for a variety of reasons including: hormones, medication, weight and even cancer. Depending on the cause, one or both breasts may be enlarged. This can often be a source of embarrassment or shame, especially when the problem begins in adolescence, making it hard to play sports, go to the beach, or be intimate with a partner. Before considering surgery, it is important to make sure that the breast growth has been stable, weight is controlled, all treatable medical causes have been ruled out by your primary care physician, and any masses have been appropriately evaluated to rule out cancer. When deemed appropriate for surgery, options depend on the particular problem. If there is extra fatty tissue but little to no extra skin, liposuction alone tends to provide good results. If a firmer disc of tissue is also present behind the nipple, liposuction can be combined with direct excision of this tissue through a small incision. If there is extra tissue as well as a significant amount of extra skin and a sagging nipple, this will often require a more extensive procedure, like a small breast reduction. You should realize that, if more than liposuction is required, there will be visible scars on the chest. However, most men are happily willing to accept scars for a flat chest that looks great in clothes. If you're interested in gynecomastia in Houston, Lift Plastic Surgery is the best choice.
What happens during surgery?
During surgery, if liposuction is required, several small puncture marks are made on the chest, and the extra fatty tissue is removed with a cannula. These incisions are generally barely visible once healed. If direct excision is required, a small curved incision is made at the bottom half of the areola and the extra firm tissue is directly removed and the incision is closed with absorbable sutures. The scar is usually well hidden. If the areola is enlarged, it can also be made smaller at the same time. If a breast reduction technique is used, an ellipse of extra skin and tissue is removed. The nipple and areola remain attached to a thin piece of tissue which is still attached to a blood supply, while as much of the remaining extra breast tissue as possible is removed. The incision is closed, and the nipple/areola is brought out through a new hole. This creates a scar around the areola that is well hidden, as well as a linear scar in the crease under the breast. Absorbable sutures are used as well as tape and skin glue and your chest will be wrapped. You are able to go home the same day.
What will my recovery be like?
Postoperatively, you will have some discomfort, swelling and bruising. You will be able to shower the day after surgery. You must wear a compression shirt or vest at all times other than showering for 6 weeks to optimize your results. No vigorous exercise or activity is allowed for the first 4-6 weeks after surgery and you should limit lifting your arms above your head. Expect that swelling will gradually decrease over the next few months before you see the final shape of your new chest. Once your incisions are healed we will discuss scar management tips.
What are the risks?
After surgery, you may have numbness or changes in sensation of the breast. This is generally not permanent, but will take several months to remove.