What is gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a condition in which breast tissue overdevelops in a boy or man. Tissue overgrowth results in enlarged breasts. Gynecomastia is not cancer; it is a benign condition that may occur for several different reasons. It is not uncommon for newborn boys to have mild gynecomastia, nor for adolescent boys to experience this condition. In these instances, breast enlargement is usually triggered by changing hormones. As hormone levels regulate, breast shape returns to normal.
It has become apparent that men of all ages can develop breast enlargement. During adulthood, the condition could relate to the decline in testosterone that happens in mid-life. Breasts may enlarge as a result of certain treatments and medications as well, such as certain antibiotics or antidepressants. Recreational drugs such as anabolic steroids and marijuana have also been identified as factors that can contribute to gynecomastia.
When breast tissue grows excessively, it can be difficult to shape the chest with diet and exercise. Many men try, only to become frustrated and hopeless. In recent years, plastic surgery has developed improved solutions for gynecomastia, including liposuction of the chest.
Who is an ideal candidate for gynecomastia?
If you are a healthy adult male who has been unable to correct breast enlargement naturally, you may be a good candidate for gynecomastia treatment. When we say naturally, we do not mean taking unproven supplements that promise to regulate your hormones. Such products are not only ineffective, but they can be dangerous.
If you are struggling with the self-consciousness caused by puffy nipples, a rounded chest, breast asymmetry, or sagging breast tissue, you may be a good candidate for gynecomastia treatment. Every person deserves to feel confident in their appearance. Male breast enlargement is not your fault. Therefore, it is not something to address on your own. A skilled plastic surgeon can provide a solution that reaches a satisfactory outcome.
It is important to note that gynecomastia surgery involves liposuction of the chest. This procedure is most successful in patients who are at a stable weight that is near their ideal body weight. Performing SmartLipo, or any gynecomastia technique, on an overweight patient could lead to disproportionate results. Historically, patients have been told they must have good skin elasticity to undergo gynecomastia surgery. The SmartLipo MPX system makes treatment more accessible to more men due to its tissue-tightening effects.
How can I prepare for a gynecomastia procedure?
If you have determined that gynecomastia surgery is the right decision to accomplish your desired improvements, you can expect to receive pre-operative instructions from the office. Generally, patients are advised to:
- Stop smoking and using tobacco products starting 2 to 3 weeks before surgery. Smoking must be avoided to prevent surgical complications and poor healing.
- Avoid medications and supplements that thin the blood.
- Certain medications may need altering. At your consultation, it is necessary to inform the doctor of all medications and supplements you are taking. If a prescribed medication poses a risk of excessive bleeding or other complications, your prescribing doctor may need to alter the medication weeks before surgery.
- Complete all pressing projects at home and work well ahead of surgery. Clearing your plate allows you to recover in a more relaxed frame of mind.
- Arrange for a loved one to assist you on surgery day and for a day or two afterward. Someone will need to drive you to your appointment and drive you home after the procedure.
- Pick up prescriptions before the day of surgery.
The Traditional Procedure
Mastectomy for gynecomastia (feminine looking breasts on a male) is traditionally performed under general anesthesia. This procedure removes the breast tissue with an incision around the areola. Many times plastic surgeons incorporate liposuction of the breast area in addition to avoid the depression deformity known as “sauce pan” deformity.
In patients who suffer not only from excess glandular breast tissue but also have sagging, loose skin in the breast area may require surgical excision to remove this excess skin. As a result of this more invasive approach, more scars will be present around the areola and the inframammary fold.
Laser-Assisted Gynecomastia Reduction
With the introduction of newer laser technology (Smartlipo MPX), Dr. Perez has developed an innovative procedure to address gynecomastia. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia and oral sedation in our in-office surgical suite. Utilizing the Smartlipo laser, Dr. Perez is able to separate the breast skin from the glandular breast tissue and underlying pectoralis muscle.
Benefits of Using Laser
There are several patient benefits by using this technique. The energy passed by the Smartlipo laser coagulates blood vessels, decreasing bleeding and bruising and ultimately diminishing post-operative swelling. This laser energy also stimulates the dermis to increase the contraction of the skin, many times avoiding the need for surgical excision of the skin in mild to moderate cases of excess skin.
What type of anesthesia is used during a gynecomastia procedure?
The SmartLipo procedure involves tumescent anesthesia. This local anesthesia infuses the treatment area with a solution of lidocaine, epinephrine, and sodium bicarbonate. In addition to numbing the surgical site, the tumescent solution also decreases bleeding during the procedure, which minimizes swelling and bruising during recovery.
SmartLipo patients also receive oral sedation. This mild sleeping pill helps patients rest comfortably during their procedure. However, most patients remain awake, listening to music while Dr. Perez sculpts their body.
What is the Recovery from Gynecomastia Surgery?
Post-surgery, male breast reduction patients can expect to have mild pain that responds well to oral narcotic pain meds. A compression garment will be used for support and will need to be worn for at least two weeks post-operatively. If sutures are present, most times they are removed at day #7. Many patients find that they are able to return to normal activity within 10 days and limiting more intense activity (exercise and lifting) for three or four weeks.
What Results Can I Expect from Male Breast Reduction Surgery?
The results obtained with this technique have made Dr. Perez’s practice a destination for bodybuilders and men who seek a discrete result with minimal scars. For more information about our innovative approach to male breast reduction please schedule your consultation at Renue Aesthetic Surgery today.
Are There Risks to Male Breast Reduction Surgery?
In most cases, gynecomastia is a benign instance of breast enlargement related to excess subcutaneous fat. It is not an indication of breast cancer, nor does it increase a man’s chances of developing breast cancer. In some cases, a doctor may perform imaging or lab tests to determine if breast enlargement is related to an underlying health condition. Usually, the most significant risks of having gynecomastia relate to the emotional turmoil a man experiences due to his appearance. SmartLipo is a worthwhile solution for many men.
- "I have suffered from gynecomastia since I was 13 years old. At 35 I finally did something about it. Dr. Perez gets a 10/10 in bedside manner and his entire staff is very friendly and professional. Any questions or concerns I had were answered concisely by Dr. Perez or Nurse Diana. The surgery was quick and free of any significant pain. Recovery was speedy with very thorough instructions given by the doctor and nurse on how to make it as quick as possible and not mess it up. Post-op visits were frequent and pleasantly brief, but always to the point and never rushed. Thanks again to Dr. Perez and the entire staff at Renue Aesthetic Surgery! - V.R.
- "I love this place! I’ve been going here for a little over 2 years. Their staff is very welcoming and I feel very comfortable in the hands of Diana the esthetician and Dr. Perez" - L.J.
- "I love Dr. Perez!! He is the best plastic surgeon ever!! He’s very knowledgeable, patient, understanding, and delivers excellent results... He’s simply amazing" - T.T.