Gynecomastia Surgery Overview
Gynecomastia surgery is done to reduce the size of the male breast, make them flat and more manly to look. Gynecomastia surgery is medically termed reduction mammoplasty.
The gynecomastia in men can be critical as well as simple. If the weight of the male breast is extreme, it can change the shape and position of the areola. In this case, the surgeon has to remove the extra fat and also reshape the areola.
In the USA, around 50% of the males experience more or less gynecomastia in their lifetime. Some of them likely to have surgery, others worried about it.
Let’s dive deep into gynecomastia surgery.
What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a condition characterized by enlarged or overdeveloped breasts in men. This condition can be caused by genetics, unhealthy diet, medication side effects, and obesity.
Gynecomastia puts men in emotional discomfort. They feel inferior to the fit men. They try to hide their body, they don’t feel comfortable going to the beach or swimming pool.
Men’s breasts condition in gynecomastia may include;
- Excess fat
- Abnormal glandular tissue development
- Rarely excess breast skin
- Unilateral or bilateral gynecomastia
- Unusual or enlarged nipple
Best Candidate for Gynecomastia Surgery
- Men whose gynecomastia isn’t improving by other methods or medication.
- Non-drug users
- Healthy men who don’t have any previous fatal disease or conditions.
- Gynecomastia sufferers who have realistic goals and expectations.
- Men whose breast enlargement doesn’t cause by tumors or cancer.
Adolescents should not be done gynecomastia surgery, as their breasts are still growing and enlarging. They may need another surgery in the future.
Benefits of Gynecomastia Surgery
Benefits to gynecomastia surgery are already mentioned and well known. You’d get the shape of your chest as you wanted. The excess fat is removed. The manliness you want can be achieved by this surgery.
Consultation for Gynecomastia Surgery
Whenever you visit a doctor for consultation, make sure you take all of your medical certificates, history of your previous medical conditions (if any), allergy or drug reactions history.
Talk to your doctor about your expectation and condition. Do not hesitate to express what you want, and get the answer clearly that if it is possible or not.
Your doctor may check your medical certificates and ask you some questions. As well as, it’s better to be prepared for a physical examination.
Your examination may include;
- Your health status evaluation
- Evaluating your BMI
- Lab tests may be recommended for endocrine function test
- Your breast may be examined, some photos can be captured.
- The doctor may prescribe you some drugs
Make sure some points you clarified before decide to undergo gynecomastia surgery.
- The surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
- Experience of the surgeon.
- How many years of training the surgeon achieved.
- Where the surgery will be done? if in a hospital then which one?
- You are fit for the surgery.
- You don’t have any previous medical condition that can affect the result.
- Make sure that you know the benefits and risks of the procedure from the doctor.
- Ask the doctor to show you some gynecomastia surgery before and after photos done by him.
- Make sure that your expectations are understood by the surgeon and also you know what will be the result.
- How the procedure will be done.
- Knowing the recovery period and post-operative complications.
- What if you don’t like the result, what are the option then?
- About the anesthesia method.
You must understand the points before having the surgery. Commonly, some people feel shy about talking about the procedure, cost, and other points. But it’s important to overcome the shyness rather than being not satisfied after the surgery is done.
Preparation Of The Gynecomastia Surgery
- Get the laboratory tests done recommended by the doctor
- Follow the medication prescribed by the doctor
- Avoid aspirin and NSAID
- Stop smoking
- Avoid drinking alcohol
In any kind of surgery, the results and complications depend on your overall health condition. If you maintain the points mentioned by the doctor to be a good candidate for the surgery, it would be the best.
Your surgeon may tell you to remove the hair from the chest region day before the surgery. If the surgeon mentions it, remove them by shaving or waxing before the surgery day.
Make sure someone drives you to the surgical facility, doctor’s office, or the hospital where the surgery will be done.
Gynecomastia Surgery Procedure
Before the Procedure
Anesthesia is necessary for gynecomastia surgery. The anesthesia method can be either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. The doctor would one of these according to your health condition.
During the Procedure
Usually, two main techniques are being followed for gynecomastia surgery, these are;
- Liposuction technique
- Excision technique
The Liposuction Technique
This procedure is followed by the surgeon if the gynecomastia is caused by excess fatty tissues. In this procedure, a special cannula(a narrow hollow needle) is used, which works like a vacuum. The cannula sucks the loose fatty tissues. The surgeon moves the cannula frequently to loosen the fatty tissues.
The liposuction can be done by several techniques. The surgeon will choose the best one for you. As you are anesthetized, you won’t feel any pain or sensation during the liposuction procedure.
The Excision Technique
Excision technique is used where glandular tissue or excess skin needs to be removed. If the areola is bigger, then excision is used to resize it. If the nipple position is not as expected, this technique is used to reposition it. The incision pattern and location vary according to the size, shape, position of the skin, fatty tissue, nipple, and areola.
The surgeon will choose the best incision for you. The incision mark usually not visible after the recovery period.
Liposuction and Excision Combined
In some situations, where the patient’s gynecomastia condition requires both techniques to get the expected result. The surgeon will let you know during the consultation, which technique he/she is going to use.
After The Procedure
After completing the surgery the surgeon will apply dressing and bandages to the site of the incisions. Support garments or elastic bandages would provide to maintain the chest’s new contour during the recovery period.
You’ll be given some medications and instructions for the recovery period. You have to take the medication during this period and maintain some rules for best recovery and results.
Sometimes surgeons put a small tube underneath the skin to collect extra blood or fluid. Usually, it is removed after a day or two.
Ask your doctor about the recovery process. There are some unique rules to follow in each surgical procedure. The doctor may give you an instruction manual, follow it strictly.
It takes two to six weeks for full recovery after gynecomastia surgery. But after a week you will regain your strength and general feeling. Ask your doctor when you can join your work. Also, let him know what kind of work do you do.
When To Worry?
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual pain in the chest region
- Abnormal heartbeat
If you experience any of the above-mentioned situations, go to the hospital right then. Make sure, you don’t put any pressure, force, abrasion, or any kind of impact in the chest area during the recovery period.
You’d notice results immediately after the surgery. It’d take some to recover from the surgery, and get rid of the bandages. After removing bandages you may see some lines of incisions and your expected results.
The scar of incisions is tiny and usually fades away over time. Though if your surgery required repositioning and reshaping of the nipple and areola, some tiny scars may remain for a long time. You shouldn’t worry about them.
It also happens that, some people don’t get their expected results after surgery. The need to undergo another surgery for fixing those points and get the expected results.
You shouldn’t worry about the scars or the results. Most of the patients get their expected results in their first gynecomastia surgery and also their scars are not that much visible. All you need to be confident.
Complications of Gynecomastia Surgery
Some complications may arise in any kind of surgery, but we’ve to see if the benefits are greater than the risks and complications. Your doctor will only mark you as a good candidate for gynecomastia surgery when he thinks that the benefits are more than the risks.
The possible risks and complications which may arise from a gynecomastia surgery;
- Blood clots
- Anesthesia-related complications
- Breast asymmetry may arise
- Breast shape can become irregular
- There can be temporary sensation loss in the breast region
- Cardiac complications
- Fat necrosis
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Respiratory complications
- Fluid accumulation
- Unusual pain
- Poor wound healing
Although the risks of arising complications quite rare or temporary, you should ask your doctor directly about these. You should learn a little about the possibilities of complications and expected results.
Gynecomastia Surgery Cost
Gynecomastia surgery cost is about $4123, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
This is not the complete cost. It’s just a part of the total costing. The final price will include;
- Anesthesia fees
- Hospital or surgical facility costs
- Tests and investigations
- Post-surgery garments
- Prescriptions for medication
- Surgeon’s fee
Gynecomastia surgery cost varies according to the surgeon’s experience, facility, luxury, and comforts of the post-operative facility.
Before the surgery, you should consult with your doctor about the final cost. As it would include the medication also, only the doctor can give you the exact cost for gynecomastia surgery.
Gynecomastia Surgery Cost With Insurance
Usually, gynecomastia surgery costs don’t include in the insurance as it is cosmetic surgery.
But, your surgeon may provide you a document about the recommendation of gynecomastia surgery. Show this document to your insurance provider, you may get some cost covered by the insurance.
Gynecomastia Surgery Before and After
Gynecomastia Surgery Summary
Gynecomastia surgery is breast reduction surgery medically termed as reduction mammography. About half of the US men population experienced gynecomastia in their lifetime. The gynecomastia surgery is done to get back the manly contour of the breast.
Liposuction and excision are the common technique used for this surgery. It takes 2-6 weeks to recover. There are some complications and risks as well, you have to know about these before undergoing gynecomastia surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much does gynecomastia surgery cost?
About $4123 but this is not the final cost. The final cost includes anesthesia fee, surgeons fee, hospital facility fee, medications, etc. Talk to your surgeon about the final cost.
How to get rid of gynecomastia without surgery?
It depends according to your gynecomastia condition and severity. Exercise and a healthy diet may help to reduce.
What to expect after gynecomastia surgery?
Little pain may be felt during the recovery period. the result is noticeable just after the surgery. Few scar marks can be visible if the condition was severe.
How to get insurance to pay for gynecomastia surgery?
Your surgeon may provide you a document about the recommendation of the gynecomastia surgery. Show this to your insurance provider, it may help.