Wilmington Plastic Surgery News & Events

Everything You Need to Know About Gynecomastia

Wilmington Plastic Surgery
Many young men experience changes during puberty as a result of increased hormones; one of which includes inflamed breast tissue or gynecomastia. Most of the time, gynecomastia during puberty is a temporary problem that can resolve itself in as little as a few weeks or as many as six months.

Some men though, do not outgrow gynecomastia that occurs during puberty. Others develop gynecomastia later in life as a result of additional hormone and/or lifestyle changes. Regardless of what the root cause is, gynecomastia surgery offers a possible solution for men who are unhappy with the size of their breast tissue.

What is Gynecomastia?

Simply put, gynecomastia is when the male breast tissue swells or becomes enlarged. Men who experience this may also experience breast tenderness, as well as changes in the color or position of their nipples. Gynecomastia typically occurs in both breasts, but it may be worse on one side than on the other (asymmetric gynecomastia). Though gynecomastia is characterized by excess fat and tissue development, it may also cause excess skin development, which further contributes to the “saggy” appearance.

Gynecomastia surgery, also called reduction mammaplasty, is the procedure during which a plastic surgeon reduces and/or removes some of the breast tissue. There are two styles of gynecomastia surgery:
The liposuction technique is used for milder cases of gynecomastia caused primarily by excess fat buildup. Just as with regular liposuction, the procedure is performed by inserting a small tube (cannula) that breaks up fat deposits and removes them using suction.

The excision technique is used for extreme cases of gynecomastia where excess skin must be removed or where adjustments need to be made to the nipples. Surgeons using this technique strategically remove and reposition the skin to help the breast area look more natural.

Sometimes a combination of the two techniques is used to achieve the best result. Regardless of which method is used, flattening the breast tissue and (in some cases) adjusting the size or position of the areola with gynecomastia surgery is ultimately a tool to help men improve their self-esteem and appearance.

What Causes Gynecomastia

Man boobsAs mentioned above, one of the most common causes of gynecomastia is the hormonal change that occurs during puberty. Additionally, gynecomastia can be caused by:
  • Weight gain
  • Heredity
  • Excess estrogen production or consumption
  • Alcohol use
  • Low testosterone
  • Kidney/liver disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Chemotherapy/radiation
  • Heart disease medications
  • Narcotics
  • Amphetamines
  • Certain medications (antidepressants/anti-anxiety, proton pump inhibitors, antibiotics, HIV/AIDS medications, etc.)

Gynecomastia Surgery Candidates

Most men who choose to pursue gynecomastia surgery do so because they are unhappy with the physical appearance of their breasts, or with how their appearance makes them feel. To be eligible for surgery, patients must have a significant amount of excess breast tissue or fat, and/or excess skin in the breast area that cannot be corrected non-surgically.

Additionally, ideal candidates for gynecomastia include men who:
  • Are non-smokers
  • Are non-drug users
  • Are at a relatively healthy weight
  • Have not been diagnosed with any life-threatening conditions or diseases
  • Have realistic expectations about potential results

Gynecomastia Consultations

When you visit the board-certified plastic surgeons at Wilmington Plastic Surgery for your consultation, you’ll discuss your overall goals for gynecomastia, as well as take measurements and photographs. They may also do an investigation of your medical history, to try to determine what caused your gynecomastia in the first place.

If your gynecomastia has been influenced by a medication, drug, or alcohol, your doctor will recommend that you discontinue use before surgery. They may also recommend you make some changes to your diet and exercise, to help yourself both before and after surgery

Gynecomastia Risks

Gynecomastia comes with all of the risks that anesthesia does, as well as the risk for:
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Misshapen/asymmetrical breasts and/or nipples
  • Scarring
  • Bruising
  • Pain/discomfort
  • Changes in sensation around the areola
Additionally, some gynecomastia procedures require follow-up surgeries to achieve the patient’s desired result or fixed additional concerns. And as always, if you experience faintness, dizziness, blood loss, or chest pains after surgery, call 9-1-1 or get to your local emergency room.

Gynecomastia Recovery

Depending on what your surgeon feels is necessary, you may require bandages, dressings, or drainage tubes to help you heal from surgery. And, just like with breast augmentation, your doctor may suggest you wear a compression garment to help control swelling, promote healing, and provide support.

Your doctor will provide guidance on how to clean your wounds and what kind of activities you should be avoiding. They will also prescribe pain medication for the first few days after surgery and recommend over-the-counter painkillers that can be used in the coming weeks.

If you’re not happy with your appearance, boosting your self-esteem and improving your self worth is as easy as visiting Wilmington Plastic Surgery and Skin Care MedSpa. Call us to learn more about gynecomastia surgery in Wilmington, NC at 910-509-SKIN.

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