Gynaecomastia ( male breast reduction)
- Elective medical procedure
- Rebates from Medicare and Private health insurance
- Day procedure only
Gynaecomastia is a medical term for enlarged breasts in a male. This condition can have profound psychological and social consequences for a man. Many men are too embarrassed to seek treatment.
There are a number of causes of gynaecomastia. It is relatively common in young male teenagers due to normal hormonal imbalances during puberty, but often settles without treatment. Other causes include obesity, liver disease, abnormal hormonal problems, and the use of certain medications or anabolic steroids. These causes need to be excluded before undergoing surgery. The technique of male breast reduction usually involves liposuction through a surgical excision made at the edge of the areola.
What happens at the first consultation?
It may have taken you a long time to seek treatment for the condition known as Gynaecomastia. Dr Norris appreciates the courage needed for many men to visit a surgeon. You are assured that you will be treated with the utmost sympathy and discretion. Because there a number of potential medical causes for gynaecomastia you will be questioned about other symptoms, your past medical history, and the use of drugs and medications.
Dr Norris will evaluate your chest to determine whether your breast enlargement is due to fatty tissue, glandular tissue, or a combination of the two. Photographs will be taken for your medical records. This evaluation helps Dr Norris discuss with you the best way of correcting the problem and returning your chest to a more masculine profile. Dr Norris will discuss in detail with you how the operation is performed, where the scars are placed, and what type of procedure will best give you the result you desire. You will be encouraged to ask questions and discuss any concerns you have. Dr Norris will also discuss the possible risks, complications and consequences of having the operation.
At the end of this initial consultation you will have a very good idea of what will be possible for you. Dr Norris will arrange for a quotation for you which will provide detailed options for your surgery. Some of the surgical fee may be covered by Medicare and your Health Fund.
If you decide to proceed with surgery, Dr Norris will see you again at a second consultation. This additional time with Dr Norris will allow you to ask any new questions you have, discuss anything you need clarification on and provide you with a date for the procedure.
How is the operation performed?
Dr Norris performs male breast reduction in fully accredited facilities. This is for your safety and to ensure optimum quality of care throughout the operation and the immediate postoperative period. The procedure can be performed under local anaesthetic with sedation or a full general anaesthetic administered by Dr Ross Foreman. You can expect the operation to take 1-2 hours.
The type of procedure you will have depends on the underlying cause of the gynaecomastia. If the enlargement is due to excess fatty tissue alone, then liposuction will be used to remove the fat-containing cells through very small incisions. If the enlargement is due to excess glandular tissue alone (usually lying beneath the nipple) then a small incision around the edge of the areola (periareolar scar) will be used and the tissue cut out rather than suctioned out. If the enlargement is due to a combination of excess fatty tissue and glandular tissue then it is likely you will need both liposuction and a surgical excision using a periareolar incision. In a very small number of cases, where the degree of breast enlargement is extreme, then a larger procedure may be required necessitating longer scars to remove excess skin as well as the fatty and glandular tissue. Dr Norris will tell you which technique is most appropriate for you after assessment of your chest at your initial consultation.
At the end of the operation the incisions are closed with absorbable sutures to save you the inconvenience of having them removed. A dressing is applied over the incisions and you will leave the hospital wearing a comfortable and supportive chest binder garment.
What happens after the surgery?
- Gynaecomastia takes approx. 1.5hrs to perform.
- You will be in hospital for approx. 5hrs in total before being discharged.
- A friend, or responsible adult must collect you from the hospital as you can not drive home.
- You will leave with written postoperative instructions and a prescription for pain-relief.
- You must remain in your provided garment for 6 weeks, removing only when showering.
- Daily short showers are permitted ensuring your waterproof dressings are dried with a hairdryer afterwards.
- Sleeping on your back will reduce your swelling.
- Within the first 2 days after surgery you will experience the worst of the discomfort, managed by your prescribed pain medication.
- You may have bruising, swelling, tenderness, and sensitivity. Swelling may vary from patient to patient and should resolve after 2 weeks.
- Light exercise is permitted after 1 week, such as walking. Resuming normal daily exercise at 6 weeks as instructed by Dr Norris.
- You may return to work after 1 week, unless it involves heavy lifting or use of the upper body. You might need to be on light duties for up to 3 weeks.
- A follow-up appointment will be booked for you on day 3 after the operation. This is to check your wounds and change the dressing.
- Haematoma A collection of blood in the breast pocket, which is either absorbed naturally into the body or sometimes requires further surgical drainage. Symptoms include swelling, pain, bruising, hot to touch or itchy skin.
- Infection Infections are unpredictable and normally occur in the first 3 weeks after surgery and treated immediately with antibiotics.
- Scar Tissue You may experience hard lumps around or behind your nipples. This is scar tissue building up after trauma to the area from the liposuction. This will eventually settle and subside but might require steroid injections into the scar tissue. Dr Norris will discuss this if need be.