When men have over-developed fatty and/or glandular tissue in the breast area, they have a condition known as gynecomastia. Along with embarrassment and body issues, this condition can sometimes cause physical pain (more common with glandular tissue than fatty tissue). To correct it, male breast reduction is required.
Gynecomastia is caused by factors such as genetics, obesity or other health conditions, certain medications, decreased testosterone, increased estrogen, and drug use. Exercise and a proper diet will not ameliorate the condition. Medical approaches can be effective, but when they just aren’t working, a surgical male breast reduction may be recommended.
Male breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, begins with the administration of local anesthesia with IV sedation or general anesthesia. The next step will depend on the composition of the over-developed tissue. If you have a lot of fatty tissue, only liposuction may be needed. If you have a lot of glandular tissue, only excision may be required. If you have both, Dr. Berhane will typically employ a combination of these procedures.
After the anesthesia is administered, one or more incisions will be made, usually either in the armpit area or on the border of the areola. Smaller incisions may be used for liposuction than for excision.
Excess glandular tissue is excised using a scalpel. Excess skin is trimmed away. Ultrasonic liposuction is used to remove the fat deposits. With liposuction, a thin tube is inserted into the incision(s), and the fat is broken up and suctioned out. The areola may also be reduced during male breast reduction in order to better fit the new proportions of the breast.
After the tissues are removed, the remaining skin is redraped to fit the new contours of the chest. Incisions are then closed with medical stitches, which will be taken out a week or two after the male breast reduction.
The area will be wrapped with bandages or other surgical dressings. Drains may be placed in the incision(s) in order to take out the excess fluid, preventing complications from any fluid buildup.
Typically, the overall recovery time involved with male breast reduction will depend on whether the patient needed tissue excision, liposuction, or both. The more tissue that’s removed, the longer the required healing period.
In around two to three days after male breast reduction, you may be able to return to work and other day-to-day activities, depending on the status of your recovery and the types of activities. For three weeks, stay away from strenuous physical activities. For four weeks or more, avoid anything that could potentially cause trauma to the area.
As the incisions heal, they will become scars. To aid in scar healing, stay away from heavy sun and remember to use lots of sun protection. Ideally, scars will gradually blend with the surrounding skin, but sun damage can make scars appear darker instead.
Wearing a support garment for around four weeks can help with reduction of any swelling in the area. This also helps the newly recontoured breast tissues better conform to their new configuration. Tissue swelling is usually fully reduced around three months after male breast reduction, though it can sometimes take longer. After this period, you’ll be able to enjoy your new chest.
To learn more about male breast reduction, and to get your procedure done contact the office of Dr. Berhane. Contact us today for a consultation.