Every human being is unique in his or her own way. There are various stages of development of boy into a man. This starts to happen during the teenage period in a boy’s life. He experiences changes to his physical structure as he grows into a man. Sometimes, factors such as obesity or a hormonal imbalance can cause abnormal growth of fat tissue around the chest area near the nipples. This gives an impression of formation of breasts as in women. The medical name given to such a male abnormality is “Gynecomastia.”
Without going into the causes or the physiological and psychological aspects of the abnormality, we shall concentrate on the Gynecomastia medical treatment options.
Before embarking on the treatment procedure, you should have a clear idea about the severity of the problem. You should consult an experienced Board Certified Plastic surgeon. You should discuss the matter in length. This would help you in making the correct choice of methods of treatment.
The severity of Gynecomastia and the methods of treatment are as follows.
- Pseudogynecomastia: This type of treatment does not involve any surgery. The plastic surgeon uses the liposuction method to remove the excess fatty tissue. This method involves using a negative pressure source such as a syringe or pump to suck the fatty tissue. There are chances of bleeding and hence the surgeon uses the tumescent method.
- True Gynecomastia: This method involves surgical removal of the male breast tissue. In this method, the surgeon reduces the size of the breast by removing the fatty tissue through surgical excisions. The surgical procedure involves making incisions on the lower part of the areola. This surgery can leave scars on the chest.
- A combination of Pseudogynecomastia and true Gynecomastia: This method involves both liposuction as well as surgery.
- Severe Gynecomastia: The type of surgery depends upon the size of the male breast. They are as follows.
- Periaureolar male breast reduction: The incision is around the nipple areola region. This is a treatment for reducing the small to moderate sized breasts.
- Classical breast reduction: This is a rarely used method of breast reduction of large breasts. This involves an inverted xTx incision around the Periaureolar region.
- Vertical incision: This is the most common method in use today. This method results in a vertical scar instead of the horizontal one.
Risks Involved in Treatment:
You have gone through the treatment methods. You should be aware of the gynecomastia surgery risks involved in the treatment. We shall go through them individually.
- Any surgery has its own complications. However, in case of Gynecomastia, surgery performed by experienced plastic surgeons result in less complications.
- Scarring of the area of the incision is the main issue. In case the surgeon follows the proper procedure, scarring is minimal. You can counter the effects of scarring by using Kenalog injection and laser treatment.
- Hypoesthesia: A reduced areola sensation is the characteristic of this condition. This condition automatically improves over a period after the surgery.
- Breast depression: There are two types of breast depression.
- Static depression: This makes its appearance on relaxation of the pectoral muscles. This severe form of depression requires correctional measures.
- Dynamic depression: This depression is visible when the patient flexes the pectoral muscle or lifts the arm. This depression does not bother the patient much.
You can correct the above types of depression by doing the following.
- Fat transfer: Transferring the fat from other parts of the body to this area
- Fat and dermis transfer: In addition to the fat, the procedure involves grafting of skin from other parts of the body.
- Injection of Radiance: Use of laser treatment
- Recurrence or Relapse: Scientific research has shown that relapse can occur in 35% of liposuction cases and up to 10% in cases of other surgeries.
- Large areolas: Certain patients have large areolas. Surgery can address this issue in the following manner.
- Thinning of the areola: Requires the intervention of a specialist
- Using a pursestring suture to close the opening caused due to surgery
- Surgical excision: Very rarely performed
- Hematoma and Seroma: This is due to accumulation of blood in the affected area. This could cause swelling in the breasts. Surgical intervention may be necessary to rectify the problem. This problem affects certain people who
- Suffer from high blood pressure
- Consume blood thinners such as aspirin, or anabolic steroids during the period before gyno surgery
- Consume certain food supplements
- Do not follow post operative care
Average Cost of the Gynecomastia Surgery:
How much does gynecomastia surgery cost? Before going in for any surgery you should be aware of its costs. You should also explore the possibilities of insurance. It is imperative that you do this homework prior to surgery to avoid hassles later on.
Gynecomastia surgery cost can vary from person to person and case to case. The average cost of a Gynecomastia surgery is around $ 3333.00 (according to 2014 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons). This does not include anesthesia, operation room charges, and other postoperative charges.
You should ascertain the following costs separately while embarking on the surgery.
- Anesthesia charges: This operation involves general or at times local anesthesia.
- Surgical operation cost: Hospitalization is not involved. However, you cannot avoid costs such as operation theater costs.
- Pre operative and postoperative tests: Surgeons may prescribe investigative tests to confirm the extent of the problem.
- Post surgery garments: You may have to don a specialized pressure garment to keep the area suppressed. You may have to wear the same for at least a month or so.
- Surgeon’s fees: This depends upon the skill and experience of the surgeon.
Planning for the Operation:
- You have to be honest with the surgeon in this regard. He should know the exact cause of the disease.
- In case obesity is the main cause, you can try out physical exercises and regular diet before opting for surgery. In many cases, the exercise and diet might cure the problem.
- In case of hormonal imbalance, the surgeon might require further investigations. You may have to undergo certain tests to rule out complications later on.
- You should not be suffering from other ailments such as diabetes or any heart related problems etc.
- Confirm from your insurance provider about the available cover. Many insurance companies do not cover cases where there is no involvement of hospitalization.
Preparation for the Surgery:
Your surgeon may prescribe you to follow certain specific instructions. You must follow them diligently.
- These could consist of issues such as dieting, consumption of vitamins and other medication.
- You must stop smoking for at least two weeks prior to the male breast reduction surgery. You should not smoke during the recovery period too.
- You should not use blood thinners such as aspirin and others. This could cause complications such as build up of blood after the operation.
- You should not be under the influence of alcohol or anabolic steroids.
Gynecomastia surgery is usually an outpatient surgery. In very rare cases, surgeons insist on hospitalization. The time required for the surgery is around two hours. Surgeons do this surgery at their clinics itself. Local anesthesia is usually used. Rare cases require sedation.
The Actual Surgery:
This is an elementary surgery procedure. The surgeon makes a small incision at an inconspicuous location around the nipple or even in the underarm area. He starts cutting his way through the excess glandular tissue, fat, skin from all the places around the breast. In case you go in for a combined surgery and liposuction, the suctioning of fat can also take place through the incision. In case of excess fats, larger incision is required. This may result in more scars.
In certain cases, liposuction might be the only option. This procedure involves making an incision at the edge of the areola. Through this incision, the surgeon inserts the hollow tube using which he removes the excess fat from the layers beneath the skin. In case of excessive fatty tissue, the surgeon might remove larger areas of skin. This would enable the remaining skin to adjust to the new shape without sagging.
On completion of the operation, the surgeon would insert a small drain through the incision to take care of any excess discharge of fluids. The surgeon goes on to bandage the incisions properly.
Post Operative Care and Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery
- Does gynecomastia surgery hurt? This is not a painful operation. However, you might experience a slight amount of discomfort for a few days. The surgeon normally prescribes medications. You should not drive for some days after the operation.
- Bruising and swelling are common occurrences after an operation. You may have to wear a special elastic pressure garment for a week or two to enable the swelling to subside. You should wear this garment for a period of at least three months for effective cure.
- How long does it take to recover from gynecomastia surgery? You cannot stop your normal activities for such a long period. In fact, you should be able to walk on the day of the surgery itself. You can resume your work after a couple of days of rest. The surgeon will advise you to visit the hospital regularly for postoperative checks. The surgeon will remove the stitches within two weeks of the operation.
- You should have a check on the exercises you do for a period of at least three weeks after the man boobs surgery.
- You should avoid any sexual activity as far as possible for at least two weeks after surgery.
- You should take adequate care that you do not suffer any injury to your chest for at least a month or so.
- You should keep your chest area covered at all times and avoid exposure to the sun. The exposure might darken the scars. You should maintain this routine for at least six months.
- In case you face any complications, you must contact your surgeon immediately and rectify the issue. In some cases, relapse may occur. You have to be careful during such times.
Gynecomastia is as much a physical problem as it is a psychological one. A patient can gain a lot of self-confidence after the operation. However, you should follow the instructions of the surgeon diligently. Gynecomastia is not a life-threatening ailment in any way. After male gynecomastia surgery, you have to ensure that you take adequate postoperative care. Otherwise, you may suffer from a relapse.
On complete cure, you will be able to feel as much as a normal man.