Gynaecomastia (Male Breast Reduction)
What is gynaecomastia surgery?
Gynaecomastia surgery, also known as a male breast reduction, is a surgical procedure our Specialist Plastic Surgeons perform in Perth to remove excessive enlargement of male breast tissue in one or both breasts.
This procedure is performed for medical/functional reasons and therefore attracts a rebate from Medicare.
What factors may influence the decision to have gynaecomastia surgery?
Gynaecomastia is common in men of any age, and can cause emotional and physical discomfort, as well as affecting self-confidence. Gynaecomastia may develop due to:
- Hormonal and metabolism changes
- Increase in weight
- Certain medications
- Hereditary factors
- Liver disease
- Use of recreational or non-prescription drugs, including steroids, marijuana, anabolic steroids, etc.
Although gynaecomastia may be treated by non-surgical treatments, such as adjusting medications or medically treating hormone levels, for some patients the recommended option is to surgically remove the excess breast tissue. In some cases, gynaecomastia can be treated with suction lipectomy.
There are important issues to consider regarding male breast reduction surgery:
- Younger men or adolescent boys may need to wait until their breast tissue is fully developed, in most cases a couple of years after the onset of gynaecomastia.
- Overweight men who have not tried weight loss through diet and exercise may not be suitable for this procedure.
- Patients who have developed gynaecomastia due to excessive alcohol consumption, prescription medicine or certain drugs (e.g. steroids, marijuana), must be complete free of these substances before undergoing surgery.
- For gynaecomastia surgery to be most successful, you should be physically healthy and be maintaining a stable weight.
Is gynaecomastia surgery right for me?
A consultation with your Specialist Plastic Surgeon is the first step when you are considering body contouring surgery. During this consultation, it is important to openly communicate your goals and expectations regarding your appearance. During the consultation, your surgeon will conduct a thorough examination and attentively listen to and address your concerns prior to discussing the most suitable options for your individual circumstances. Suction lipectomy may be advised in addition to (or instead of) a male breast reduction. Blood tests and special examination techniques like ultrasound or mammography (x-rays) may be required before the final decision.
How is gynaecomastia surgery performed?
There are currently several techniques for male breast reduction surgery. They all aim to remove excess breast tissue, alleviate any physical discomfort and provide the overall aesthetic appearance of a flat chest wall. Your plastic surgeon will take your physical condition and requirements into consideration, and will determine which technique would be best for you.
Male breast reduction surgery is performed in Perth in a fully-accredited hospital under general anaesthesia. The surgery can be performed as a day procedure or alternatively with a short hospital stay, depending on your general health and the extent of the procedure.
Are there any risks and complications of gynaecomastia surgery?
All plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgical procedures come with risks and potential complications. To ensure successful surgery, it is crucial to understand and minimise these risks. Whilst all measures are taken to mitigate risks, some risks are unavoidable.
All information on this page is general in nature – your Specialist Plastic Surgeon will discuss the specific risks and complications pertinent to your individual surgical procedure during your consultation. General risks for surgery are listed here.
Specific risks related to gynaecomastia surgery include, but are not limited to:
- Fluid accumulation: After the surgery, there is a possibility of fluid accumulating around the breast. This condition, known as seroma, may require additional procedures to drain the fluid. To prevent any fluid or blood accumulation, thin tubes called a drains may be temporarily placed under the skin while you’re in hospital.
- Fat necrosis: This is a rare complication that can occur when fatty tissue dies. It can cause hard lumps under the skin, but it is usually not a serious problem.
- Changes in breast and nipple sensation: Gynaecomastia surgery may lead to temporary or permanent changes in breast and nipple sensation. Some individuals may experience increased sensitivity, while others may notice reduced sensation.
- Asymmetry (unevenness) of the breasts or nipples: This is a rare complication of gynaecomastia surgery. It can be caused by a number of factors, including differences in the size or shape of the breasts before surgery, or problems with healing. A second procedure may be required to correct the imbalance in size or position.
- Excessive firmness of the breast: This is a rare complication of breast reduction surgery that can be caused by the formation of scar tissue.
- Potential partial or total loss of the nipple and areola: This is a very rare complication of breast reduction surgery. It is usually caused by damage to the blood supply to the nipple and areola.
- Requirement for further surgery to address complications: This is a rare complication of breast reduction surgery. It may be necessary to correct problems such as asymmetry, excessive firmness, or loss of the nipple and areola.
- Recurrence of breast tissue growth following surgery: This can occur if breasts had not finished developing, which is why it is extremely important to wait until growth has stabilised before having surgery.
Will the gynaecomastia procedure leave any scars?
Although your surgeon will make every effort to keep them as inconspicuous as possible, scars are the inevitable result of any surgery. Any scars situated around the areolae of the nipple usually fade over 6-12 months. Some patients have a tendency to develop keloid or hypertrophic scars and you should advise your surgeon if you are aware of this tendency in yourself.
What results can I expect from a gynaecomastia procedure?
The primary objective of your surgery is to reduce your breasts to a size that is in better proportion with your physique and makes you feel more comfortable. Your surgeon is the best person to determine whether your expectations are achievable.
When can I resume normal activities following gynaecomastia surgery?
Most patients in office roles are usually back at work after one week. Patients in manual labour roles, or who undertake strenuous activities, generally require a recovery period of four to six weeks. Returning to work or your normal activities is an individual matter, and your surgeon will advise you. You will have to wear post-surgical compression garments for up to six weeks to reduce swelling and assist with the healing process.
It is important to note however, that each patient requires adequate time, support, and proper postoperative care to facilitate their recovery process. Due to individual variations in healing abilities and pain tolerance, the duration of recovery and ability to engage in various activities may differ among patients.
How much does this procedure cost?
Please contact us online or call us on (08) 9380 0333 and one of our medical secretaries can provide you with more information. Please note that pricing does vary from case to case.
Where can I find more information?
The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) website is a helpful and reliable source of information online. Their website is an excellent place to research a range of surgical procedures and non-surgical treatments, and view video animations.