Gynecomastia literally means ‘woman’s breast,’ which is fine if you’re a woman but less than desirable if you’re a man. It is a common complaint among American men and some estimate that 60% of men have some degree of gynecomastia. It often starts during development in puberty and sometimes goes away by adulthood, but usually persists to some degree or another.
It often causes significant anxiety in some social situations. Men afflicted with this often avoid swimming or changing in a locker room. They try to avoid letting anyone see them without a shirt on. They usually wear 2-3 shirts to make the gynecomastia less pronounced. Sometimes it can involve only the areolar area but it often affects the entire chest. Some people think this only occurs in men who are overweight but that is untrue. Many lean men at or below their ideal body weight are also affected. It can be both extra fatty tissue and extra breast tissue. It is usually a combination of both.
Most men require liposuction as well as excision of dense sub-areolar breast tissue. Some men get a good result with only liposuction or only excision of the dense tissue. If there is excessive skin (especially after massive weight loss) then removal of this extra skin may be advisable. While contraction of some skin can usually be expected, when the skin has been stretched too much then there will not be sufficient contraction and removal is recommended. The older the patient, the less contraction can be expected.
Surgery takes 1-2 hours and is an outpatient procedure. A compressive garment is recommended for 4-6 weeks. Most patients return to the majority of activities within the first week and most patients don’t take more than 1-2 days off of work. There is some soreness after surgery but most patients say it’s not painful. Most of the swelling resolves in 4-6 weeks. The incisions are usually imperceptible after a few months.
Most patients are extremely satisfied with the improvement and wish they would have done it years sooner. If you are self conscious about your chest or other areas don’t keep wondering why you are enduring this problem. Get your confidence and freedom back.