MALE BREAST REDUCTION (GYNECOMASTIA)
If you are among the estimated 40 to 60 percent of men suffering from excess tissue in one or both of your breasts, you are not alone. This condition, called gynecomastia, affects men of all ages. Developing breast tissue around adolescence is incredibly common, but can also occur in older men, those on certain medications and those who have experienced significant weight loss. When the development of this excess breast tissue becomes obvious, it can have a devastating effect on one’s self esteem, and keeps many men from ever removing their shirts in public.
Enlarged male breasts can be reduced with liposuction and/or by cutting out excess glandular tissue. During the procedure, glandular tissue is removed, liposuction is sometimes used and extremely large nipples are reduced in size. Incisions are made around the nipple area, and typically heal to the point that they are not noticeable.
About the procedure
Male breast reduction is an outpatient procedure conducted under general anesthesia, and lasts an average of two hours. The procedure boasts a short recovery time, and discomfort is mild.
The Healing Process
- Following the procedure, your chest will be swollen, bruised and sensitive. You may also experience a burning sensation following the operation. Pain medication may be used as prescribed whenever experiencing discomfort. Swelling and bruising will take several weeks to subside.
- Most patients return to work within one week, unless their jobs require strenuous activity.
- Numbness in the breast and nipple area is commonly experienced, and tends to improve over several weeks or months.
- The incisions may be raised, red or hard to the touch for several months. Scarring around the nipple (areola) will fade over a period of time and become less visible.
- The final results of the procedure will not be apparent for six months to one year after the operation.
- Following the operation, you will wake up with bandages and a compression vest (similar to spandex) around your chest. Dr. Sati, MD, may decide to insert drainage tubes (small tubes the size of IV tubing) during the operation, which will be removed after your first post-operative appointment.
- Occasionally, patients complain of nausea following the operation. This generally passes after 24 to 48 hours, and is minimized by consuming liquids frequently and avoiding taking pain medication on an empty stomach.
- Once home, you may get up to use the bathroom or to take a light walk around the house. When taking pain medication, exercise caution in the home, particularly when performing tasks like climbing stairs.
- The bandages and compression vest must stay on at all times, and should remain clean and dry. During this time, you may carefully wash in the sink.
- After the first post-operative visit you may remove the compression vest and shower. Keep the water pressure off your chest, and do not remove the pieces of tape over the incisions, as these will need to stay on for several weeks. After the shower, gently pat the tape dry.
- With the exception of showering, the compression vest should be worn at all times, day and night, for three to six weeks after the procedure.
- You will be able to resume driving after two weeks, though it should be avoided when taking pain medication, which causes drowsiness. Light exercise, such as walking or using a stationary bike, may be resumed after at least two weeks. Heavy exercise (including any sports or vigorous activity), heavy lifting (anything more than two books or one gallon of milk) and carrying a backpack are not permitted for at least six weeks after the procedure.
- Avoid exposing the operated area to the sun for at least six months, in order to aid the healing process and minimize scarring.
Follow up appointments
- First follow-up: One week after the operation
- Second follow-up: Three weeks after the operation
- Subsequent appointments are typically scheduled for three months after the procedure.
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