Gynaecomastia – Male Breast Reduction
Male breast development or gynaecomastia (often referred to as man-boobs in tabloids) is more prevalent than commonly realised: up to 60% of adolescent boys are estimated to develop some degree of breast tissue, however, in the vast majority of cases, this tends to resolve over time and no intervention is needed. It is estimated that approximately 30-33% of the male population will have some degree of breast development, either on one side or both. This can lead to social embarrassment, with some men going to lengths to avoid recreational and sporting activities. Some cases of “breast development” in men are purely due to fat accumulation and this is referred to as pseudogynecomastia.
While in up to 25% of cases no cause can be found, in others this male breast development is related to hormonal imbalance, steroid abuse, drug taking and the use of certain medicines etc.
Treatment in most cases includes investigation, to rule out hormonal imbalance. There are various options for treatment and surgical options depend on the type and extent of the problem. Options include excision or surgical removal of the breast tissue, liposuction, removal of excess skin or a combination of these procedures.
Surgery can be carried out as a day case or with an overnight stay in hospital, and can be performed under general or local (while awake) anaesthesia.
Recovery from surgery usually takes about 2 weeks and patients can return to most activities after this period. Upper body exercise is not recommended for up to 6 weeks after surgery.
As with any surgery, gynaecomastia treatment carries risks. These include: haematoma (collection of blood in the tissues) infection, uneven or indented skin surface (saucer deformity), altered sensation, lumpy or wide scars and asymmetry. Other risks include DVT (deep vein thrombosis), PE (pulmonary embolism) and the risks of anaesthesia.
In the north-west, we offer surgery for male breast reduction by expert Consultant Plastic Surgeons who carry out these procedures on a regular basis.