Male Breast Reduction for Gynecomastia in Seattle, Bellevue and Tacoma
Gynecomastia refers to an enlargement of the male breast. In true gynecomastia, breast enlargement is due to an increase in the glandular breast tissue (mammary tissue). In pseudogynecomastia, excess adipose tissue is the cause of the enlarged breast, and this is marked by the diffuse fatty tissue infiltration of the breast & axillary (armpit) areas. Many cases of gynecomastia have both glandular and adipose components. Although gynecomastia may be the result of hormonal or environmental changes, most cases occur without a clearly defined cause.
Approximately 30% of men are affected by gynecomastia, making this a common condition. Pubertal gynecomastia is usually evident by the ages of 10 to 12 in boys. While 30-60% of all young boys suffer from large male breasts, many of these cases will regress within 18 months. However, those adolescents and adults who have persistent gynecomastia may suffer from significant psychological and emotional distress. Having large breasts as a young male often results in teasing from peers, resulting in avoidance behavior which may persist into adulthood. Specific behaviors may include wearing tight undershirts to compress the breasts, hiding the chest in public, avoidance of activities such as swimming, and withdrawal from others.
Treatment of gynecomastia mainly consists of male breast reduction surgery. After a thorough evaluation, the appropriate timing of surgery will be determined. Adolescents do not necessarily need to wait to be treated. Adult males with gynecomastia often wish they had been treated sooner so that they could have enjoyed the activities that they previously avoided because of their large breasts.
The male breast reduction procedure generally takes approximately 1-2 hours but may vary depending on the complexity of the case. A tiny incision is made at the border of the areola and tumescent solution containing saline, lidocaine (for numbing), and epinephrine (to control bleeding) is infused. Liposuction is then performed using small cannulas to remove the excess fatty tissue of the breast. For some gynecomastia cases, liposuction is all that is required. For those cases that have a glandular component, the excess breast tissue will be dissected and removed through the same small incision used for the liposuction. The underlying pectoralis muscle is not disturbed. After removal of the fat and glandular tissue of the breast, the chest muscles will appear more defined. Generally, no drains are needed. The small incision is closed with an absorbable suture that will dissolve on its own so that no stitches need to be removed.
Swelling, bruising, and discomfort are a normal part of the recovery process and can be controlled with medications. A compressive garment, which will help control swelling and bruising, will be worn for approximately 4 weeks after surgery. Patients can return to light activities and work after 3-5 days, and full activity, including exercise, may be resumed after 4 weeks.
If you suffer from gynecomastia, male breast reduction surgery may significantly improve your appearance and self-image. Through tiny incisions, excess fat and breast tissue are removed, resulting in a flatter, firmer chest.