Male Breast Reduction Surgery (Gynecomastia) in Canada
Gynecomastia is a medical term that comes from the Greek words for “women-like breasts”. Though this oddly named condition is rarely talked about, it’s actually quite common.
Gynecomastia is the benign enlargement of breast tissue in males. It may occur transiently in newborns. Half or more of adolescent boys have some breast development during puberty. Gynecomastia may arise as an abnormal condition associated with disease, such as Klinefelter syndrome, or metabolic disorders, as a side-effect of medication, or as a result of the natural decrease of testosterone production in older males. In adolescent boys, the condition is often a source of psychological distress; however, 75% of “pubertal gynecomastia” cases resolve within two years of onset without treatment.
Gynecomastia affects an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men. It may affect only one breast or both. Though certain drugs and medical problems have been linked with male breast over development, there is no known cause in the vast majority of cases.
For men who feel self-conscious about their appearance, breast reduction surgery can help. The procedure removes fat and or glandular tissue from the breasts and in extreme cases removes excess skin, resulting in a chest that is flatter, firmer, and better contoured.
If you’re considering surgery for male breast reduction, you have come to the right place.
We at La Fontaine Source De Jeunesse Cosmetic Surgery Centre in Toronto offers only top doctors specializing in male breast reduction. You are assured to have a confidential consultation where you will learn when it can help, how it’s performed, and what results you can expect with your surgery. Your highly experienced, certified doctor will answer any questions you may have as well as discuss the best surgery according to your situation.
Am I the right candidate for Surgery?
If you’re considering surgery to correct gynecomastia, you have come to the right place. At La Fontaine Source De Jeunesse Cosmetic Surgery Centre, you can be assured that your consultation will be comfortable, informative and discreet. It is our intention that this information will give you a basic understanding of the procedure–when it can help, how it’s performed, and what results you can expect.
Your meeting with one of our certified and highly experienced doctors will answer all of your questions, and leave you feeling confident in your decision. Your doctor will guide and support you through your decision and procedure from beginning to end.
Please be sure to ask your doctor if there is anything about the procedure you don’t understand.
Gynecomastia Correction Surgery can best be performed on healthy, emotionally stable men of any age. The best candidates for surgery have firm, elastic skin that will reshape to the body’s new contours. Surgery may be discouraged for obese men, or for overweight men who have not first attempted to lose weight. Also, individuals who drink alcohol beverages in excess or smoke marijuana are usually not considered good candidates for surgery. These drugs, along with anabolic steroids, may cause gynecomastia. Therefore, patients are first directed to stop the use of these drugs to see if the breast fullness will diminish before breast reduction surgery is considered an option.
What are the potential risks & complications?
All Surgery Carries Some Uncertainty and Risk
When male breast reduction surgery is performed by a qualified surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Nevertheless, as with any surgery, there are risks. These include infection, skin injury, excessive bleeding, adverse reaction to anesthesia, and excessive fluid loss or accumulation. The procedure may also result in noticeable scars, permanent pigment changes in the breast area, or slightly mismatched breasts or nipples. If asymmetry is significant, a second procedure may be performed to remove additional tissue. The temporary effects of male breast reduction surgery include loss of breast sensation or numbness, which may last up to a year.
Planning Your Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia) Surgery:
The initial consultation with your surgeon is very important. Your surgeon will need a complete medical history, so check your own records ahead of time and be ready to provide this information. First, your surgeon will examine your breasts and check for causes of the gynecomastia, such as impaired liver function, use of estrogen-containing medications, or anabolic steroids. If a medical problem is the suspected cause, you’ll be referred to an appropriate specialist.
Your surgeon may, in extreme cases, also recommend a mammogram, or breast x-ray. This will not only rule out the very small possibility of breast cancer, but will reveal the breast’s composition. Once your surgeon knows how much fat and glandular tissue is contained within the breasts, he or she can choose a surgical approach to best suit your needs.
Don’t hesitate to ask your surgeon any questions you may have during the initial consultation- including your concerns about the recommended treatment or the costs involved in a breast reduction surgery. Treatment of gynecomastia may be covered by medical insurance–but policies vary greatly. Check your policy or call your carrier to be sure. If you are covered, make certain you get written pre-authorization for the treatment recommended by your surgeon.
Preparing For Your Surgery
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating, drinking, and taking certain vitamins and medications.
Smokers should plan to stop smoking for a minimum of one or two weeks before surgery and during recovery. Smoking decreases circulation and interferes with proper healing. Therefore, it is essential to follow all your surgeon’s instructions.
Recovering After Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia) Surgery:
Whenever you’ve had excision with a scalpel or liposuction, you will feel some discomfort for a few days after surgery. However, discomfort can be controlled with medications prescribed by your surgeon. In any case, you should arrange to have someone drive you home after surgery and to help you out for a day or two if needed.
You’ll be swollen and bruised for awhile–in fact, you may wonder if there’s been any improvement at all. To help reduce swelling, you’ll be instructed to wear an elastic pressure garment continuously for a week or two, and for a few weeks longer at night. Although the worst of your swelling will dissipate in the first few weeks, it may be three months or more before the final results of your surgery are apparent.
In the meantime, it is important to begin getting back to normal. You’ll be encouraged to begin walking around on the day of surgery, and can return to work when you feel well enough–which could be as early as a day or two after surgery. Any stitches will generally be removed about 1 to 2 weeks following your male breast reduction surgery.
Your surgeon may advise you to avoid sexual activity for a week or two, and heavy exercise for about three weeks so as to avoid straining the chest area. You’ll be told to stay away from any sport or job that risks a blow to the chest area for at least four weeks. In general, it will take about a month before you’re back to all of your normal activities.
You should also avoid exposing the resulting scars to the sun for at least six months. Sunlight can permanently affect the skin’s pigmentation, causing the scar to turn dark. If sun exposure is unavoidable, use a strong sun block.
Your New Look
Gynecomastia surgery can enhance your appearance and self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them frankly with your surgeon. The results of the procedure are significant and permanent. If your expectations are realistic, chances are good that you’ll be very satisfied with your new look.
What Exactly is Gynecomastia Surgery?
If excess glandular tissue is the primary cause of the breast enlargement, it will be excised, or cut out, with a scalpel. The excision may be performed alone or in conjunction with liposuction. In a typical procedure, an incision is made in an inconspicuous location–either on the edge of the areola or in the under arm area. Working through the incision, the surgeon cuts away the excess glandular tissue, fat and skin from around the areola and from the sides and bottom of the breast. Major breast reductions that involve the removal of a significant amount of tissue and skin may require larger incisions that result in more conspicuous scars. If liposuction is used to remove excess fat, the cannula is usually inserted through the existing incisions.
If your gynecomastia consists primarily of excessive fatty tissue, your surgeon will likely use liposuction to remove the excess fat. A small incision, less than a half-inch in length, is made around the edge of the areola–the dark skin that surrounds the nipple. Or, the incision may be placed in the underarm area. A slim hollow tube called a cannula which is attached to a vacuum pump is then inserted into the incision. Using strong, deliberate strokes, the surgeon moves the cannula through the layers beneath the skin, breaking up the fat and suctioning it out of the breast tissue. Patients may feel a vibration or some friction after the breast reduction surgery, but generally no pain.
In extreme cases where large amounts of fat or glandular tissue have been removed, skin may not adjust well to the new smaller breast contour. In these cases, excess skin may have to be removed to allow the removing skin to firmly re-adjust to the new breast contour.
Sometimes, a small drain is inserted through a separate incision to draw off excess fluids. Once closed, the incisions are usually covered with a dressing. The chest may be wrapped to keep the skin firmly in place.