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Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is a medical term describing enlarged male breast tissue. It affects approximately 40 percent of young men during puberty, decreasing to 15 percent by the age of 16. In older men, gynecomastia may be the result of hormonal changes, or medications; however, most often no cause is found. If the patient is uncomfortable or self-conscious about the breast enlargement, breast reduction surgery can help.

Process: Gynecomastia is often graded according to the severity of the condition. In Grade I gynecomastia, liposuction alone is used to recontour the chest. The operation is usually performed through an inconspicuous incision made around the lower half of the areola, which is the dark-colored skin around the nipple, or through an incision under the arm. Through this incision, the plastic surgeon removes the excess fat and breast tissue, leaving a flatter, more contoured chest wall. In Grade II gynecomastia, removal of the enlarged gland under direct vision accompanies liposuction. In Grade III gynecomastia, skin, fat, and gland are all removed, similar to full breast reduction surgery.

Recovery: Some people experience decreased sensation around the nipple for a period of time following the procedure. After the operation, you will be asked to wear an elastic pressure garment for 1-2 weeks, with minimal physical activity for about 3 weeks. Most patients are able to return to work within 2-4 days, depending upon the type of work.

Results: Final results are usually obtained in 4 to 6 months, with a reduction in the male breast size. Many patients report an improvement in their body image and self-confidence following the procedure.