Gynecomastia can be an issue for many men, leading some to pursue a surgical route to rectify the problem.
Before pursuing any surgical procedure, it’s important to equip yourself with the right information about the surgery, as well as any potential associated risks.
NorthEast Plastic Surgery is committed to ensuring anyone considering surgery for man boobs can find the right answers to their questions.
What Is Gynecomastia? | What Is Pseudo-Gynecomastia? | What Is Gynecomastia Surgery? | Why Consider Gynecomastia Surgery? | How Much Does Gynecomastia Surgery Cost? | What Is The Recovery Period For Gynecomastia Surgery? | What Are The Risks Of Gynecomastia Surgery? | Your Gynecomastia Surgery Consultation
Gynecomastia, commonly referred to as man boobs or gyno, and also spelt gynaecomastia, literally means “female breast”. It refers to an increase in the size of male breast tissue.
True gynecomastia occurs when a male experiences an enlargement of glandular tissue in the pectoral area. This can be due to a number of factors, but is most often caused by a hormone imbalance in the body.
Whilst also falling under the general umbrella term “man boobs”, pseudo-gynecomastia refers to an excess accumulation of fat in the pectoral area, and not an increase in glandular tissue.
Though both gynecomastia and pseudo-gynecomastia are often colloquially referred to as simply gynecomastia or gyno, they are not the same thing.
If a person is interested in gynecomastia surgery, it will need to be determined whether their increase in breast tissue is a result of some underlying medical pathology or the result of excess fatty tissue in the chest.
The aim of gynecomastia surgery is to reduce male breast volume and size, in addition to optimising the appearance of the nipple areolar complexes. The ultimate goal is to achieve an aesthetic male chest.
Features of the breast which can be addressed surgically include:
The operation is performed using a variety of specialised techniques under general anaesthetic in an accredited hospital. Typically, patients are treated in hospital for the day and receive antibiotic therapy and pain management.
Procedures are performed through access incisions around the nipple areolar complexes. Breast tissue is removed by excision along with minimal access liposuction to remove fat and contour the breast at its periphery.
The most appropriate of these surgical access incisions will be discussed during your consultation.
The internal wounds are repaired with dissolving stitches and water proof dressings applied, allowing patients to shower. The patient is also provided with a compressive garment, which they will wear for approximately 3 weeks.
Though common among males of all age groups, gynecomastia can cause a significant amount of distress for some men.
Men with gynecomastia often consider surgery in order to achieve an aesthetic male chest by removing their excess breast tissue.
In some cases, men who have recently lost a large amount of weight, will consider gynecomastia surgery in order to remove excess skin or lingering fat.
In Australia, surgeons are strongly discouraged from advertising a set price for a medical procedure. This is in line with the Guidelines for advertising of regulated health services defined by the Australian Medical Board.
For this reason, we do not include a cost per procedure on our website.
Once you have booked an initial consultation with Mr Patrick Tansley or Dr Sugitha Seneviratne, your surgeon will discuss the cost of your gynecomastia surgery with you.
There is a cost for an initial consultation at our Melbourne clinic, with the potential to receive a portion of this back via Medicare where eligible for rebate, provided you have a referral from your GP.
During your consultation, you will be given a personalised cost or quote for your surgery. You will need to allow one hour for your consultation.
It is important that access to medical attention is available by telephone once you have been discharged. Issues about which your surgeon needs to be made aware urgently include pain uncontrolled by medication, bleeding to the extent that the dressings soak through with blood, temperatures exceeding 38 degrees Celsius, redness of the skin or any concerns related to the surgery.
The post-operative recovery period of gynecomastia surgery is approximately one to two weeks, during which the breasts can be swollen or bruised. Swelling typically improves over six to eight weeks after surgery.
Whilst most patients are able to return to work within one to two weeks of surgery, overall improvement can be expected for a number of months.
Advice will be provided with regard to scar maturation strategies and resumption of driving, typically around one week after surgery.
Physical exercise can resume three to four weeks after surgery.
Complications with gynecomastia surgery are rare, but it’s important to understand that every surgical procedure comes with risks.
The risks of gynecomastia surgery include:
This is in addition to the risk of further surgery to address such complications.
Risks specific to gynecomastia surgery can improve over time including:
Whilst less common, a very significant complication is necrosis of the nipple areolar complex.
Specific risks which may require revisional surgery include asymmetry, contour irregularities, and dog ear formation, which refers to contour irregularities at either end of the scar.
Revisional surgery is necessary in approximately 3- 5% of patients who undergo gynecomastia surgery.
It is important that your surgeon is made aware of previous surgery and history of scarring, along with significant medical history, including a tendency for easy bruising and excessive bleeding, deep venous clots involving the legs, all prescription and non-prescription medication, allergies to anaesthetic agents, antibiotics and dressings, history of smoking and psychological or psychiatric issues.
These issues are important as they have the potential to affect the surgery, anaesthesia, potential complications, and recovery. A history of Raynaud’s disease or conditions affecting the peripheral circulation is also significant.
If necessary, further medical consultation may be necessary to minimize complications, including consultation regarding blood thinning agents which may need to be either ceased or modified in preparation for surgery.
Diagnostic tests including blood tests may also be necessary for your surgeon to obtain a complete assessment of bleeding tendencies and to optimise fitness for general anaesthesia.
If advised by your surgeon, it may also be necessary to cease some medications.
It is important to avoid Aspirin, Disprin, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as Nurofen, in addition to herbal medications such as Garlic, Ginseng, Ginko, Arnica, and Fish and Krill oils two weeks prior to and after surgery.
It is essential that smoking cease six weeks prior to and after surgery to minimize the risk of surgical wound complications and anaesthesia. Nicotine containing products can also affect wound healing and should be ceased two weeks prior to and after surgery.
A further significant aim of consultation is to facilitate understanding of the potential risks of gynecomastia surgery.
The decision to undergo gynecomastia surgery is significant and adjustment to change in appearance needs be considered in addition to the process of post-operative recovery.
The aim of your consultation is to ascertain expectations and identify potential limitations to achieving those expectations, such as skin quality, breast anatomy, and scarring from previous surgery.
Patients seeking gynecomastia surgery have typically lost a significant amount of weight and may have disproportionate and asymmetrical breast size.
Two or more consultations are often required prior to surgery to ensure a good understanding of the procedure, the likely results, and the period of recovery and downtime required.
It is only at the culmination of the consultation process, after having the opportunity to have questions addressed by your surgeon, should consent to gynecomastia surgery be given.
The consent process will also include a discussion regarding the costs of surgery and potential revisional surgery.
Mr Patrick Tansley MD FRCS (Plast) and Dr Sugitha Seneviratne FRACS (Plast) provide second opinion to patients seeking to address previous cosmetic plastic surgery problems and revisions for already ‘botched’ surgery. If you would like a second opinion on previously undertaken surgery, book a consultation to discuss this with one or both of our surgeons.
As the privacy of our patients is of the utmost importance to us, we do not provide before and after photos on our website. You will be shown a number of before and after images during your private consultation to illustrate the potential outcomes of surgery. These images have been provided by previous patients who have consented to their private use.