Male Breast surgery
All men have a degree of breast tissue behind the nipple. For a long list of reasons this can enlarge. This is called Gynaecomastia. It is often tender and may become a cosmetic problem. It is usually very easy to distinguish between gynaecomastia and male breast cancer but occasionally gynaecomastia may need to be biopsied (a sample of tissue taken with a needle under local anaesthetic).
Some common causes of gynaecomastia are:
A variety of medications
Gynaecomastia is also very common at the time of puberty and also in old age.
There are also a few rare causes, including certain types of cancer. It is usual to take a blood sample in men with no obvious cause for their gynaecomastia to rule out rare but significant causes.
For many men no treatment is necessary or the underlying cause can be identified and treated. Tablets can be used to treat the tenderness and in some men they also help resolve the swelling. Gynaecomastia related to excess alcohol intake often gradually improves with stopping drinking. Gynaecomastia associated with anabolic steroids is often persistent if not permanent and usually very tender.
For resistant gynaecomastia or in cases in which the swelling is a cosmetic problem, surgery combined with liposuction can be used.
Male Breast Reduction (for gynaecomastia)
This is usually performed as a day-case or as an overnight stay. The extent and type of surgery depends upon the type of gynaecomastia that you have. Liposuction alone may be sufficient for many cases. This leaves you feeling a little bruised for a few days and there is only a very small wound. When the swelling is large or you have a very glandular (firm) swelling, surgical excision is usually required. This involves a scar around or through the nipple.
Complications of surgery for gynaecomastia:
Any procedure can be associated with infection and bleeding. In addition, as it is not possible (or desirable) to remove 100% of all the breast tissue, swelling can (rarely) recur.
Both surgery and liposuction can be associated with bruising and sometimes a little unevenness. Surgical scars around the nipple are prone to stretching and thickening. Occasionally it becomes necessary to perform a scar revision at a later date.