Breast Reduction for Men
A Word About Breast Reduction in Men
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 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 overdevelopment, 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 to correct gynecomastia, this brochure will give you a basic understanding of the procedure–when it can help, how it’s performed, and what results you can expect. It can’t answer all of your questions, since a lot depends on your individual circumstances. Please be sure to ask Dr. Lattyak if there is anything about the procedure you don’t understand.
The Best Candidates for Gynecomastia Correction
Surgery to correct gynecomastia can 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 correct the problem with exercise or weight loss. 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 surgery is considered an option.
Planning Your Surgery
The initial consultation with Dr. Lattyak is very important. Dr. Lattyak will need a complete medical history, so check your own records ahead of time and be ready to provide this information. First, Dr. Lattyak 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.
He may 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 Dr. Lattyak knows how much fat and glandular tissue is contained within the breasts, he can choose a surgical approach to best suit your needs.
Don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Lattyak any questions you may have during the initial consultation- including your concerns about the recommended treat- ment or the costs involved. 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 Dr. Lattyak.
After Your Surgery
Whether 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 Dr. Lattyak. 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 probably 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 the procedure.
Dr. Lattyak may advise you to avoid sexual activity for a week or two, and heavy exercise for about three weeks. 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 sunblock.
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 plastic 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.