This is a surgical procedure to treat gynaecomastia, the enlargement of the glandular component of the male breast, unfavourably nicknamed ‘man boobs’. If you would like to know more about how we treat gynaecomastia with male breast reduction surgery, call our London clinic and we can arrange a consultation for you.
FAQs for Gynaecomastia (Male Breast Reduction)
The term gynaecomastia – pronounced guy-nee-co-mastia – comes from the Greek meaning for ‘woman’s breast’ and refers to the development of excess glandular or fatty breast tissue in men.
While the term gynaecomastia strictly refers to enlargement of the glandular component of the breast, most patients have an excess of both fatty and glandular tissue.
Whether male or female, the breast is made from two components – glandular tissue and fatty tissue. The ratio of glandular to fatty tissue in any breast varies from individual to individual. The severity of the condition will vary for each individual, ranging from very mild symptoms to significant enlargement of the male breast, accompanied by sagging of the skin.
The condition can affect one or both breasts, sometimes unevenly. Diet and exercise alone cannot resolve the condition, as the breast glands and fat tissues must be surgically reduced.
Although there is no definitive cause of gynaecomastia, the condition is thought to be the result of hormones circulating in specific cells in the breast area. As such, symptoms of the condition are generally apparent after puberty, although the condition may be visible at birth.
An imbalance of the ratio of male and female hormones in the body is also thought to contribute to the development of the condition. While in the majority of cases the cause of gynaecomastia is developmental, in some instances the condition is linked to the use of substances such as anabolic steroids or marijuana.
Often, the condition may be genetic or hereditary, or as a result of organ disease.
The primary symptoms of gynaecomastia are:
- Swollen or prominent breast gland tissue
- Tenderness in the breast area
You may also experience symptoms including:
- Nipple discharge in one or both breasts
Gynaecomastia is treated with a specialist surgical procedure. Removing excess glandular and fatty tissue from the male breast results in a flatter, more masculine appearance to the chest area.
A very small incision measuring 3-4 mm is made under each arm, into which a cannula is inserted to draw away any fatty deposits in the area. A smooth, thin layer of fat is left under the skin to ensure there is no rippling or irregularities in the area.
Next, a small, crescent-shaped incision is made at the base of the areola, through which any excess glandular tissue is removed. Both incisions are left open to drain and should heal within a few days after surgery.
Your suitability for gynaecomastia surgery will be determined during your consultation with Mr Karidis.
The quality of your skin is a primary factor in determining if you are suitable for gynaecomastia surgery. In order to achieve the best result from the procedure, you should be within 10% of your ideal body weight and have good skin elasticity. In most cases, the skin is able to shrink and accommodate to the new body contour after liposuction and gland removal.
Sometimes patients with decreased skin elasticity may find they have loose, hanging skin in the affected area. In these cases, liposuction alone will not produce the desired result and may require some form of skin reduction, often in combination with liposuction.
Gynaecomastia surgery requires a surgeon fee, an anaesthetist fee and a hospital fee. The exact costs of the procedure will be discussed during your consultation when you can also see our patients’ before and after results following gynaecomastia surgery.
The recovery time after gynaecomastia varies with every patient and the type of activity you intend to resume. While the incisions made during surgery are very small, liposuction creates a large wound hidden under the skin.
Healing is a gradual process, so adequate rest in the days after surgery is essential. Sleeping with your upper body slightly elevated to help quicken any reduction in swelling and bruising.
Typically, you can expect to be back at work within 5-7 days after surgery, resuming light exercise after 2 weeks. You should avoid any strenuous upper body exercise for at least 3 weeks after surgery. It is very common to have some bruising, swelling and minor initial lumpiness to the area after surgery.
It is also fairly common to appear slightly uneven. This is often completely normal and will settle over the course of the coming weeks.
Contact us if you experience symptoms including:
- Heavy bleeding
- Excessive swelling
- Pockets of fluid
- A persistent high temperature (above 37.5 degrees for 12 hours or more)
You may feel numb or tingly in some areas due to some nerve irritation. This usually resolved within the first 6 months of surgery. Around 7 – 14 days after surgery you will need to return to the clinic to review your result and check you are healing well. You will usually see Mr Karidis around 6 weeks after surgery for a routine check-up.
You can expect to see the final result within 6 – 9 months after surgery. Once treated, gynaecomastia will not return, as the glands are removed.
All cosmetic surgery carries some uncertainty and risk. When performed by a highly qualified and experienced plastic surgeon such as Mr Karidis, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Individuals do however vary greatly in their anatomy, their physical reactions, and their healing abilities, and the outcome is never completely predictable.
Complications are rare but can include:
- Scarring at the site of the surgical incisions
- Irregularities of contour or dimpling of the area treated
- Unevenness or asymmetry between sides
- Prolonged numbness and swelling
- Haematoma or seroma formation (a collection of blood or fluid under the skin)
Potential risks and complications will be discussed in detail during your consultation with Mr Karidis. After pioneering his own successful treatment methods and trialling the latest surgical devices, Mr Karidis is one of the UK’s leading gynaecomastia surgeons and performs on average, 100 successful procedures per year.
Tips from the Top
Senior Nurse Suzi says:
A balanced healthy diet, rich in protein will help you heal from surgery – try drinking a fresh green juice every morning.
Write down any questions and take them into your consultation with Mr Karidis – that way you won’t forget anything.
Prepare your body for surgery by keeping it soft and supple by moisturising skin twice daily (avoid vitamin E containing products).
Always wear sun block (SPF 50+) over surgery scars to stop pigmentation.
Stock up on comfy lounge wear for after your surgery – front opening tops are ideal.
Before & After Photos
See before and after photos showing real patient resultsView Photos