Gynecomastia San Francisco Bay Area: Male Breast Reduction
KRON 4 Body Beautiful: Dr. Rajagopal discusses gynecomastia / male breast reduction:
Male breast overdevelopment, technically known as 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 over development, there is no known cause in the vast majority of cases.
The Best Candidates For Gynecomastia
Surgery to correct gynecomastia can be performed on healthy men of any age. The best candidates for surgery have firm, elastic skin that will reshape to the body’s new contours.
The Procedure For Gynecomastia Correction
If your gynecomastia consists primarily of excessive fatty tissue, (this is the most common), Dr. Rajagopal will likely use liposuction to remove the excess fat. A small incision, less than a half-inch in length, is made around the edge of the areola- the dark skin that surrounds the nipple. Alternatively, the incision may be placed in the underarm area. A slim hollow tube called a cannula, which is attached to a vacuum pump, is then inserted into the incision. Using strong, deliberate strokes, Dr. Rajagopal moves the cannula through the layers beneath the skin, breaking up the fat and suctioning it out. Patients may feel a vibration or some friction during the procedure, but generally no pain.
If excess glandular tissue is the primary cause of the breast enlargement, it will be excised, or cut out, with a scalpel. The excision may be performed alone or in conjunction with Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction (UAL). In a typical gynecomastia procedure, an incision is made in an inconspicuous location – either on the edge of the areola or in the under arm area. Working through the incision, Dr. Rajagopal cuts away the excess glandular tissue, fat and skin from around the areola and from the sides and bottom of the breast. Major reductions that involve the removal of a significant amount of tissue and skin may require larger incisions that result in more conspicuous scars. If liposuction is used to remove excess fat, the cannula is usually inserted through the existing incisions.
In extreme cases where large amounts of fat or glandular tissue have been removed, skin may not adjust well to the new smaller breast contour. In these cases, excess skin may have to be removed to allow the remaining skin to firmly adjust to the new breast contour. Sometimes, a small drain is inserted through a separate incision to draw off excess fluids. Once closed, the incisions are usually covered with a dressing. The chest may be wrapped to keep the skin firmly in place.
After the Gynecomastia Procedure
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 your surgeon. 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 a while-in fact, you may wonder if there’s been any improvement at all.
To help reduce swelling after gynecomastia, you’ll probably be instructed to wear an elastic pressure garment continuously for six weeks. 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 the 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 your gynecomastia 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 gynecomastia procedure. Dr. Rajagopal 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 sun- block.
If you have any questions regarding Male Breast Reduction, or wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rajagopal, please call the San Francisco Plastic Surgery & Laser Center at 415-392-3333.