What is gynaecomastia?

Gynaecomastia is an excessive enlargement of the male breast and may be present in one breast (unilaterally) or in both breasts (bilaterally). Your GP or Dr Brooks will commonly arrange hormonal studies and an ultrasound prior to surgery.

 

Gynaecomastia is common in men of any age and may develop as a result of:

  • Hormonal changes

  • Weight gain

  • Hereditary conditions

  • Disease, such as liver disease

  • Certain medication

  • Use of non-prescription or recreational drugs, including anabolic steroids and marijuana

 

Gynaecomastia can cause emotional discomfort and may affect a man’s self-confidence. Excess breast tissue can also cause a man’s breasts to sag and stretch the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple).

 

The procedure

 

This type of surgery is usually carried out in a private hospital as a day case. The surgical method employed by Dr Brooks to treat gynaecomastia is a combination of water assisted liposuction to the whole chest area, followed by excision of the residual knub of breast tissue left behind below the nipple. This tissue is sent for analysis. In very severe cases, or cases related to massive weight loss, there may be excess skin which needs to be removed and the position of the nipple moved in a way very similar to a female breast reduction. At the end of the procedure, you are placed in a pre-ordered compression garment which you are then required to wear full time for the next 6 weeks and for a further 6 weeks at night. This garment is usually worn under normal clothing.

 

What will it do?

 

In some cases, gynaecomastia can be improved with non-surgical treatments, such as changing a medication or by medically treating the cause of the abnormal hormone levels. For some men, however, surgery to remove the excess breast tissue may be the best treatment option.

Is it right for me?

 

Surgery for gynaecomastia is a highly individualised procedure and may not be suitable for everyone. Always talk to Dr Brooks or another Specialist Plastic Surgeon before deciding. Dr Brooks will assess your condition and general health, and plan the treatment that is best suited to you.

Before you decide on breast reduction surgery, there are some important issues to keep in mind:

  • Any surgical treatment to correct gynaecomastia will require incisions. While most incisions are hidden in natural contours or in the areolae of the breasts, some scars may be visible and an unavoidable result of any breast reduction surgery

  • Surgeons generally recommend waiting until breasts are fully developed. Younger men or adolescent boys may be advised to wait several years after the onset of gynaecomastia before surgery

  • Breast reduction surgery is not recommended for overweight men who have not tried proven weight-loss techniques such as diet and exercise

  • If gynaecomastia has resulted from the use of alcohol, certain prescription medications or drugs including steroids, you must be fully free of these substances before undergoing surgery

  • You must remain at a stable weight in order to maintain the results of your surgery

Breast reduction may be a good option for you if:

  • Alternative medical treatments are ineffective in treating the condition

  • You are self conscious about the appearance of your breasts

  • You experience discomfort as the breast tissue is tender and sore

  • You are physically healthy

  • You have realistic expectations

  • Your breasts are fully developed

  • You are not a smoker or a drug user

 

Expectations of surgery

 

Surgery for gynaecomastia can improve your appearance and lead to greater self-confidence, but it is important to have realistic expectations of what surgery will achieve. The final result may not necessarily match your ideal image. It is important to think about your expectations before you commence surgery, as the results may be permanent. An issue with scarring can cause the nipple to become distorted and pinched in in its lower half due to scarring to the underlying pectoralis major muscle. However, if you have a realistic outlook, then you are likely to be satisfied with the surgery.

Will I have scarring?

 

Scars are an inevitable part of any invasive surgery. Dr Brooks will endeavour to minimise scarring and to keep your scars as inconspicuous as possible by locating the incisions in easily hidden sites. Scars are placed at the junction of the chest skin with the areolar skin. That way, scars will be along natural skin lines and creases. Scars may fade with time and become barely noticeable. If you are prone to scarring, you should advise your surgeon.

Will I need revisional surgery?

 

Revisional surgery may be required to remove excess skin. Other procedures may also be necessary to correct minor irregularities.

What are the costs of this procedure?

 

Cost is a very important consideration in elective surgery. Price is based on individual factors which need to be ascertained at the initial consultation with our highly experienced nurse. The most important factor to clarify is whether your health fund covers you for the Medicare item number for gynaecomastia – MBS 31525. If you are covered, most of the hospital fees are covered by your health fund. Please understand that we are unable to quote you before we have met you and been through the above. Surgical cost is dependent upon how long your case will take. 

Costs associated with the procedure may include:

  • Surgeon’s fee

  • Hospital or surgical facility costs

  • Anaesthesia fees

  • Prescriptions for medication

  • Post-surgery garments

  • Medical tests

 

We welcome any questions you may have regarding fees.

Gynaecomastia procedure video

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