Gynecomastia is the abnormal development of female like breasts in male patients. There are many potential causes for this anomaly that can range from residual effects of puberty to the abnormal side effects of exogenous medications. No matter the cause, gynecomastia can have a devastating effect on the patient. Most often, patients are uncomfortable in social situations. Simple activities such as going to the beach and having to remove their shirts can be very stressful and embarrassing. This can lead to low self-esteem, which often adversely affects all aspects of their lives.

The treatment for gynecomastia most often involves a minor surgical procedure to remove the abnormal breast tissue. The purpose of surgery is to reduce the breast size, while maintaining a natural contour of the chest wall. Surgical options can vary depending on the size and shape of your existing breasts. During your examination, Dr. V will determine the amount of gynecomastia that is present. Depending on the severity, Dr. V will grade your level of gynecomastia.

Procedure

Options for the surgical correction range from simple liposuction of the breast tissue to excision of the abnormal breast tissue. The excision often involves a small incision under the areolar tissue. If there is excess skin, the patient may also need the removal of this excess skin to help improve the contour of the chest wall. The main goal of the treatment is to restore a natural appearance to the patient’s chest wall. Dr. V will come up with a plan that fits your particular needs. Often, we perform this procedure right in the privacy of our office with local anesthesia.

Teenagers with gynecomastia

Gynecomastia often start during the time of puberty. This is most-likely related to hormonal imbalance. Regardless of the mechanism, gynecomastia can cause low self-esteem in many teenagers. This has a lasting effect into adulthood. Dr. Vasisht tries to assess all of the patient’s issues before embarking on surgery. This is a difficult decision for most parents and Dr. V will guide you in making the best decision for your child. Dr. V has done surgery on some teenagers with gynecomastia and he can offer that experience to parents dealing with this issue.

What are the complications of gynecomastia surgery?

As is true for most surgical procedures, infection and bleeding can occur post surgery. There may be bruising, swelling, numbness around the areola. Some amount of scarring can be expected, but this typically heals without a noticable scar. Precautions are taken before the surgery to prevent these complications. In general, complications are extremely rare and careful pre-operative assessment is the key to prevention. Dr. V will guide you through this process.

Recovery process and downtime

Immediately after the surgery, the patient is dressed in an Ace wrap. This ensures a tight compression of the chest area. After the surgery, patients are usually required to wear a tight fitting garment under their clothing. This will help re-drape and restore the contour of the chest wall. Sutures are removed in about 7 days. Dr. V may decide to use drains, which are left in the wound in the post operative period. These drains are used only in certain cases. They are removed in about 3-5 days right in the office.

Working patients can go back to work after the drains are removed. Typically patients need about one week of recovery time from gynecomastia surgery.