Gynecomastia is swelling of the breast tissue in males, caused by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. Newborns, boys going through puberty, and older men often develop Gynecomastia as a result of normal changes in hormone levels. There are other causes as well.
The condition may occur in one or both breasts and begins as a small lump beneath the nipple, which may be tender. The breasts often enlarge unevenly. Gynecomastia during puberty is not uncommon and usually goes away over a period of months.
If your enlarged breasts consist primarily of excessive fatty tissue, your surgeon may use liposuction. If excess glandular tissue is the primary cause, the tissue may be cut out with a scalpel. This excision may be performed alone or in conjunction with liposuction.
During an excision procedure, the incision is made either on the edge of the nipple (areola) or in the underarm area. The surgeon cuts away the excess glandular tissue, fat and skin from around the pigmented area surrounding the areola and from the sides and bottom of the breast by working through the incision. Major reductions that involve the removal of a significant amount of tissue and skin may require larger incisions and more visible scars.
Breast reduction surgery for Gynecomastia is most often performed on an outpatient basis. Sometimes an overnight hospital stay is recommended. Generally, an hour and a half is taken by the surgery, but a more extensive male breast reduction may take longer.
After the surgery, you may feel discomfort for few days. To help reduce swelling, you'll probably need to wear an elastic pressure garment continuously for a week or two, and for a few weeks longer at night. Swelling will subside in the first few weeks. It may take three months or more to see results of your surgery. You'll be encouraged to begin walking around on the day of surgery, and to return to work when you feel well enough, which could be in a couple of days. Stitches are removed one to two weeks after the procedure.
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