Gynecomastia or what is usually referred to as “man boobs” occurs in about 90% of men in one form or the other. Some may be in a less noticeable form, while others can be overly pronounced creating a great deal of distress from the sufferer. Because gynecomastia is caused by varied reasons, treatments like pills and exercise is also another option aside from usually preferred surgical method.
Not everyone who has gynecomastia has to go under the knife, especially for those boys in their pubescent years. They can wait until they go through it because usually by that time it can resolve on its own once the raging hormones stabilize. However there are also cases where it doesn’t and it continues into their twenties and way into adulthood. In these situations, pills, diet modifications, and exercise can still be recommended before actually choosing surgery.
If you would still opt for surgical intervention, the doctor has yet to ask if you are taking steroids, recreational drugs like marijuana, or medications which could trigger gynecomastia. You can stop using drugs or steroids and you can be advised to other brands for your medications and see if this will resolve the condition. Surgery is only a last option if all other options are not working. If you don’t have any other conditions that can put you at a greater risk and when you pass the doctor’s thorough evaluation, then you are good to go.
What are the Things to Consider in Planning for Breast Surgical Reduction?
First of all when you are decided that you want the surgery, you also need to consider if you can afford the cost. You also need to ask yourself if you are mentally prepared to undergo an operation, apprehension can sometimes build up especially if this is your first time.
At this point also, you will be discussing with your surgeon the kind of approach that would suit you, such as the type of anesthesia and the kind of surgery — either liposuction, excision or a combination of both. He might also take a mammogram or a breast x-ray to check for the composition of your breast; this can be a good guide on the extent of the reduction that needs to be done. Through it, any possibility of breast cancer can also be ruled out.
Your doctor would also have to review past medical records and get a total workup through blood tests to make sure that you are in the clear. You must also know that even if it is performed by the most experienced surgeon, there are still risks involved, this is true to any surgery. Risks such as infection, anesthesia risks, and poor wound healing, blood clots; unfavourable scarring, fluid accumulation or breast asymmetry is a possibility.
What are the Preparations Prior to Surgery?
When you are scheduled for a breast reduction surgery, or any surgery for that matter, it is wise that you stop smoking because it hinders faster healing. Avoid excessive amounts of vitamin E, aspirin-containing medications (Advil/Ibuprofen) and herbal medications like Gingko Biloba or St. Johns Wort because this can cause excessive bleeding. You need to start this at least 2-4 weeks prior to surgery.
What are the Approaches to Breast Reduction Surgery?
For the kind of gynecomastia that you will have, there is also an appropriate surgical intervention for that, and as previously mentioned, this will be determined prior to surgery.
In cases where gynecomastia is primarily caused by the excessive proliferation of fatty tissues, liposuction is the procedure of choice. In this procedure and incision is made where a slim hollow tube called a cannula is inserted to suction or vacuum the fats.
This technique is used when gynecomastia is caused by glandular tissue; this is also used to remove excess skin. The sites of incisions vary according to surgical preference. It can be made below the demarcated contour of the breast or an incision around the areola.
• Liposuction and Excision
In some cases liposuction and excision is also done. Surgeons use this approach especially when patients say that they want radical breast reduction, and for those men who have both fatty and glandular tissues. Liposuction is done first, this will make it easier to locate and determine the glandular tissue to be extracted.
What Can I Expect After Surgery?
Any surgical approach in treating gynecomastia would require incisions; this is why you should expect scarring. Although some can be concealed by natural contours, while some scars fade over time usually 6 months to a year.
Diffused bruising may also be apparent in some men but it will resolve in 10-14 days after surgery.
Pain is an expected reaction right after surgery, but is often fairly mild; an appropriate medication can be prescribed to you for this. Although most men who went through the surgery reported that the pain is bearable, similar to the muscle soreness experienced after a workout.
You will also have to wear a compression garment to support the breasts after surgery. This will promote faster healing and for bruising to go away; some surgeons advice their patients to wear it day and night for the first month post-op.
Since gynecomastia surgery can be done as an outpatient procedure, it is important that you arrange for someone to take you home because the after effects of the anesthesia might still leave you groggy.
These are basically what you will undergo when you choose to go for surgical intervention in treating gynecomastia. A good amount of preparation can help for you to be psychologically, financially, and emotionally ready for the surgery. This information can help you to be prepared with the right questions or clarifications which need to be answered by your surgeon. When you’ve decided that you need to get it off your chest, it never hurts to get as much information in.