Enlargement of the male breast (Gynaecomastia) can occur in one or both breasts. Gynaecomastia can be due to an increase in the size of the glandular tissue of the breast, the fat of the breast or a combination of both Most often there is no apparent reason for its occurrence. Common times for gynaecomastia to appear are neonatal, puberty or ageing males. During these stages of life there may be hormonal imbalances. Body builders who use drugs to enhance their muscles are also are prone to the development of gynaecomastia. Other causes include genetic conditions, medical conditions and certain drugs (both prescribed and illicit).
involves taking of a full medical history to determine a cause. Often a male may have already been investigated by a paediatrician, physician or endocrinologist. Some blood tests may be required along with X-rays or mammograms.
Examination of the breast determines whether there is a predominance of glandular or fatty tissue.
is performed under general anaesthesia.
Excess glandular tissue requires this tissue to be surgically excised. The incision is made in the lower edge of the nipple. Surgery is performed as a daystay although a drain may be left in for 2 -3 days. Liposuction may also be used to help with the contouring.
For breasts that have an increase in size due mainly to fat then liposuction may solely be used. Ultrasonic assisted liposuction (UAL), which uses ultrasonic frequencies to break down the tissue, has been found to be particularly useful in gynaecomastia. Liposuction is performed as a day stay procedure.
If the breast is particularly large then skin may need to be excised.
the man wears a pressure vest for several weeks that helps compress the skin of the breast. Recovery time is about 1 week although it may take 2 – 3 months for the skin and fat of the breast to fully settle.
Pain relief is managed through prescribed pain medication.
Drains if present are removed after 2-3 days..
Strenuous activities are avoided for 4 weeks.
The complete pamphlet “Gynaecomastia” is available from Dr Stephen Mills