Male Chest Surgery

Athena Clinic Plastic Surgery

Gynecomastia – Male Chest Surgery in Honolulu, Hawaii

Gynecomastia (unwanted male breast enlargement), is a very common condition in men. It can result in terrible embarrassment, teasing, and social trauma. Many will try to hide it with thick shirts, avoiding bare chested activities, and withdrawing from public exposure.

Gynecomastia Surgery by Dr. Peterson. View more Gynecomastia before and after photos.

What is gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a condition in which firm breast tissue forms in males. The breast tissue is usually less than 1-1/2 inches across and is located directly under the nipple. Gynecomastia may be present on one side or on both sides. This condition may make the breast tender.

Some men and boys have fat on their chests that makes it look like they have breasts. This condition is called pseudogynecomastia (false Gynecomastia). It is not the same thing as true Gynecomastia.

True gynecomastia probably occurs toward the lowest end of this range (1%). Pseudogynecomastia is merely a deposit of excess fat in the area of the male breasts. This pseudogynecomastia is much more common, and occurs very frequently in males (some say in up to 40-60% of men). This explains the great disparity in incidence or prevalence (how common the condition is) figures given.

Unless actual breast tissue is present, the technically correct term for the condition is pseudogynecomastia. Because the term pseudogynecomastia is quite long, and because true gynecomastia is much more rare, most often breast enlargement in males is referred to as gynecomastia (though technically incorrect), because male breast enlargement is far more likely in any individual case to be pseudogynecomastia.

What causes true Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is usually caused by changes in hormones at puberty or as part of aging. Gynecomastia may be caused by changes in the balance of 2 hormones: estrogen and testosterone. In rare cases, Gynecomastia may be caused by prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, illegal drugs, tumors or disease.

Are tests needed to find the cause of Gynecomastia?

Sometimes tests may be needed, and sometimes they’re not. Dr Peterson will ask you questions about your symptoms, such as how long you’ve had the breast tissue, and whether or not the area is tender? He will also ask you about any illnesses you may have had in the past, medicines you take, and other matters relating to your health. Then you will have a physical examination.

Whether you need tests depends on your age and what we learn from your history and physical examination. Gynecomastia is common in teenage boys, with as many as 65% of 14-year-old boys have Gynecomastia. If you are a teenager, you probably will not need tests. Your breast enlargement will probably go away on its own in 2 or 3 years. However, younger boys and adult men who have Gynecomastia may need to have some tests conducted.

Could the breast lump be cancer?

Probably not as Breast cancer is very rare in males. Lumps caused by cancer are usually not underneath the nipple–where breast tissue from gynecomastia grows. Breast cancer feels different than the breast tissue of gynecomastia. Breast cancer may also cause dimpling of the skin or a bloody discharge from the nipple. If there is any question that you have cancer, you will need to have a mammogram and a biopsy.

How is gynecomastia treated?

Excision: This is when the excess tissue is removed by surgery. This technique has successfully been done for a very long time; with the gynecomastia surgery incision was made in semi-circular fashion around both areola (areolae) and the tissue being removed completely.

Tumescent liposuction: has revolutionized gynecomastia surgery. This technique is using liposuction, using very small incisions. These incisions are not only extremely small, but are located away from the areola. This technique is used where fat only is to be removed and no excess tissue is present.

Do I need to wear a garment?

Yes, you will need to use a compression garment after surgery. The compression limits movement after surgery increases comfort, helps control bruising, and hastens resolution of swelling.

Will I feel uncomfortable coming in for a consultation and be the only male in your office?

No. We do laser surgery, facial skin cancer surgery and other surgical procedures, so approximately 50% of our patients are male. About 30% of our liposuction patients are male. Surgery is our business, so my staff and I will make you feel as comfortable we you can.

What are the most commonly requested body areas for liposuction for men?

Abdomen, chest, love handles, and under the chin.

After liposuction for gynecomastia, how soon can I go back to work?

This of course depends on many things. In most cases, patients return to work within 1-3 days. If your work involves physical activity, it may be somewhat longer.

*Recovery time and experiences may vary

After liposuction for gynecomastia, how soon can I go back to my workouts?

This varies quite a bit with the individual. It depends on what you are comfortable doing. You will find that doing some activities which do not involve impact or heavy pectoral muscle use can be done right away, but activities which do involve those you may want to put off for a while. Most patients probably prefer to avoid bench pressing for a couple of weeks or more, running can take a while longer to be comfortable.

After surgery, how often do I need to come back for follow-up visits?

We would like to see you at least a couple of times after your surgery. After your surgery, you will be able to contact us at any time if you have any questions or concerns. The first office visit is usually the day after the procedure, and then a week after that and then we will make an assessment when we want to see you again. You are welcome to come in as often as you wish. There is no charge for any follow-up visit.

How soon can I travel after having the procedure?

In most cases you can travel (including airplane flights) within 24-72 hours after your procedure.

How soon can I shower after the procedure?

You can take a shower within 24 hours, but you should not bathe in a tub for at least a week.

Are stitches used?

Sometimes yes if there has been excision and in other cases the tiny incisions actually heal better without stitches.

Will local anesthesia or sedation be used?

We have both options and it depend on how comfortable you are with being awake. For excision most patients will be lightly sedated. Our patients are very comfortable during the procedure regardless of which option they decide to use.

Download this information on gynecomastia as a PDF.

You may also be interested in the following procedures tummy tuck, liposuction or body contouring.

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