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GYNECOMASTIA SURGERY

What is gynecomastia surgery?

Gynecomastia is a condition of overdeveloped or enlarged breasts in men that can occur at any age. The condition can be the result of hormonal changes, heredity, obesity, or the use of certain drugs. It is characterized by excess localized fat, excess glandular tissue development, sometimes excess breast skin and presence unilaterally (one breast) or bilaterally (both breasts). Gynecomastia can cause emotional discomfort and impair your self-confidence. Some men may even avoid certain physical activities and intimacy simply to hide overly large breasts.

Gynecomastia surgery, also known as male breast reduction, reduces breast size in men, flattening and enhancing the chest contours. In severe cases of gynecomastia, the weight of excess breast tissue may cause the breasts to sag and stretch the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple). In these cases, the position and size of the areola can be surgically improved and excess skin may be reduced. In mild and moderate cases, liposuction may be indicated or use a combination of liposuction and excision.

 “Gynecomastia surgery is a highly individualized procedure. You should do it for yourself, not to fulfil someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image, especially those coming from social media. Choosing a procedure based on “what’s new” is never a medically sound decision. Hearing about a procedure on television, through an advertisement or online does not necessarily mean it is the best procedure for you.”

Who is a good candidate for gynecomastia surgery?

In general, you may be a good candidate for gynecomastia surgery if you are reluctant to remove the shirt in public, swim, participate in sports or exercise at a gym, are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too large, and want to improve the overall body proportions, have psychological discomfort associated with "man boobs" or large breasts, your condition cannot be corrected through alternative medical treatments or diet an exercises, are physically healthy and at a stable weight, have realistic expectations, are a nonsmoker or have stopped smoking recently, have a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for improving the physical symptoms of gynecomastia and have realistic expectations.

What should I expect during a consultation for gynecomastia surgery?

During your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss your cosmetic goals. Dr Ricardo will evaluate you as a candidate for gynecomastia surgery and clarify what approach is best for you. Alternative and additional treatments may be considered, once he understands your goals and medical condition. It is important to be completely honest during the consultation. You should be prepared to discuss your surgical goals, medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments, current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use, and previous surgeries.

Dr Ricardo will also evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors, perform diagnostic testing to determine the underlying cause of gynecomastia which may include testing your endocrine function, examining your breasts, taking photographs, discussing the approach to your surgery, including the type of procedure or combination of procedures and tell you whether your expectations are in line with typical results, discuss any risks or potential complications and share before-and-after photos of cases similar to yours.

The success and safety of your male breast reduction surgery depend very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. It's very important to understand all aspects of your procedure. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether it's excitement about your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with Dr Ricardo.

How should I prepare for gynecomastia surgery?

In preparing for gynecomastia surgery, you may be asked to get lab testing or a medical evaluation, take certain medications or adjust your current medications, stop smoking in advance of surgery and avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding.

Your surgery will be performed in an accredited hospital and is usually performed on an outpatient basis unless you and Dr Ricardo have made other plans for your immediate postoperative recovery. You must arrange for a friend or family member to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you the first night following surgery.

Dr Ricardo and the entire staff will provide thorough preoperative instructions and answer any questions you may have. The goal is to help you achieve the most beautiful and natural-looking results, as well as to make your surgical experience as easy, comfortable, and safe as possible.

What are the steps of a gynecomastia procedure?

Step 1 – Anaesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anaesthesia. Dr Ricardo will recommend the best choice for you.

Step 2 – Surgical Procedure

In cases where gynecomastia is primarily the result of excess fatty tissue, liposuction techniques alone may be used. This requires the insertion of a cannula, a thin hollow tube, through several small incisions. The cannula is moved back and forth in a controlled motion to loosen the excess fat, which is then removed from the body by vacuum suction. Various liposuction techniques may be used; the technique most appropriate in your case will be defined before your procedure by Dr Ricardo.

Excision techniques are recommended where glandular breast tissue or excess skin must be removed to correct gynecomastia. Excision also is necessary if the areola will be reduced or the nipple will be repositioned to a more natural male contour. Incision patterns vary depending on the specific conditions and surgical preference. Sometimes gynecomastia is treated with both liposuction and excision.

Step 3 – Closing the incisions

Your skin incisions will be closed either with absorbable sutures or stitches that will be removed within two weeks following your surgery.

Step 4 – See the results

The smoother contours that result from a gynecomastia surgery are apparent almost immediately following your procedure, although there will likely be swelling and bruising.

What should I expect during my gynecomastia surgery recovery?

During your gynecomastia surgery recovery period, dressings or bandages will be applied to your incisions and an elastic bandage or support garment may be used to minimize swelling and support your new chest contour as it heals after surgery.

You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow up with Dr Ricardo. Remember to always follow his instructions to ensure the success of your surgery.
 
The surgical incisions mustn't be subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Sutures will be removed when it is appropriate. You should be ready to return to work and normal activity after 7-10 days. However, you must realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies based on what your surgery entails.

What results should I expect after my gynecomastia surgery?

Gynecomastia surgery results are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover from surgery. The final results of your gynecomastia surgery may take 3-6 months to achieve. Incision lines are permanent but will continue to fade over time.

The final results of gynecomastia surgery are permanent in many cases. However, if gynecomastia results from the use of certain prescription medications, drugs (including steroids), or weight gain you must be fully free from these substances and remain at a stable weight to maintain your results.

Your improved upper body will likely enhance your self-image and confidence, whether in a shirt and tie, a t-shirt, or baring your chest at the beach.

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