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Gynaecomastia Surgery : Male breast reduction

Posted by Dr James Burt on 31 July 2017

Many people are aware men can have problems with breast tissue growth.

This can happen in adolescence around the time of puberty or can be noticed later in adult life.

It can also occur later in life sometimes as a side effect of drug treatment for an unrelated illness.

Gynaecomastia (male breast growth) can be seen on just one side. It is not always both sides which are affected.

The symptoms vary from person to person but in general there are 2 issues.

1. Often there is a firm or hard lump of tissue directly beneath the nipple. Sometimes this can be tender but that is not always the case.
2. In the greater surrounding tissue there is fullness. This is usually fatty tissue in the underlying surrounding area.

Some patient have only the hard lump of tissue and no surrounding fullness and the opposite case can also occur where there is little or no lumpy tissue under the nipple but a more pronounced broad area of fatty tissue.

The treatment recommendation is based on the individual characteristics of what is seen at examination.

First things first though before any surgery is planned we may have to rule out the rare but possible risk of male breast cancer. Male breast cancer exists and account for about 1% of all breast cancers. So normally we will recommend and ultrasound examination. Ultrasound examination is quick, low cost and painless. If at the ultrasound there was any question remaining about breast cancer a biopsy might be performed.

If you only have the hard lump then the treatment recommended is usually removal of this lump by making an incision at the lower edge of the nipple and surgically removing the lumpy tissue.

If there is no lumpy tissue but just a broad area of fatty tissue this can often be treated by liposuction without through very small incisions lower on the chest with no need for the incision near the nipple.

The most common procedure is where we need to do both. Surgically remove the lump under the nipple and liposuction to the surrounding area to blend in the result.

This surgery is not a weight loss procedure so if the issue is weight related we will recommend normalizing your weight prior to making a final assessment of the advisability of surgery.

If surgery is performed it is a day procedure. It is not usually very painful following surgery although there will be some bruising and swelling. A lot of activities including light exercise can be recommenced within a few days . Very heavy physical exercise may need to weight for 2-3 weeks.

Author: Dr James Burt
About: Dr Jamie Burt was born and educated in Melbourne, attending the University of Melbourne and graduating with MBBS in 1998. He is a member of the Senior Medical Staff at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, and was Head of Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute until 2004. Known for his respectful, informative, and caring approach, Jamie has been caring for patients for over 15 years.
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Tags: Breast Surgery Male Breast Surgery

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