What is gynecomasty?
Gynecomasty is simply excessive breast development in men. It can cause manifestations like embarrassment before other men in changing rooms and not being able to wear tight shirts because they reveal ‘feminine’ breasts. Incidentally, it has to be said that when such patients go to their GP’s for help, some doctors still refer them to the gynaecologist instead of the plastic surgeon.
What kind of operation is performed to correct this defect?
In most cases a surgical extirpation of the breasts is performed (bilateral subcutaneous mastectomy), by making an incision in the lower edge of the mammary areola. Liposuction of the fat around the breast is also often performed, taking advantage of these incisions.
What kind of anaesthesia is used in the operation?
It tends to be performed with general anaesthesia and with a short hospital admission, since most gynecomasties have already reached an appreciable size. In some cases of small breasts, it can be performed with local anaesthesia with or without sedation, and without hospitalisation.
Is this operation painful?
No. It involves little pain and there is virtually no pain remaining four days after the operation.
When can the patient lead a normal life?
A minimum of four or five days’ sick leave is normally required, extending to ten to fourteen days for patients whose work usually involves physical effort. They also have to wear a compression girdle for about four weeks.
Does this operation involve many risks?
It’s an operation with very few risks, but perhaps the most notable is that some patients can develop a small accumulation of serous fluid in the empty space that remains after the extirpation of the breasts, but this is completely eliminated in around three weeks. The sensitivity of the nipples also tends to diminish for a couple of months, but it returns entirely to normal after this period.