Gynaecomastia is a term, of Greek origin, referring to “women-like breasts”. It is actually quite common in presentation, affecting an estimated 40 – 60 percent of men. It can affect only one breast or both.
The Surgical procedure designed to correct Gynaecomastia is termed Subcutaneous Mastectomy, or Bilateral Subcutaneous Mastectomy if both sides are to be operated on.
Gynaecomastia Surgery can enhance your appearance and self-confidence by removing breast tissue and replacing them with a more masculine chest contour. The results of the procedure are significant and permanent. If your expectations are realistic, chances are that you will be very satisfied with your new look.
Who is the best Candidate?
It is important to be realistic in your expectations and that you realise that although cosmetic surgery may enhance your appearance and improve your self esteem, it may not alter the way other people treat you, or change your appearance to match your ideal. You should be emotionally stable and have a full understanding of the procedure and anticipated results prior to proceeding. A positive outlook often results in a speedy and uncomplicated recovery.
Gynaecomastia can result in self-consciousness about your appearance and Subcutaneous Mastectomy can help you with this. The best candidates for this surgery are fit, healthy men with emotional stability. It is ideal to have firm, elastic skin that will reshape to the new body contour with ease. If you are a smoker, the elasticity in your skin may be reduced and the healing process is usually slower, so if you are considering this surgery, you should try to quit or cut down on your cigarette intake at least one month prior to surgery.
Surgery may be deferred for obese men until attempts have been made at weight loss. Certain drugs, such as Anabolic Steroids may cause Gynaecomastia. If you are taking these or similar substances, please discuss this with your Surgeon at your initial consultation.
What to Expect
If performed for medical reasons, Gynaecomastic can attract Medicare rebates and a percentage of your Doctor’s, Anaesthetist and Hospital fees may be claimed from both Medicare and your Private Health Fund, if you have private health cover. You will require a referral from your general practitioner if you wish to claim these rebates.
At your initial consultation, your surgeon will assess your individual needs based on your expectations and your particular anatomy and concerns. During this consultation, your surgeon will also examine your breast tissue and check for the underlying cause of the condition.
Subcutaneous Mastectomy can be performed as Day surgery under General Anaesthetic in a hospital. The surgery takes approximately one and a half hours to complete if both sides are to be operated on.
If excess glandular tissue is the primary cause of breast enlargement, it will be excised with a scalpel. This is usually performed through a small incision near the edge of the areola. It may be necessary to use Liposuction to the area to remove the excess fat, and this is performed using the same incision line. If your Gynaecomastia is caused primarily through excessive fatty deposits, it is likely that Liposuction alone will be used to complete the surgery. In most cases, there is a combination of tissue excision and Liposuction.
All surgery carries some risk and uncertainty. It is impossible to predict every outcome because everyone is different. Subcutaneous Mastectomy is normally a safe procedure provided the clients have been carefully selected and the Surgeon is adequately trained in the procedure as well as having training in general surgery.
Complications in the short term include infection, which is treated with antibiotics and dressings and haematoma, or a collection of fluid under the skin, which may need drainage.
Your Surgeon will make every effort to make your Surgical scars as inconspicuous as possible, however it is important to remember that subcutaneous mastectomy scars are permanent. They can remain red and lumpy for months before eventually fading to thin white lines.
You can begin walking around on the day of your surgery and can return to work when you feel well enough, even as early as a day or two following your surgery provided your occupation does not involve any heavy lifting or similar.
A gradual return to upper limb exercise is advised, with no heavy lifting for at least four weeks. It is advisable to get clearance from your surgeon prior to resuming any weight training. Contact sports should be avoided until the swelling has settled, or approximately four weeks. Swimming is possible once your suture lines are well healed and you are given clearance for this activity from our staff.