Gynecomastia is a medical condition that involves enlargement of male breast tissues in a male body. The condition is a result of a hormonal imbalance in the body and is common in both men and boys in different stages of development. Gynecomastia should not be confused with the other medical condition, Pseudogynecomastia that refers to the enlargement of fat tissue and not the glandular tissue.
Gynecomastia occurs when the level of androgens or the male hormones get extremely low as compared to the level of estrogens or the female hormones in the body. The condition is common in infants or during puberty but is transient and resolves itself as the level of hormones returns to normal levels in the body. Apart from these, there are certain medical conditions and treatments that can create a hormonal imbalance in the body, thus, resulting in the condition of Gynecomastia.
It is worth mentioning here that Gynecomastia is not based on any serious medical complications and its cause is also rarely identified. Thus at the time of consultation, it is important that the patient discusses his entire medical history and medications, if any.
It is difficult to mention exactly who needs a treatment for Gynecomastia since the condition is prevalent in approximately half of all the boys who are going through their puberty. They might experience swelling on either one side or in bilateral breast tissues. The condition generally occurs around 13 years of age and can last from anywhere between 6 to 18 months. But this is only transient Gynecomastia and gets resolved (within three years) itself without requiring any medication.
Aging is another condition that requires a treatment for Gynecomastia since the production of Testosterone decreases during aging and causes the problem. The other conditions that are associated with it include diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver. There are certain medications that also increase the risk of developing Gynecomastia.
So the big question that who needs the procedure has a very simple answer-- any man who feels conscious of his chest and feels enough stress about the fact that his day to day life is affected by it and it is the right candidate for the male breast reduction or the Gynecomastia correction.
There are several benefits of the male breast reduction surgery or mastectomy; these are both physical as psychological. The physical perspective is that the patient gets rid of the sagging breasts that look very unattractive and can make them uncomfortable as well. From the psychological perspective, the patient gets rid of any kind of embarrassment and self-consciousness that might have become a part of their life.
The other advantage of the surgery or permanently getting rid of sagging and fatty breasts is that one can buy clothes that have the right fitting instead of buying the loose ones to hide the chest.
The best part about the surgery is that dramatic improvement in the chest is visible only within a week of surgery which is certainly not possible with medications or other forms of treatments.
The surgery is actually life changing for many who start to feel good about them after the procedure. It becomes much easier for them to stand tall with confidence.
The operation to remove the breast tissue is called mastectomy and is often carried out by a plastic surgeon. It can either be carried out using an open approach or a ‘keyhole’ procedure. While a standard mastectomy with an open approach will have a single cut along the lower edge of the nipple, a keyhole surgery will require several cuts to insert the camera and the operating instruments.
There are a range of factors that will decide how an operation is done, for instance, the size of the gyno, expertise of the surgeon, whether there are additional fatty tissues that need to be removed or not etc. In certain cases, the surgeon might consider a liposuction procedure as well to remove any excess fatty tissue or might even suggest removing extra skin from the chest.
The surgery is carried out under a general anesthetic and is painful as well. The patient is given strong medication to kill the pain during the surgery and regular painkillers also for the first few days of their recovery. A little bruising and swelling is normal after mastectomy and it is also normal for the bruising to increase in the first few days of recovery before disappearing gradually over the next few days.
The patient must consider talking to the surgeon before the procedure is done to ensure that he completely understands the proceedings of the surgery and has only realistic expectations from it.
Even though the procedure is long and can potentially leave scars, the result is a much better appearance for the chest and confidence for life.