Why Choose To Have A Breast Reduction?
Males also have breast tissue under the nipple that can enlarge along with fatty tissue to form a breast, in most cases there is no specific cause. Occasionally it can result from a hormonal imbalance or after taking certain medicines. The breast swelling can be composed mostly of fat, breast tissue or a mixture. This can occur at any age, but is most common in teenage boys and although the breast can reduce, it frequently remains life long.
Procedure In Brief
Gynaecomastia can form from a mixture of breast and fat. It can be a small marble sized lump or a large fully formed breast. When it comprises of a small lump of breast tissue it is best removed via a small cut through the nipple. When the breast swelling is mostly fat then liposuction can be used. This involves the use of 3-4mm needles to suck fat out from the breast. Much larger cases frequently need removal of a large area of breast tissue. This effectively becomes a mastectomy (removal of breast). It is usually performed by making a cut around the nipple and removing some skin as well as breast tissue. In very rare cases the cuts need to be bigger and extend into the skin around the nipple.
The scars will depend on the technique used (as above). Scars across the nipple become almost invisible over time. Scars around the nipple tend to be quite red in the first 6 weeks, becoming purple over the next 3 months, and then fading to white. In general, most patients form very good quality scars over time, but others take longer or may form raised or stretched scars. How other wounds have healed may be an indication.
A full medical history will be obtained before any surgery. As a precaution, do not take any over the counter medicines or herbal remedies prior to surgery or for 3 days following. Also avoid aspirin, ibuprofen and Voltarol based tablets. It would be useful to bring a list of any prescribed medications to your pre-op assessment.
If you are a smoker, try and stop for a minimum of one week before and after surgery as it can reduce the chances of complications.
Recovering from Male Breast Reduction (Gynaecomastia)
Length Of Surgery
The operation takes 45 minutes - 2.30 hours depending on the type of technique used and size of the breast.
Length Of Stay In Hospital
A patient may be seen as a day case or may require an overnight stay in hospital.
You will wake up with dressings on the wounds and elastoplast support tape on the chest. Please let Stephen McCulley know if you are allergic to elastoplast before surgery. The dressings will stay on for three days, and must be kept dry. If needed, you will then return to have them replaced with lighter dressings.
It is common to insert a small surgical drain into the breast to remove any unwanted blood/fluid for 24-48 hours.
Time Off Work
People vary in recovery, but patients should allow at least 3 days - 2 weeks depending on the extent of surgery (full anaesthetic can take longer to recover from). Patients with highly active physical jobs may require longer.
Time To Exercise
Patients usually feel able to walk a distance at 5-7 days, swim by 10-14 days (if fully healed). Strenuous exercise (aerobics etc) should be avoided for 3-4 weeks.
Patients should avoid driving until they are completely free of pain and restriction, and be able to confidently perform an emergency stop. This is to ensure they will be covered by their insurance policy. It may take up to 3 weeks to recover sufficiently.
We will check your wound and change the dressing at day 3 and 7. You will then have an appointment with Stephen McCulley at 3 months. You will not be charged for any follow up appointment relating to your surgery.
Recovery And Final Outcome
You should expect some bruising and swelling, which will last 1-2 weeks. It is common to experience some leaking from the wounds in the first few days as they begin to heal. You should immediately have a good flat shape, and it will continue to improve (especially following larger operations) over 4-6 weeks. By this time the skin and nipple will be much softer.
Potential Complications With Male Breast Reduction (Gynaecomastia)
This is a routine operation that is a great success for the vast majority of patients. However, as with any procedure, it is very important you understand what can go wrong as well as right. The potential complications are listed below.
- Nipple loss: This is very uncommon and occurs if the blood supply to the nipple is stopped. If this happens the nipple will be lost and be replaced by a scar. Although rare, the risk is increased in any patient by smoking, obesity and old age. There is also an increased risk if the reduction is for very large breasts. If you fit into any of these categories Stephen McCulley will discuss potential alternative surgical techniques during the consultation to avoid this risk.
- Remaining asymmetry or irregularity: Most patients can expect a good flat result to both sides. However, there is a possibility of small differences between each side.
- Wound breakdown: This is very uncommon in this type of surgery.
- Bleeding: A blood clot can collect in the breast, which would result in going back to theatre for its removal. However, if a blood clot is to form it will be within the first 24 hours post surgery. Blood clotting results in approximately 3% of patients.
- Infection: Quite uncommon but if occurs you will need a course of antibiotics.
- General operation risks: Chest infections, Blood clots in the leg or lung (DVT or PE). Although rare it is important to avoid these by not smoking, being excessively overweight and moving about after surgery as soon as possible.
If you experience any side-effects that you are concerned about please don't hesitate to contact us.
What does Male Breast Reduction (Gynaecomastia) cost?
Gynaecomastia (minor bilateral) from £4,200
Gynaecomastia (major bilateral) from £5,860
What Is Included In The Cost?
The prices listed are all inclusive and cover:
- The pre-operative assessment and investigations
- The operation
- Hospital stay and any treatment required
- All follow up (nursing and with Stephen McCulley) relating to your surgery
- Any emergency, re-admissions or revisions relating to your surgery within the first year
Some prices shown are in a range reflecting slight differences in prices or pre-surgery investigations between the two hospitals.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you'd like to see more then please view our frequently asked questions on Male Cosmetic Procedures!