Man Boobs (Gynaecomastia)

A difficult problem – solved!

Men are often over looked when we think of weight problems but in reality men can be just as self-conscious as women with their bodies.

Whether it’s competing for jobs, or just wanting to look good socially, the body area men are often very self-conscious about is their chest.

Did you know?

  • enlarged male breasts / chest is commonly referred to as gynecomastia (man boobs)
  • it is one of the most common areas to affect how a man sees himself and it can affect his perception of his masculinity, and  in some cases cause debilitating problems of self-consciousness and shame.
  • frequently the breast / chest area can enlarge with weight gain which most commonly is due to simple lifestyle changes.
  • for a significant percentage of men, an increased chest size can also be affected by the amount of breast tissue combined with fat
  • the causes of common gynecomastia remain uncertain, although it has generally been attributed to an imbalance of sex hormones or the tissue responsiveness to them
  • frustratingly,  the extra fat stored in the chest is not easily removed with healthy eating or exercise
  • in most cases any fat and or breast tissue is generally located outside the muscle wall and can be removed simply and quickly by liposuction.
  • In rare cases, a small excision may be required to remove breast tissue.

The Procedure

Most men like to have a well-defined chest that shows their muscle structure, so it is important to try to remove as much fat as possible. Because of this, chest liposuction is commonly performed under sedation at an accredited Day Surgery Clinic, however in some circumstances it can be performed under local anaesthetic in Dr Rich’s Armadale theatre.  Patients recover quickly and are usually home within a few hours of the procedure ending.

Dr Rich will then place the local anaesthetic before making a few tiny puncture marks in the crease of the chest to allow access to the fat just under the skin. Most commonly there is also an area called the ‘tail of fat’ (a fat pad that runs into the armpit) which is usually suctioned at the same time to keep the smooth appearance of the chest.

Recovery Process

After the procedure two compression garments are fitted. One is a firm vest which must be worn fulltime (day and night) for two weeks and then half time (either day or night) for another two weeks. The other is a binder that is only worn for the first week which ensures that much of the tumescent fluid is drained from the area.  Most patients find the garments comfortable and prefer to wear it, than not.  Any discomfort or pain following the procedure is similar to the stiffness and muscle aches associated with doing a hard work out at the gym. If there is any pain, it is usually controlled by ‘over the counter’ medication, such as Panadol / Panadiene.

Gynaecomastia

All patients have a ‘24 hour back up’ by having their own nurse to call when, or if they required any information. All patients are seen the following day at the clinic. During the first 24 to 48 hours following liposuction, the residual tumescence fluid will leak from the tiny holes until the skin closes over. It is normal for the area to be swollen and bruised for one to two weeks following surgery.  Any deeper swelling / lumpiness (which is normal) and maybe present for several weeks before subsiding. If wanted, an external ultrasound treatment is complimentary twice a week for the first 2 weeks to encourage circulation and help resolve bruising and swelling to the area more quickly. The tiny holes heal quickly and any marks gradually fade, so in time there is usually little if any evidence of the procedure being performed. It is normal for the area treated by liposuction to feel slightly numb for a period of time, with full sensation slowly returning after a few weeks to months.

Considerations

Generally, patients return to work after a few days; however this is usually dependant on the type of work the patient performs and their recovery rate. Exercise is recommenced when the patient feels comfortable doing so. Light exercise immediately following the procedure is usually beneficial to gain quick mobility with Dr Rich usually recommending a light walk the day after the procedure.

Risks and Complications

Liposuction is a relatively safe procedure, however with any medical procedure there are still risks that must be taken into consideration. Although rare, infection is possible. This risk is reduced by the anti-bacterial action of the tumescent fluid and prophylactic antibiotics which are given prior to and after the procedure. Seroma, is also possible although extremely rare. Seroma is fluid that remains in the skin tissue that becomes infected and in rare cases this fluid may require to be drained from the area.  Commonly it can be treated by stronger antibiotics.

FAQs

What is gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a medical condition defined as breast enlargement due to breast tissue. This differs from common male breast enlargement, which is usually due to an excess fat deposition rather than actual breast tissue.

Will I be in pain after the procedure?

Any discomfort or pain following chest liposuction is generally not severe, although pain / discomfort varies from patient to patient. Most patients complain of stiffness and muscle ache similar to having worked hard at the gym.

When will I see my results?

Results can be seen as soon as one to two weeks after the procedure as the bruising and swelling subsides. Full results will not be visible until the deeper swelling subsides.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.’