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Male Breast Surgery

Men normally have very small amounts of breast tissue behind the nipple.

Gynaecomastia is the term for excess breast tissue in men. Pseudo-gynaecomastia is the term for an increase in the fatty component. Both are unwanted and are a common cause of social embarrassment.

Many men describe years of avoidance of situations such as swimming, or removing their top on a beach or hot day.

What Are The Causes?

Gynaecomastia is the term for excess breast tissue in men and has a variety of causes:

  • Physiological: this means it occurs for no reason other than an exaggerated “normal” process in the body, e.g. typically during teenage years when testosterone levels are high
  • Excess regular alcohol consumption
  • Prescribed medication: There are many drugs that seem to be associated with the development of gynaecomastia in a small proportion of users e.g.
  • Cimetidine: a type of antacid
  • Zoladex: used to treat prostate cancer
  • Thioridazine: an antipsychotic
  • Digitalis: a cardiac drug
  • Captopril: used in heart failure
  • Diazepam: a sleeping pill
  • Heroin
  • Cannabis
  • Congenital: eg Klinefelter’s syndrome
  • Malnutrition, Liver cirrhosis, Adrenal & Testicular tumours

How Is It Classified?

Group 1 is minor but visible breast enlargement without skin redundancy

Group 2A is moderate breast enlargement without skin redundancy

Group 2B is moderate breast enlargement with minor skin redundancy

Group 3 is gross breast enlargement with skin redundancy that simulates a pendulous female breast

What Can Be Done About It?

  • Do nothing¬†– if minor or no symptoms and prepared to see if it will settle of its own accord.
  • Medical therapy – Certain medication can help to reduce the symptoms of pain from the condition. These medications should be taken under medical supervision.
  • Surgery¬†– Most cases of gynaecomastia can be managed by minimal intervention, called liposuction.

Liposuction, The Modern Surgical Intervention

Liposuction is a technologically advanced, safe, gentle and focused technique that removes male breast fatty excess (pseudo-gynaecomastia, chest wall fat, pectoral fat). The fatty tissue is detached and simultaneously removed with a suction device.

Incisions: small incisions are made in the skin around the pectoral area and a liposuction cannula is inserted. Usually there will be two to three incisions at the completion of the procedure. Any thick glandular tissue will usually have to be removed surgically, as the liposuction technique will not remove this.

An incision is made at the edge of the areola to make the scar as inconspicuous as possible.

A compression garment is worn for two weeks.

The benefits Can Be Summarised As:

  • Significantly shortened surgery times
  • The tissue is not destroyed
  • Pain, swelling are reduced
  • A smaller quantity of analgesia is required
  • Greatly increased patient satisfaction.

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