is enlargement or overdevelopment of the male breast tissue, which can affect
either one or both sides of the chest. Gynaecomastia is quite common, and will
develop in four out of 10 men for various reasons. For the vast majority, the
cause is due to either hormone sensitivity in the local tissue, or excess
deposits of fat. Occasionally, however, it may be due to underlying medical
problems or as a side effect of certain drugs.
In some instances gynaecomastia may be improved through non-surgical methods, such as substituting problematic medications or addressing abnormal hormone levels. However, this treatment pathway is not suitable for everyone.
We understand that gynaecomastia can cause both physical and emotional discomfort, and are pleased to offer surgical options to correct this condition. Gynaecomastia surgery, also known as a male breast reduction, can surgically remove excess male breast tissue to contour and reshape the chest area.
It is important to mention that in young or adolescent boys, gynaecomastia may be transient or as a result of temporary hormonal changes. In this case, it is common for symptoms to dissipate over time. Your surgeon may recommend waiting a few years to see if the condition improves without surgery.
If you are considering gynaecomastia, or would like to explore your options, one of our specialist plastic surgeons would be pleased to meet and discuss your concerns.
The Procedure + Surgical Techniques
The surgical methods used in your procedure will depend on your surgeon’s preferences as well as your individual surgical needs, based largely on the type of tissue present in the breast.
Liposuction is an effective method if breast enlargement is predominately a result of excess fat. This technique involves making a tiny incision and inserting a thin, sterile tube, known as a cannula, into the skin. The fat is then removed by controlled suction. In order to get optimal results with liposuction it is important that your skin has a good elastic quality. If it doesn’t, your surgeon may need to remove excess skin surgically in addition to the underlying breast tissue.
In some cases, firm mammary gland tissue is present in the breast, primarily under the areola, and requires direct surgical excision. A small incision is made just under the areola and the firm glandular tissue is dissected from the surrounding tissue. This incision site can generally be camouflaged in the contours of the edge of the areola.
Your plastic surgeon will make a full assessment and recommend the treatment that is best suited to you and your individual needs during your initial consultation.
For further information on the procedure, we highly recommend you watch the animated video on our website, which outlines gynaecomastia surgery in more detail.
Hospital Stay and Anaesthesia
Typically, gynaecomastia surgery does not require an overnight stay and can be performed as a day surgery unless combined with another procedure. Depending on your individual surgery details, this procedure can be safely performed either under a general anaesthetic with an anaesthetist present, or, in our accredited theatre with a local anaesthetic. Your plastic surgeon will discuss your choices in your initial consultation and determine which option is safest for you.
In order to keep your consultation as smooth and efficient as possible, we ask that you please bring all relevant documentation with you on the day. This includes your referral letter, Medicare card, private health insurance details, any third party or return to work insurance information, and any relevant scans i.e. x-ray or ultrasounds.
During your initial consultation with one of our specialist plastic surgeons, you will have an extended opportunity to discuss expectations and desired outcomes, along with any questions you may have about the procedure.
You will then meet with one of our experienced nurses, where you will have clinical images taken in our blue room as a before and after reference for both yourself and your surgeon (please note that all our images are confidential and are stored securely pursuant to the Privacy Act). During this time, you will also be fitted with a compression garment to wear post operatively.
The final stage involves meeting with your surgeon’s personal assistant. You will be given an in-depth quote, outlining the surgeon, hospital and anaesthetist fees, along with some take home information about your procedure.
There is a lot of information to take in after your first consultation. We encourage our patients to go home and discuss their procedure with loved ones and come back for a second visit. We find our patients almost always come back with additional questions they hadn’t previously thought of, and this second visit allows you to go into your surgery feeling confident and fully informed. We recommend that you allow an hour for this consultation. Please keep this in mind when organising parking so that you don’t feel the need to rush.
Before your procedure
There are a number of things you can do before your procedure, to encourage a smooth recovery and ensure you are as comfortable as possible post-surgery.
It is important that you:
- Exercise, having good physical health will significantly help your recovery process
- Provide a complete medical history for your specialist plastic surgeon, including all current medications, as some may need to be stopped prior to surgery.
- Quit smoking
- If you require general anaesthesia, it is important that you pre-arrange someone to transport you to and from your surgery, as well as stay with you 48 hours after returning home.
- Ensure you follow pre-operative instructions, such as fasting times, or your procedure may have to be cancelled.
- We recommend having plenty of loose comfortable clothing that is easy to get in and out of i.e. zip through jackets
- Prepare your recovery area! You’ll want to have everything you need to recover easily accessible and within arm’s reach. We suggest comfortable pillows, icepacks, prescribed medications, emergency contact details, a phone, as well as things to keep you entertained.
Recovery time is highly individual, however, we find many of our patients are able to return to work within one to two weeks after surgery. Vigorous activity and exercise should be avoided for the first six weeks, however, gentle walking is fine after two weeks. Your time frame will vary depending on your individual surgery details, the nature of your employment and your overall level of health. Your surgeon will discuss this with you prior to surgery, and it is important to allow yourself the recommended recovery time.
On discharge, you will be given specific postoperative instructions to assist your recovery, and a follow-up appointment will be made with your plastic surgeon. These instructions will cover everything you need to know in order to make your recovery as smooth and comfortable as possible.
Post surgery it is normal to experience pain and discomfort, and your surgeon may prescribe some pain relief. A plastic tube may temporarily be inserted to drain off any excess fluid. This will remain in place until the drainage is minimal and is removed by the nurse, usually a day or two after your surgery. It is important that you do not have a shower until your drains have been removed.
If previously indicated by your surgeon, you may be recommended to wear a pressure garment post procedure for up to six weeks. This will assist in reducing swelling and bruising, and providing you with some support. It is normal for bruising to last up to three weeks, and swelling may last for up to eight.
Our team is here to support you to make a swift, uncomplicated recovery. We offer a 24/7 on-call medical assistance service for all our post-operative patients.
Ready to book an initial consultation?
If you are ready to book your initial consultation, please book online or call us to book with one of our helpful team members. We’ll be pleased to help you start your journey.
Not quite ready or have a question to ask?
Stay up to date
News – March 23, 2023
Will my surgery leave me with a scar?
Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Anthony Porter and Jo Herreen RN discuss everything you need to know about post surgical scarring in our latest blog post. Read it now