Gynecomastia, also spelled Gynaecomastia, is a disorder in which an increase in the size of male breast tissue occurs. The term derives from greek words gynec (feminine, woman) and mastos (breast). It is the 3rd most popular surgeries amongst men after hair transplant and rhinoplasty. According to some researches 1 of 3 men experience gynecomastia problem.
What is the cause of Gynecomastia ?
During adolescence; It is normal for males to have breast growth due to hormonal reasons as the body is in a hormonal complexity. This period has to be temporary, if not, gynecomastia occurs. If the young male is overweight, it is more likely for him to have gynecomastia.
Even though gynecomastia generally occurs due to mentioned causes, it can occur due to testical tumor and medication usage.
Gynecomastia can occur without any reason, which makes it an “idiopathic disorder”. Hormonal treatments, compression shirts, overtraining, weight loss can not be a remedy for it, because even if the patient loses weight, breast tissue does not shrink, only the fat percentage decreases.
Main causes for gynecomastia can be listed as follows:
- Gaining weight and accummulation of fat in breasts
- Hormonal disorders
- Medications for heart, cancer and thyroid, anti-deppresants, cortisone.
- Alcohol and drugs,
- Some cancer types such as lung or liver cancer,
- Testical and kidney cancer,
- Thyroid gland disorders
How is Gynecomastia classified?
It is classified according to the condition of gynecomastia.
Phase 1: Breast is not radically large, there is no sagging.
Phase 2: Breast is large, but there is no sagging.
Phase 3: Sagging occurs in the skin and excess skin removal is necessary.
Phase 4: Breast has the same characteristics of female breast.
How is Gynecomastia surgery performed?
If the condition is not severe, it can be performed under general anesthesia with Liposuction. If it is advanced gynecomastia, it should be performed under general anesthesia. The operation may take between 50 to 90 minutes.
1st and 2nd phase gynecomastias can be treated easily with liposuction. If there is a need of excess skin removal, a small incision made to remove it. Usually for the patients that do not lose so much weight and do sports, sagging skin does not occur. After the liposuction, if breast tissue under the skin is still large, it will be removed through a small incision under the nipple.
In 3rd and 4th phases, liposuction and breast tissue removal are performed in one operation. In elderly patients it is difficult for the skin to be tight and stretched. If the patient has advanced gynecomastia, there will be sagging in the skin and excess skin has to be removed. After a surgical removal of breast tissue, a surgical drain is placed so all the excess liquid and blood can be drained.
How to take care after a Gynecomastia surgery ?
Some patients do not need to stay in the hospital after the surgery which is decided according to the condition of the patient. Just after the surgery patient starts to wear a compression corset which has to be worn for 3 weeks. After 3 weeks patient can wear in only in the daytime until he/she completes 6 weeks.
It is very normal to have swelling, sensitivity and slight pain after the surgery for a few days. These discomforts will go within time. Numbing, slight pain, swelling can occur rarely which is considered to be normal. 2 weeks after the surgery patient is allowed to swim. For 6 weeks it is necessary to avoid physical activity or any occasion that may cause a trauma in the breast area.