What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is abnormal breast development in men.

While it is usually self-limiting (related to temporary hormone influences such as during pre-puberty), in some cases, it may persist.

It may also be associated with a number of endocrinology abnormalities and include additional symptoms. In young males, endocrine evaluations may be recommended, but in older males, unless there is history of other endocrine related symptoms, this is usually of no benefit. Breast enlargement can also be related to certain types of medications or drugs.

Gynecomastia is often not covered by insurance as it may be considered to be a cosmetic procedure. Surgery is done under general anesthesia in the outpatient department of the hospital or in a certified surgery center.

What is the Treatment for Gynecomastia?

The treatment of gynecomastia is a subcutaneous mastectomy (removal of breast tissue). This is performed under general anesthesia as outpatient surgery. An incision is made under the nipple and areolar complex and the excess breast tissue is removed.

What you might expect following surgery:

  • Decreased sensation may occur and some initial bruising and swelling is to be expected.
  • There maybe some unevenness after resection leading to asymmetry between both sides.
  • Scars will be hidden around the areola but keloids (abnormal scarring) may occur.
  • Pain medications are ordered.
  • No overtly strenuous activity for about six weeks (includes weight lifting, jogging, soccer, football, etc.).
  • You must also wear the compression garment during this six week period as directed by your doctor.