Breast development in men is a common problem and can occur in various forms and for various reasons. The most common variant occurs when boys’ mammary glands swell during puberty. Just like women, glandular tissue can also be found behind men’s nipples, although it is usually considerably less. Due to hormonal changes, such as during puberty, this glandular tissue may start growing. In most cases, this is temporary. In addition, people who are overweight can sometimes have fat deposits under the nipples; conversely, those who have lost a significant amount of weight may have excess skin here. It is also well-known that breasts can form through the use of certain medications, cannabis or anabolic steroids as well metabolic changes to the kidneys or liver, a malfunctioning of the testes and even hormone-producing tumours.
It is, therefore, important that various causes are ruled out before we consider surgical correction. After talking to the patient and carrying out a physical examination, the cause may become clear very quickly. Seldom is it necessary to carry out additional hormonal research. Only after it has been established that there are no underlying (severe) issues that may have been present for a longer period of time will surgery be considered.
A surgical treatment can be chosen depending on the type of the gynecomastia. For example, if the gynecomastia is due to enlarged glandular subcutaneous chest tissue alone, removing the glandular tissue will be all that is required. A small incision will be made under the nipple and around the skin surrounding the areola, through which the glandular tissue can be removed. Depending on the size of the glandular tissue, this can be carried out under a local anaesthetic on an outpatient basis or under a general anaesthetic with an overnight stay in hospital. If there is a surplus of skin, an edge will also be taken away from around the nipple. However, if there is more excess skin and this makes it necessary for more skin to be removed and for the nipple to be moved upward, this may result in an “anchor-shaped” scar around and under the nipple. If there is a lot of fat in the area under the nipple, this may also be removed during the surgery, possibly by liposuction.
A gynecomastia correction may be reimbursed by your health insurer, but this is dependent upon several factors. The nature and severity of the gynecomastia is an important factor in deciding whether your insurance will cover the surgery.
If you have any questions after reading this information, the plastic surgeon from Blooming Clinic will be happy to discuss them with you during the consultation