Gynaecomastia Surgery

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What is gynaecomastia?

Gynaecomastia is a condition where too much breast tissue has developed. The condition can be severe and can affect one or both sides of your chest.

Is gynaecomastia surgery suitable for me?

For most teenagers, gynaecomastia goes away as your hormone levels naturally get into balance. However, in some men the condition is permanent.
Gynaecomastia is not life-threatening but you may want to have the excess tissue removed if you feel embarrassed by the condition.

What are the benefits of surgery?

Your chest should have a more male appearance and both sides should look similar to each other.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

If the condition is in its early stages, you may be able to take medication to prevent further growth.

If you are overweight and your gynaecomastia is caused mainly by fatty tissue, losing weight may lead to a reduction in the gynaecomastia.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic but various anaesthetic techniques are possible.

The operation usually takes 30 minutes to an hour for each side that needs to be treated.
If you have only a small amount of excess tissue and good skin elasticity, the operation may involve only liposuction. Your surgeon will use a cannula (thin, hollow tube) attached to a suction device to remove the fat through a small cut.

They will make one or two small cuts on a crease line on the inside or outside of your chest.

Your surgeon will move the cannula through the tissue, making it easier to suction out.

For severe gynaecomastia your surgeon will make a cut on the line around the areola. They will remove the excess tissue and skin.

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day if you had only liposuction, or the next day when any drains have been removed.

You should be able to return to work after a week, depending on your type of work.
Most men return to normal activities after 4 to 6 weeks.

The healthcare team will advise you on exercising to help keep you to a healthy weight and to improve the cosmetic result.

Your new chest shape will take several months to appear as the swelling reduces and your skin tightens.

What complications can happen?

Some complications can be serious and can even cause death.

General complications of any operation

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Unsightly scarring of your skin
  • Blood clot in your leg
  • Blood clot in your lung

Specific complications of this operation

  • Skin burns
  • Changes to skin colour
  • Irregular body shape
  • Fat embolus
  • Making a hole in your skin
  • Injury to small nerves
  • Developing a collection of fluid under your skin
  • Developing a collection of blood under your skin
  • Loss of skin, including the areola and nipple if you have severe gynaecomastia
  • Developing an abscess (a collection of pus)
  • Change of nipple sensation
  • Stiff shoulder
  • Cosmetic problems
This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice your healthcare team gives you. This information is published under license from EIDO Healthcare UK and is protected by copyright. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print, download or otherwise reproduce it.

Surgery for gynaecomastia is an operation to remove excess tissue from your chest. You should consider the options carefully and have realistic expectations about the results.

What to do next
  1. Talk to us about ways to pay, either insured or self-pay, and find out if you need a referral from your doctor.
  2. If you need one, ask your doctor for a referral letter.
  3. Call us to book an appointment with a consultant.
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