For years, men with enlarged breasts, or “man boobs” – a condition known as gynaecomastia – had to either suffer in silence or undergo major surgery.
But with new, less invasive surgical technologies and techniques available, more and more men are undergoing what is now a simple procedure that is making a huge difference to their lives.
While gynaecomastia is not physically harmful in any way, it can greatly affect both self-esteem and lifestyle. Sufferers can be subjected to taunts and often choose to wear extra baggy clothing to hide their “man boobs”, or refuse to take their shirt off at the beach. Men can suffer for years and hold back from enjoying their lives to their fullest.
Gynaecomastia has various causes, the most common being a hormonal imbalance where the amount of estrogen and testosterone in the body increases or decreases respectively, causing the breast gland tissue to grow. It often first manifests at puberty, however not exclusively so. Over half of all males may experience gynaecomastia to some degree during their lifetime.
The condition can also be caused by a reaction to some pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics, anabolic steroids or even some herbal products. Smoking cannabis promotes estrogen production in the body and can also lead to the condition.
While previously surgery for the condition required general anaesthesia, several days in hospital and a longer recovery time, it can now be corrected simply, often under local anaesthetic and on an outpatient basis, with minimal downtime.
American Society of specialist breast (oncoplastic) and general surgeon s (ASPS) records indicate that 27,760 men in the United States underwent surgery for the condition in 2016, an increase in 36 per cent from 2000. Local statistics are not available, but one Melbourne-based cosmetic surgeon told News.com.au that he alone had performed 700 procedures in 2017, at the rate of sometimes five a day.
Typically, the procedure involves the surgeon making small incisions below the nipples with a scalpel before inserting ultrasound based or power assisted liposuction tools that break up the breast tissue and fat. The broken up tissue is drained through a tube before the incisions are sewn up.
Patients can return to work usually within two days and must avoid strenuous physical activity for two weeks. Some patients may be able to claim a small portion of the costs associated with the surgery back on Medicare.
With simpler procedures, less recovery time and indeed less stigma around pursuing a surgical solution, it’s no wonder that gynaecomastia sufferers are increasingly considering this option.
To know more about gynaecomastia, please click here to contact us at Breast & Body Clinic.
With locations in east and inner west Sydney and in the Southern Highlands, finding a gynecomastia surgery clinic that’s conveniently located is simpler than ever. We are located in:
• Potts Point
• Bella Vista