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Male breast reduction surgery

The condition where the volume of male breast (gland) tissue has enlarged is known as gynecomastia. This is a quite frequent problem in a man’s life; at certain age (newborn, young men in puberty, elderly men) this change is considered age-related, i.e. non-pathological.

Enlargement of male breasts may be caused by various diseases (testicular tumours, obesity, kidney and liver deficiency, HIV, or other chronic diseases), medicaments (anabolic steroids, some anti-microbial drugs, medicines to reduce stomach acidity, cardio-vascular medicines, etc.) and other consumed substances (alcohol, cannabis, amphetamine, heroin). Often the cause of gynecomastia will remain unknown. Usually gynecomastia is expressed on both sides; however, there are also cases of one side gynecomastia. Enlargement of breasts that has lasted less than a year usually disappears by itself.

Pre-operative consultation

During the consultation, the expectations of the patient and options for meeting them are identified. Some topics discussed at the consultation are the health status of the patient, how long the complaints have been present, which medications/substances the patient uses. If necessary, additional analyses and tests will be planned.

During the medical examination of the patient, the patient’s chest and mammary glands are assessed. Photos of the patient’s breasts are taken for medical records. Finally, the breasts are measured and the location of the incision (later scar) is planned.

Course of surgery and recovery

This surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and it usually lasts for 1 – 2 hours. Excess tissue is removed during the operation. Most frequently used method is liposuction; however, if necessary, gland tissue and/or excess skin is surgically removed. The surgery is conducted at Kotka Private Hospital.

Usually, the patient is allowed home on the next morning after the surgery. Recovery is individual, depending on the patient. As tissue trauma causes slight swelling, pain treatment is necessary in the first post-operative days. Wounds are taped with wound tapes for up to 2 weeks, followed by scar treatment. The patient has to wear a compression corset for 4 – 6 weeks, and in case of physical exertion for another 4 – 6 weeks. It is advisable to avoid any heavy physical exertion in the first weeks after the surgery.

Results and risks

The final result could take months to develop. The result is long-term.

Post-surgery long-term swelling, discomfort, nipple sensitivity disorders, and subcutaneous hematomas may occur in the area of operation. If a hematoma develops within the breast, a repeat surgery may be necessary. Inflammation occurs rarely; slight asymmetry of the breasts is a more frequent occurrence. Skin necrosis is possible.

Operations are performed by plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Mart Eller.