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Male Breast Reduction,Surgery for male breasts,(Gynaecomastia)

Male Breasts –Gynaecomastia

Enlargement of the breasts in men tends to occur in two phases of their lives, during puberty and then after the age of 40-45. In both instances the cause is the imbalance created between the female and male hormones in the body. Men produce testosterone and oestrogen in their body. With age the levels of testosterone go down and more oestrogen is produced. Pain is a common symptom related to the development of new breasts. This is a similar pain women experience in their breasts. The combination of an increase in oestrogen levels and reduced testosterone levels can cause the breasts to become larger. Male breast enlargement or gynaecomastia during puberty will settle down with time and by the end of the teens will disappear in 90% of cases. The commonest symptoms in young boys are increased sensitivity and enlargement of the breasts, which can sometimes resemble a female breast. In those patients where the swelling does not go down surgery is an alternative that can be explored in certain cases. In common parlance male breasts are often referred to as ‘moobs.’ In the older male the presentation can be in form of the development of a lump In this case it is obviously absolutely necessary to rule out any sinister cause for the lump before making a diagnosis of gynaecomastia. Typically an ultrasound along with blood tests and examination of the testicles by a specialist breast surgeon will be carried out. The symptoms of gynaecomastia can vary from a small enlargement of breast tissue just behind the nipple to a larger more female-looking breast. Gynaecomastia can affect one or both breasts. The area can be tender to touch or painful. Many men accept this change as part of the ageing process.

Other causes of gynaecomastia include:

  • Ill health – many medical conditions can be associated with gynaecomastia, although it’s unlikely to be the only symptom
  • Drugs and medication – some illegal drugs (such as cannabis or anabolic steroids) or prescription medication (such as medication for high blood pressure or heart conditions) can cause gynaecomastia
  • Herbal products – some herbal supplements can contain oestrogen, which can increase the amount of the hormone in the body
  • Being overweight – the more fat cells a person has in their body, the more oestrogen they produce, which in turn can make breast tissue grow
  • Drinking too much alcohol – this can create a hormonal imbalance.
  • Enlarged breasts are often found in patients who have had treatment for prostate cancer.
  • Can gynaecomastia turn into cancer? If the diagnosis is gynaecomastia there is no risk at all.

Surgery for Male Breast Reduction

Male breast reduction can be performed by a combination of surgery and liposuction A thorough assessment of the patient is made to assess the size of the breast, the laxity of the skin and the age of the patient. It is extremely important to determine how much fat and how much glandular breast tissue is present. In most cases a combination of liposuction and excision of breast tissue through keyhole incisions can be preformed. Some patients will need a complete excision of breast tissue with reduction of the excess skin. Recovery is fast and most cases are done as day case surgery. Some may need a second corrective procedure. Complications from the surgery: All surgery is associated with complications some of the known risks with this surgery include reduced nipple sensation, nipple necrosis, bleeding after surgery and infection. All the complications can be dealt with and will be discussed with you before treatment.

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