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Gynaecomastia/male breast reduction

  Duration: 2 hr

Enlargement of breast tissue in men is termed gynaecomastia or ‘man boobs’.

There are several causes for gynaecomastia and it can occur physiologically during certain stages in life. Gynaecomastia can be caused by hormonal imbalances associated with several medications, steroid use, illnesses but most often no cause is found at all. When this breast tissue persists it can become a cause of significant embarrassment and worry for men.

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Time off work
1 week
Hospital stay
Day case
After 1 week
Sleeping position
On back for 1 week
Bras & garments
up to 6 weeks
Full recovery
6 weeks
1 week
Physical activity
4 weeks

Male breast reduction surgery

Gynaecomastia is the term used to describe over-developed breasts in men. It is most commonly caused by male oestrogen levels that are too high or that are out of balance with the body’s testosterone levels. Sometimes insensitively referred to as ‘man boobs’ this condition can be an incredibly embarrassing and can also cause physical pain in the chest area. Many men don’t realise that gynaecomastia is an extremely common condition and not only do they feel that they are alone in experiencing the condition, but so many do not realise that this condition can be easily and permanently remedied by male breast reduction surgery.

Gynaecomastia is is essentially excess fat in a particular area of the chest (pseudo-gynaecomastia) or the excessive development of breast tissue. There can also be excess skin in the chest area in some cases. For some men who experience gynaecomastia, just one side of the chest may be affected. This is known as unilateral gynaecomastia. When both chest areas are affected, it’s called bilateral gynaecomastia. You don’t have to be overweight to experience gynecomastia and the presence of certain hormones, genetics and some lifestyle choices such as consumption of alcohol or steroid abuse can all contribute to the condition. Dr Veerle Rotsaert offers gynaecomastia surgery. For some men, being able to speak openly and frankly with a woman, is more comfortable for them, than perhaps confiding in a man, for this particular issue.

Excessive breast development in men, also known as gynaecomastia, is often caused by:

  • Hormonal imbalances: Oestrogen/testosterone
  • Weight gain
  • Steroids
  • Medical conditions: Testicular disease

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Frequently asked questions

Am I suitable for male breast reduction surgery?

If you are over the age of 18, are physically healthy, you don’t smoke and are finding that your gynaecomastia is causing you physical pain and emotional embarrassment, you may be suitable for a male breast reduction. However, before any treatment can commence, we will ask you to attend a no obligation consultation with Dr Rotsaert, to discuss your concerns, check your medical history and that you are not significantly overweight, do not use steroids, marijuana or drink excessive amounts of alcohol, as these substances can cause recurrence of gynaecomastia, even if you have had surgery.

What happens during a male breast reduction surgery?

Gynaecomastia surgery takes between one and two hours and is performed using a general anaesthetic (GA). Therefore you will be fully asleep and unaware of anything, when you undergo this surgery.

Depending on the results of your consultation and physical assessment, Dr Rotsaert will decide which methods to use for your gynaecomastia surgery. A combination of methods may also be decided upon:-
  • For excess fat (pseudo-gynaecomastia), Dr Rotsaert may use power assisted liposuction. This involves nserting a small tube through a tiny incision in your chest. The tube is connected to a specialised vacuum system which removes the excessive fat, via suction.
  • For those who have an excess of breast tissue (true gynaecomastia), Dr Rotsaert will need to remove excess gland or skin tissue. She will make an incision, usually along the circumference of the bottom half of the areola. As the colour between the areola and the rest of the skin differs in tone, the scar which results from this procedure, is suitably disguised.
  • In cases where Dr Rotsaert will need to remove an excessive amount of fat and tissue, thus causing loose skin, or if the chest area already has sagging skin or the areola are too big or pointing downwards, the excess skin will need to be removed. Therefore, the skin will be surgically removed from the central part of the breast and the resulting scar will be around the areola, again, blending with its natural colour and disguising it.
  • In extreme cases of gynaecomastia, a procedure, similar to that which Dr Rotsaert performs on women might be necessary. In these instances the resulting scars will be visible on the chest in an anchor shape.

Gynaecomastia surgery is usually scheduled as day case surgery. However, sometimes an overnight stay is necessary depending on your individual circumstance. This will be discussed at the time of your consultation with Dr Rotsaert.

Is there any downtime following gynaecomastia surgery?

Before you leave the hospital, after your gynaecomastia surgery, you will be given specific aftercare instructions, along with your medication, and when to follow-up at the clinic with Dr Rotsaert. You will have dressings which you will need to keep clean and dry for a week after your male breast reduction surgery and will be required to wear a compressive garment for 6 weeks, during the day and at night, following the operation. You will need to take around a week to two weeks off work and will not be able to perform any heavy lifting, physical exercise or driving. Depending on the physical nature of your job, you may be required to take further time off, especially if this involves very heavy carrying or reaching above your head.

When will I see the results?

You will be able to experience your results immediately. However, you will need to consider that your chest will be sore and may be swollen for a few weeks following the operation and this will affect the initial results. You will need to wear a compression vest for at least 24 hours per day for 6 weeks, following your procedure and will also be asked to return to the clinic for a follow-up appointment at around a month, after your surgery, to ensure you are healing well and the results are as expected.

Additional Information

Dr. Rotsaert usually combines surgical excision with liposuction of the chest wall but the exact technique used is decided upon on a case by case basis. Through surgery the chest wall is reshaped and a strong, streamlined and fit look is restored. This benefits a man’s social well-being and confidence.

Dr. Rotsaert will tell you all about certain risks and complications involved with this procedure. This procedure starts with a thorough consultation and proper assessment of your chest wall and general history.

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