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What is gynaecomastia?
Gynaecomastia (sometimes referred to as enlarged breasts in men) is a common condition that causes male breasts to swell and become larger than normal. While it is most common in teenage boys and older men, it can also manifest in newborn baby boys.
What are the signs of gynaecomastia?
Signs vary from a small amount of extra tissue around the nipples to more prominent breasts. It can affect one or both breasts. Sometimes, the breast tissue can be tender or painful, but this isn’t always the case.
What causes gynaecomastia?
Gynaecomastia can be caused by several factors. The most common causes are:
How can gynaecomastia be treated?
Gynaecomastia can be treated by a simple surgery performed through a key hole. This surgery is performed in such a manner that no prominent scars are left. There are no medicines available to treat gynaecomastia.
When should one consider surgery for gynaecomastia?
For men who feel self-conscious about their appearance, liposuction assisted gynaecomastia surgery can be considered to flatten the chest area.
What are the steps involved in gynaecomastia treatment?
When breast enlargement is caused by obesity, poor health or excessive alcohol intake, breast size may be reduced through a healthy diet and regular exercise. Consult a doctor and consider all possibilites before opting for gynaecomastia surgery.
The reduction procedure
Male breast reduction surgery is usually carried out under general or local anaesthesia and takes around 90 minutes to perform. The surgeon makes a tiny incision on the chest wall and uses liposuction to suck away excess fatty tissue. He then makes an incision in areola (brown portion) to remove the enlarged gland. In most cases, the procedure is done as a day care surgery. Sometimes, an overnight stay in the hospital might be required.
After the operation, one should take few days off to rest. It is best to avoid lifting of heavy objects or performing strenuous physical exercise for upto six weeks. Post operation, an elastic garment should be worn day and night for a few weeks to encourage good results.
What are the risks, if any?
There are no major long-term risks associated with this surgery. Potential complications may include hematoma formation, infection, etc. for which adequate preventive measures are taken by surgeons. The decision to have gynaecomastia surgery is purely a personal one. Patients are advised to go ahead only if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. Eventually, it’s for the patient to decide whether the benefits will help him achieve his goals.
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