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Gynaecomastia is condition characterized by an abnormal swelling of the male breast. “Man boobs” may be the result in the following situations
A) generalized excess fatty tissue as in obesity.
B) it may result from the loss of such excess fatty tissue as in massive weight loss giving a loose skin, sagging empty breast look.
C) Gynaecomastia may result from an abnormal overgrowth of the breast disk giving an enlarged male breast in an otherwise normal weight individual. This may be associalted with:
- hormonal imbalance or irregularities
- drug intake (eg anabolic steroids)
- idiopathic (no identifiable cause) – this is by far the largest group.
Assessment involves initial thorough consultation and examination. Some blood tests will usually be organized and a special X-ray (ultrasound) may be organized.
Surgical treatment in the suitable candidate will depend on the cause. In the case of fatty excess, liposuction is usually used. Some skin reduction may be combined with liposuction when there is drooping and skin excess.
What is Gynaecomastia?
Cases due to breast disk enlargement alone require an operation called a subcutaneous mastectomy. This operation is done through a small incision around the nipple. It involves removal surgically of the swollen breast disk while preserving subcutaneous fat. The operation takes around 2 hours and involves a general anaesthetic and overnight hospitalisation. Rebates from medicare and health funds apply.
Complications are uncommon and include bleeding, infection and fluid acculmulation. Return to work is usual in 2 weeks.
The first step in assessment and treatment of gynaecomastia is a consultaion with Dr Drielsma where the appropriate treatment option can be assessed and planned for you.