How common is gynaecomastia surgery and what should I expect?

moobsA surprising number of men feel that they are carrying excess breast tissue – it can be a concern for between 40% and 60% of men. The cause of this additional tissue (commonly referred to as “man boobs” or “moobs”) is of because the body has too many oestrogen hormones.

Typically, women have more oestrogen hormones and men have more androgen hormones. Moobs can occur when the body experiences an imbalance of the ideal ratio between these two important sets of hormones.

As a result, it is not just women who undergo breast surgery; there is an increasing demand for a procedure called “gynaecomastia surgery”, which is essentially male breast reduction.

Factors to consider

The extent to which you may be carrying excess breast tissue can also depend on how much body weight you are carrying.

If you’re overweight then the first recommendation will be to reduce your calorie intake and increase the amount of exercise you are doing, to see how much of an effect this has.

If your excess tissue is predominately driven by hormonal imbalance, then weight loss alone will not fix the issue, but it is important to explore the non-surgical steps first.

The surgical solution

If you have been recommended for male breast reduction then it is a relatively quick operation, usually performed in less than two hours. Often you can expect to be in and out of surgery within the same day, and the operation is usually performed under general anaesthetic.

Once you are under the anaesthetic, the surgeon will make an incision around your areola and begin the process of extracting excess fatty tissue from the breast area. After the operation you will be required to wear bandages to keep the site clean, protected and to aid in the healing process.

There will be swelling and bruising to start with and you will be prescribed pain relief to help manage any discomfort. A pressure garment may also be recommended to help control the level of swelling you experience.

The healing process following gynaecomastia surgery is usually relatively quick. You should expect to need around one week off work following the operation and then refrain from lifting anything heavy until around one month after the operation.

Even after that time, make sure that you don’t over exert yourself as everyone heals at different rates following any type of surgery.