Gynecomastia – Objective


Gynecomastia, or breast enlargement in men, is often seen during puberty and may disappear with time. However, if it occurs before puberty or as an adult, investigations must be performed in order to eliminate testicular cancer or a hormonal abnormality. Only after such investigations can surgical correction for gynecomastia of the breasts be considered.

Male Breast Reduction or gynecomastia – Anesthesia

Smaller corrections for a male breast enlargement may be done under local anesthesia with or without sedation, but most corrections require general anesthesia.

Male Breast Reduction or gynecomastia – Surgical Technique

Operative procedures depend on the degree of gynecomastia. Fatty breasts can be treated with liposuction alone but that is rarely sufficient. More commonly, fibrous breasts require an incision around the nipple in order to remove excess glandular tissue. By incising between the nipple and the surrounding skin, the resulting scar is well-camouflaged. Finally, pendulous breasts may require removal of skin, with resulting larger scars.

Male Breast Reduction or gynecomastia – Recovery

Within days after surgery, patients are able to move about comfortably. Patients may be instructed to wear a compressive dressing around the trunk for a few weeks, until the swelling and discoloration of the breasts diminish. Incisions will be red at first and normally lighten over the several months following surgery.

Male Breast Reduction or gynecomastia – Return to work after surgery

After correction of gynecomastia, it is usually possible to return to work within 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the extent of surgery and type of work.

Male Breast Reduction or gynecomastia- Possible complications

Surgical risks include scarring, infection, bleeding, incomplete correction, irregular chest contour, loss of nipple sensation and asymmetry.

Male Breast Reduction or gynecomastia – Post op instructions

In the first post operative week, be sure to :

  • Keep your dressings dry and clean following your correction for gynecomastia ;
  • Do not force with your arms following your correction for gynecomastia ;
  • Wash with a sponge unless Dr. Nicolaidis says otherwise ;
  • Sleep only on your back (IMPORTANT : never on your side after an operation for gynecomastia) ;
  • Wear your compressive garments at all times after your correction for gynecomastia ;
  • Walk at least 5 minutes every hour during the day (do NOT simply stay in bed constantly).

Your first post-operative appointment for gynecomastia with Dr. Nicolaidis is very important, even if you feel very well.

After the first post operative week of male breast reduction or gynecomastia correction :

  • Continue wearing the compressive band that Dr. Nicolaidis put on while doing your breast reduction, until he says otherwise ;
  • You may shower with your back to the shower ;
  • Avoid bathing until Dr. Nicolaidis gives permission ;
  • Following your correction for gynecomastia, protect your new scars from sun exposure for a total of 6 months ;
  •  Avoid lifting heavy objects until Dr. Nicolaidis gives permission ;
  • In order to avoid blood clot complications, keep moving (walk regularly during the day).

Please note :

  • It is normal to have mild swelling and bruising in the area treated in the first weeks after surgery for gynecomastia. However, it is not normal if one side becomes much larger than the other, in which case you should call us.
  •  For your comfort after your operation for gynecomastia, be sure to take your pain medication as prescribed.

For an appointment or if you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call us.

For further information about gynecomastia, please click here : American Society of Plastic Surgeon