Gynecomastia is a condition of male breast enlargement that occurs in 10 percent of boys around the time of puberty. This problem is characterized by abnormal enlargement of the glandular tissue around the nipple and can become quite large and painful. Usually there is no specific identifiable cause for this condition but it can run in families. In addition, a few medications like Tagamet and certain anti-seizure drugs have been shown to cause it. In about half of the boys who develop this, it will resolve by itself within 2 years of its appearance. If the condition does not resolve within 2 years it most likely will not go away spontaneously and requires surgical intervention.
Fortunately, some Plastic Surgeons are trained in a technique that solves this problem and leaves virtually no visible scars. The procedure is done through a small incision in the lower border of the areola, which is the dark skin around the nipple. Through this incision the glandular tissue is removed and liposuction is done to smooth and sculp the chest wall. This allows muscle definition of the underlying pectoralis muscle to show. This procedure is not very painful and is done as an outpatient. That means the person goes home the same day as the procedure. I frequently perform this operation under a light general anesthetic or “twilight” anesthesia where the patient is somewhat awake. In addition, this operation requires little down time. I expect my patients to be back at work and back in the gym working out within one week or less.
While this is a wonderful operation that helps many men and boys rid themselves of an embarrassing problem, it should only be performed by a board certified Plastic Surgeon. In addition this should be done in an accredited outpatient surgery center. In such surgery centers an anesthesiologist will attend to your comfort while the surgeon concentrates on the results. This is the safest and most effective way to have this procedure. One should ask his surgeon how many of these operations he or she has performed and what facility they use. You should feel comfortable with your surgeon after the consultation and do not be afraid to seek a second opinion if you are not sure.