Gynecomastia is a medical term that means the enlargement of the breast. Though this oddly named condition is rarely talked about, it is actually quite common. Gynecomastia affects an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men. It may affect one breast or both. Though certain drugs and medical problems have been linked with male breast overdevelopment, there is no known cause in the vast majority of cases. For those individuals who are self-conscious about their appearance, breast-reduction surgery can help.* The procedure involves a removal of fat and or glandular tissue from the breast and in extreme cases removes excess skin, resulting in a chest wall that is flatter and better conformed around the chest wall muscles.
The Best Candidates for Gynecomastia Correction
The best candidates have firm, elastic skin that will reshape to the body’s new contour once the excess breast tissue is removed. This procedure is performed on healthy, emotionally stable men of any age. Surgery may be discouraged for obese men, or for overweight men who have not first attempted to correct the problem with exercise or weight loss. Some drugs such as anabolic steroids and marijuana may cause this condition. Also, individuals who drink alcohol in excess or who may have an underlying liver problem may develop this condition.
Before undergoing the treatment for gynecomastia, all patients will need a pre-operative consultation. At this time we review your medical history and perform an examination in an attempt to ascertain the reason for your breast enlargement. If a medical problem is suspected a referral to a medical specialist may be suggested. Once your surgeon ascertains how much fat and glandular tissue is present, he can then recommend the surgical approach that best suits your needs.
Dr. Rucker completed his plastic surgery residency in 1984 and decided to devote a large portion of his practice to Restorative Breast Surgery. He attended a fellowship in Breast Surgery in Atlanta Georgia, became board certified in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 1986 and attained the position of Fellow in the American College of Surgeons in 1989. During Dr. Rucker’s 30+ years of practice in western Wisconsin and the St. Croix Valley, he has performed well over 200 gynecomastia procedures.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
If you decide to proceed with the recommended plan, our office will contact you and give you your initial information regarding dates and the appropriate preoperative testing that may be required. Our staff can also provide you with information on the type of anesthetic which will be used, where the surgery will take place and a more detailed outline of what to expect after your breast reduction. It has been our experience that this procedure is not insurance covered, unless there is a definitive breast mass found that has caused the breast enlargement.
In the vast majority of cases the operation can be performed in our office operating suite with a local anesthetic and a mild I.V. sedation. In the extreme cases this procedure may be done under a general anesthetic, but in both cases this would be a outpatient procedure. If excess glandular tissue is the cause of your condition, the procedure would entail the direct removal of the tissue through a small incision on the edge of the areola (the dark skin around the nipple). Major reductions that involve the removal of a significant amount of tissue and skin may require a larger incision that can result in more conspicuous scars. In these extreme cases, requiring a large amount of tissue removal, the skin may not adjust well to the new smaller breast contour and skin may have to be removed to allow the new breast shape to re-adjust to the chest wall musculature below. Liposuction may be used in conjunction with direct glandular removal if there is an excess amount of fatty tissue. The cannula that is utilized for fat removal is inserted through the existing incisions and the fatty tissue is removed by vacuum. On occasion, a small drain is inserted through a separate incision to draw off excess fluids. Once closed, the incisions are usually covered with a pressure dressing and the skin may be wrapped to keep the skin firmly in place.
Most patients rate the pain level as a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10.* You should expect to be swollen and bruised for a while, in fact, you may wonder if there has been any improvement at all. The bruising usually subsides within one week and the swelling will subside within several months. All patients are given detailed postoperative written instructions and prescriptions for pain control and an antibiotic. Light activity is tolerated well in the first week. Most patients are never so incapacitated that they can’t take care of their own basic needs. We see you one week after your procedure. All of your dressings are removed, your postoperative recovery and activity levels are again reviewed and an anticipated date for your return to work is discussed. Light employment is tolerated after two weeks with heavy lifting and regular activity in 3 to 5 weeks.* You are also given detailed instructions for care of your suture lines so as to help prevent excessive scarring. Your final consultation usually occurs 5 months after your procedure. Results will vary.*
Dr. Rucker and his staff hope that this information will be of help to you if you are considering breast reduction surgery. Our staff has gained a considerable amount of experience in helping well over 1,000 patients during the preoperative, operative and postoperative periods. Your inquiries are welcome.
There is a potential for complications in any operative procedure. The most common being infection, scarring and sensation changes. During your consultation a detailed discussion of these potential risks will be given to you.
*Individual results may vary. Read more.