Gynecomastia is enlargement of the male breast. It can be a source of embarrassment for men and many seek surgery to reduce their breast bulk. Increasingly, men are also seeking chest contouring surgery to sculpt a more muscular looking chest. Some causes of gynecomastia include puberty, significant weight gain, use of some medications, including anabolic steroids in bodybuilders and use of marijuana. The doctor will treat any possible reversible causes of gynecomastia first, like changing a medication, before recommending surgery. Here are 3 techniques that plastic surgeons use to remove excess breast tissues in men.
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In mild forms of gynecosmastia, where there is excess breast tissues but minimal extra skin, liposuction is the technique of choice. In particular, vaser liposuction uses ultrasonic energy to tighten the overlying skin and etch a more muscular chest outline.
Often, there may be firmer breast tissues around the nipple, that cannot be effectively removed using liposuction alone. In these cases, “it is more effective to remove the fibrous glandular tissues through small incisions at the edge of the areola,” explains Dr Chia Hui Ling, Consultant Plastic Surgeon from SW1 Plastic Surgery Clinic, where many cases of gynecomastia are seen and treated.
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Lastly, the most difficult form of gynecomastia to treat are those with stretched out loose skin. Here the breast skin pocket has to be removed, on top of breast removal. Frequently, the areolae are stretched out too and are reduced to a smaller size at the same time. Scars will accompany skin removal and the plastic surgeon will make the scars less conspicuous. “In order to hide the scars, I conceal them around the areolae and less frequently under the breast fold in very severe cases,” added Dr Chia.