Gynecomastia Information Almost 60% of all men will suffer from some degree of excess male breast growth, also known as Gynecomastia, sometime during their life. This condition, characterized by enlarged, puffy breasts, can be embarrassing and humiliating. Men who experience an unsightly, almost ‘female-like’ chest may avoid tight shirts, going to the beach/pool, playing sports, and even changing in the locker room. The effect of Gynecomastia can be devastating on their personal life. Gynecomastia often appears during periods of hormone fluctuations. These periods may occur starting in the teen years and extending through the mid-fifties, and sometimes even later. During these times of hormone fluctuations, the body temporarily loses the balance between male/female sex hormones, which results in breast growth until a proper hormone balance has been restored. Other triggers of male breast growth include various medications, drug use, anabolic steroids, and illness. No amount of exercise or dieting will correct enlarged breast tissue. To rule out a serious condition, patients should consult their surgeon, who will try to pinpoint the cause of the issue. Then, if the condition does not resolve on its own after six to twelve months, surgical intervention may be required for correction. Male Breast Reduction is a surgical procedure designed to remove the soft, excess tissue along the breasts. At the completion of this procedure, the patient will have a smooth, tight chest, restoring the appearance. The areola and nipples frequently become soft and cone-shaped with Gynecomastia; these can also be made more aesthetically pleasing during this procedure. Best of all, the dramatic improvements from this procedure can be permanent, as long as patients stick to a healthy weight and address the initial cause of their condition. Causes of Gynecomastia: Hormonal changes Prescription medications Endocrine Gland dysfunction Weight gain Anabolic Steroids The Ideal Candidate: The ideal candidate for this procedure is any male patient who is in their teens through the mid-fifties who is suffering with enlarged breast tissue. As with other surgical procedures, patients will need to be in overall good health, and have realistic expectations for the surgery. The cause of the breast development should also be determined prior to surgery, if possible. Getting Started: Patients should begin by researching information on the causes of Gynecomastia including correction options, techniques, and post-operative recovery time and complications. Patients should ask their surgeon and compare any information they gathered on their own. Feeling confident in their understanding of the Gynecomastia procedure, the next step in the process is for patients to schedule their consultation appointment with Dr. Lohner. This is a confidential, one-on-one time for the patient to get to know the surgeon. Dr. Lohner will review relevant medical history, perform a brief physical exam, and listen to both patient needs and wants. He will explain the options for the procedure and the recovery commitment required. Should surgical correction for Gynecomastia be right for the individual situation, Dr. Lohner will develop a personalized surgical plan fit for the patient. Preparing for the Surgery: To ensure a satisfactory result from surgical reduction of male breasts, and smooth recovery, patients need to keep the following tips in mind. Remember, take care of everything before the day of your surgery; this will keep your stress level to a minimum. Get your questions answered Do not hesitate to contact our office if any questions or concerns arise. Pick up medications prior to your surgery Have all prescriptions picked up at least a day before your procedure. Antibiotics and pain medications are important; they should be started exactly when directed. Arrange for adequate time off from work Take the suggested recovery time off from work. While you may feel good enough to return to work a day or two early, odds are, you will need all of this time to rest. Set up transportation Most procedures require a ride home from the surgical center. Make arrangements for transportation after your procedure, as well as back and forth to your follow-up exams. Get your follow-up appointments scheduled Follow-up appointments are vital to the healing process. Schedule these when you arrange for your surgery; don’t ever consider skipping these doctor visits. Gather supplies for a stress-free recovery Have icepacks and extra pillows for comfort; as well as a book or magazines to read while you are resting. Stock up on healthy foods that can be easily be prepared during your recovery. Get together all emergency numbers If, on the rare chance, a problem occurs, be prepared to contact the office immediately. Put these numbers in a central location, in case someone has to make the call for you. How the Male Breast Reduction is Performed: Dr. Lohner performs this surgery as an outpatient procedure, under general anesthesia. The surgery will take between one and two hours to complete. Using Liposuction, excess fatty tissue will be removed. A small cannula (tube), is inserted under the arm pit or around the areola, then moving back and forth, loosens and eliminated fat deposits through gentle suction. Larger amounts of glandular tissue and skin will need to be excised and removed. Most patients require a combination of both Liposuction and excision to achieve a tight, sculpted chest. Once complete, Dr. Lohner will place sutures for proper healing. The Risks: The Gynecomastia procedure is considered safe and extremely effective. Because it is an invasive procedure, there is small chance of complications as with any surgery which breaks the skin. Although rare, some of the potential complications: include excessive bleeding, infection, hematoma, delayed wound healing, and nerve damage. To ensure the safest possible procedure, patients should only use a Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeon for their procedure. Dr. Lohner is Board Certified in General Surgery and Plastic Surgery; he brings over twenty years of experience to each procedure. Dr. Lohner has also been voted a Top Doctor by his peers for the past eight years. Male Breast Reduction Recovery: Patients should expect the recovery after their surgery to take about two weeks. Initially, swelling and bruising will occur; these will resolve over the first couple weeks following surgery. Mild to moderate discomfort may be experienced, but Dr. Lohner will prescribe appropriate medications to control the pain. A compression garment is often required for one to two weeks; this will control swelling and promote proper healing. Patients normally feel well enough to return to work in a week or less. FAQ: How much does a Male Breast Reduction cost? The exact cost of this procedure will be between $5,500 and $8,000, depending on the extent of correction and the exact technique utilized. At the consultation appointment, the total cost of the procedure will be established. How long is the surgical procedure to correct breast growth in men? Normally, this procedure will take between two and three hours to complete. When can I return to work after my surgery? Patients feel well enough to return to work or school five to seven days after their procedure. Can I finance my surgery? Lohner Plastic Surgery accepts cash and all major credit cards, as well as healthcare financing through CareCredit. Contact our office for more information. Are you are thinking breast reduction surgery is right for you or someone you know? If so, contact Lohner Plastic Surgery for more information on Gynecomastia, or to set up a consultation appointment. Our office is centrally located right outside of Philadelphia, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Let our patient coordinator know if you are traveling from out of town, we will be happy to assist with directions and travel arrangement. Schedule your first appointment with Dr. Lohner today, at 610.519.0060.