Breast surgery for men is commonly performed to treat a condition called gynaecomastia. This is where there is an excessive amount of breast tissue under the nipple. This may take on mild forms of a lump that you can only feel to a fully formed breast that is visible.
Breast tissue in men is normal and usually prominent around puberty. When it persists beyond puberty it may cause concern, discomfort and social embarrassment. These are the main reasons treatment is sought.
The initial consultation deals with investigating the cause and formulating a treatment plan. Most causes of gynaecomastia are not serious and once treated, do not return. Less commonly, there may be medications you are on or another medical condition causing gynaecomastia.
It is advised to see your GP for a referral and bring a list of your medications to the consultation. Your GP, if they suspect a medication cause, may change it or if a medical condition is a possible cause, may decide to refer you to an endocrinologist prior to seeing me.
Once these less common causes are excluded, surgery is utilised to remove the excess breast tissue. My aim in surgery is to remove the excess breast tissue so that you are not left with a concave deformity (known commonly as a ‘dinner plate’ deformity). The result should aim to be ideal in all movements of the arms and tensing of the underlying chest pectoralis muscles.
Surgery for the average case usually utilises a small incision about 1.5cm around part of the edge of the areola to remove the breast tissue directly under the nipple with the edges of the remaining cavity smoothed out with liposuction.
For small cases of gynaecomastia, sometimes liposuction alone through a 5mm incision is all that is required. For the very large cases, it is performed like a breast reduction procedure as excess skin will likely need removal (see Breast Reduction).