Gynaecomastia, sometimes referred to as ‘man boobs’ is a common condition which affects boys and men and causes the breast tissue to swell. While this is common for men who are over 50, gynaecomastia can occur at any age. It can be common in newborns and for boys who are going through puberty. For many boys, gynaecomastia will disappear after puberty. However, others will find they continue to have it throughout adulthood.
Some men will find they have enlarged breasts as a result of weight gain and excess fatty tissue. However, gynaecomastia is the enlargement of the glandular tissue, rather than just fatty tissue. Gynaecomastia can cause men to feel uncomfortable with their appearance, which can negatively impact your levels of confidence and self-worth.
Fortunately, gynaecomastia can be resolved through surgery.
Choosing to undergo surgery is a huge decision and one that is never taken lightly. To help you start your surgery journey, we have laid out exactly how you can prepare for gynaecomastia surgery.
Choose the right surgeon
Before attending any consultations, make sure you do your research on the surgeon you’re going to see and the clinic they work for. In the UK, the surgeon will need to be registered with the GMC. See if you can find out their education and past experience – LinkedIn can often be a helpful place to find out this type of information. Make sure the surgeon has experience in performing gynaecomastia surgery.
Do your research beforehand and find out everything there is to know about gynaecomastia. When you do attend a consultation, the right surgeon’s advice will align with what you have found in your own research. If you ever feel uncomfortable or you do not think the surgeon is experienced enough, go to another surgeon or clinic.
Find out what procedure you actually need
Before undergoing gynaecomastia surgery, you will need to attend a consultation with one of the surgeons. They will be able to assess whether or not you are a suitable candidate for this procedure. In some instances, men will just have excess fatty tissue in the breasts which is causing the enlargement. If this is the case, liposuction can be undertaken to remove the fat.
However, if you have glandular tissue as well as excess fat, the surgeon will need to undertake surgical removal. This involves making an incision around the lower half of the areola which allows the surgeon to remove the glandular tissue. Liposuction will then be undertaken if it is necessary.
Some men, particularly those who are older and have worse skin laxity, may find they also require excess skin to be removed from the chest, as well as having glandular tissue removed.
What you need to know before surgery
Before undergoing your procedure, there are steps you can take to ensure your surgery and recovery period goes as smoothly as possible.
- Smoking: avoid smoking for at least two weeks prior to surgery. Smoking can negatively impact wound healing.
- Medication: make sure the surgeon knows about all medications you are taking, as you may have to stop taking them before surgery. This includes aspirin, blood thinners and herbal supplements, to name a few.
- Prescriptions: make sure you get all your prescriptions filled before your surgery.
- Alcohol: make sure to avoid consuming any alcohol for at least one week prior to your surgery.
- Getting home: following your surgery, you will need a responsible adult to take you home from the clinic. Make sure you arrange a family member or friend to pick you up. If you do not have anyone, you can arrange with the clinic for a chaperone to transport you home. You may also wish to ensure the responsible adult can accompany you for at least the first 24 hours following the procedure.
- Time off work: you will need to ensure you have enough time off work to be able to fully recover. The amount of time you will need to take off work will vary depending on the type of job you have. Those who have an office job may require around four days off work. However, those who have a physically intensive job may need to take up to two weeks off work. Your surgeon will be able to advise you on exactly how much time you will need to take off work and when it is safe to return.
- Compression garment: you will be required to wear a compression garment following your procedure. This will help to support your chests and reduce swelling. Your surgeon will be able to help advise you on which type of garment you will need to purchase.
What to expect the day of your gynaecomastia surgery
To help prepare for the day of your surgery:
- Eating: make sure you avoid eating eight hours prior to your surgery
- Drinking: make sure you do not drink any water two hours before surgery
- Showering: it is recommended that you shower and clean your hair the night before or the morning of your procedure
- Clothing: you should wear dark, loose and comfortable clothing into the clinic
Make sure to bring photo ID with you. You will also need to bring any medications you are taking, as well as the original containers. You will not have to stay overnight, so you will not need any nightwear or clothes for the following day. It is also suggested that you leave any valuables, such as jewellery or expensive technology, at home in order to avoid any damage or theft.
Are you interested in gynaecomastia surgery? This is a procedure Centre for Surgery currently offers. Contact us today to find out more information or to book a consultation.