Frequently Asked Questions
Gynaecomastia is a medical condition characterised by the enlargement of breast tissue in males. Some of the symptoms of gynaecomastia include:
- Swelling and tenderness in one or both breasts
- Increase in breast size, often unevenly
- The presence of a rubbery or firm mass underneath the nipple area
- Nipple discharge in one or both breasts
- In some cases, breast pain or discomfort may occur
It’s important to note that gynaecomastia can sometimes be accompanied by underlying medical conditions such as hormonal imbalances or tumors, so it’s important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing these symptoms. A doctor can conduct a physical exam and run additional tests to diagnose the condition and determine the underlying cause.
Men who have enlarged breasts due to excess glandular tissue or excess fat, are in good health, have realistic expectations, have tried other methods, and are emotionally prepared may be good candidates for male breast reduction surgery. It’s important to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon to determine if this procedure is right for you.
The location of surgical incisions for male breast reduction surgery depends on the severity and underlying cause of gynecomastia. There are two main approaches:
Liposuction-only approach: This approach is typically used for patients who have excess fatty tissue without much glandular tissue. The surgeon makes small incisions, usually less than half an inch in length, around the areola (the dark area around the nipple) or under the armpit. A cannula (a thin tube) is then inserted through the incisions to suction out the excess fat.
Combination approach: This approach is used when there is a significant amount of glandular tissue in addition to excess fat. The surgeon makes incisions around the areola and/or under the chest in the crease where the chest meets the abdomen. Through these incisions, the surgeon removes excess glandular tissue and fat and may also reposition the nipple to create a more natural, masculine appearance.
In both approaches, the incisions are designed to be as small and discreet as possible, and the surgeon will take care to minimise scarring. The specific location and length of incisions will depend on the individual case and the surgeon’s technique. Your surgeon will discuss the best approach for your individual needs during your consultation.
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All surgeries have the potential for complications. Gynaecomastia removal includes risks such as:
- Temporary or permanent numbness, which may be area-specific
- Death of nipple and deeper tissues
- Uneven breasts
- Changes in sensation in the breast and nipple areas
- Inflamed or itchy scars
- An allergic reaction to the anaesthesia used
- Blood clots which could possibly be fatal should they lead to a stroke
After Surgery Recovery
Each surgery and patient is unique, but after surgery recovery will generally include:
- Specific instructions from your surgeon as to your self-care
- A recovery from the liposuction in several days
- Recovery from excision in several weeks
- Avoidance of lifting and physical exercise
Understanding the difference between cosmetic surgery vs. plastic and reconstructive surgery
Cosmetic surgery is a medical specialty that primarily focuses on enhancing a patient’s appearance. It is associated with aesthetic goals aimed at improving or altering physical features to achieve a more pleasing look.
Cosmetic surgery procedures are entirely elective, and they are not typically covered by Medicare or private health funds. In most cases, patients pay for cosmetic surgeries out of their own pockets.
One important distinction to note is that cosmetic surgery is not associated with the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) in Australia, and as a result, there are no corresponding MBS item numbers or codes for these procedures. Therefore, individuals who choose to undergo cosmetic surgery can expect to bear the full cost of the procedure. Surgical costs include (but are not limited to):
- Fee for surgeon
- Fee for anaesthetist
- Fee for theatre
Plastic and reconstructive surgery, on the other hand, is a medical specialty that is primarily concerned with restoring or improving the aesthetic and function of the body.
These procedures often involve addressing congenital abnormalities, trauma-related injuries, or medical conditions that affect a person’s appearance or bodily functions. Importantly, many plastic and reconstructive surgery procedures may qualify for coverage by private health fund providers.
In Australia, plastic and reconstructive surgery procedures are typically associated with MBS item numbers. If the criteria specified in the MBS guidelines are met, private health fund providers may partially cover the cost of these procedures. This means that patients who meet the necessary requirements under their insurance policy can benefit from reduced out-of-pocket expenses when undergoing plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Surgeries such as Abdominoplasty for example can be both a cosmetic or reconstructive procedure.
Please Note: Information provided on Dr Mistry’s website is provided as a basic guide, it does not constitute a diagnosis and should not be taken as medical advice. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.