Gynecomastia is a condition that affects boys and men, and is characterized by an increase in the amount of breast gland tissue and fat. The result is that the male chest takes on a typically female appearance, which hides the pectoral muscles.
Whilst there are generally few physical complications, in many cases this issue creates significant psychological or emotional problems caused by its appearance.
Gynecomastia is widespread, and it should be noted that in recent years, the number of men who have undergone surgery to correct it has increased exponentially.
Causes of gynecomastia
Based on its origin, gynecomastia is classified into:
- Puberty gynecomastia: physiological process that occurs in puberty (12-17 years), when the intense hormonal production leads to an excessive development of the mammary glands. This phenomenon generally subsides, partially or completely, within a couple of years after the end of puberty. However, it is advisable to consult a paediatric endocrinologist.
- Congenital gynecomastia: the primary cause may be triggered by a change in endogenous hormone levels, which could be hereditary.
- Induced gynecomastia: in these cases, medication capable of compromising the natural hormonal function (common typology among bodybuilders) can be sought.
Types of gynecomastia
Based on the diagnosis made, gynecomastia can be classified as:
- True gynecomastia: the increase in breast volume is caused by an increase in the glandular component.
- False gynecomastia (or pseudo-gynecomastia): the enlargement of the breast is caused by an increase of adipose tissue in the breast area.
- Mixed gynecomastia: the increase in breast volume is caused by the interaction of the two factors above (the most frequent type).
Today, gynecomastia is quite a widespread phenomenon. Cases of false gynecomastia are multiplying, due to the rise of obesity related issues and an overweight population, as well as eating and metabolic disorders, especially in highly industrialized countries. The significant surge of cases in the last decade suggests that the issue will continue to grow moving forward.
The first surgical step is the evaluation of a reduction of adipose tissue through liposuction. This technique is widely applied with adults. But the possibility of breast ptosis must also be taken into consideration in order to establish the most suitable technique to undertake.
Liposuction has two great advantages:
- In general, it allows a certain degree of skin retraction
- Radically decreases bleeding.
Additional liposuction is always recommended to facilitate surgical correction and improve results by reducing both post-operative morbidity and complications.
If evident glandular tissue remains, the appropriate thickness of the gland is removed through a periareolar incision (located just below the lower half of the areola.
«The psychological benefit for kids with gynecomastia is often heart-warming. For this reason, I recommend not waiting too long, especially if the operation is simple and can be completed with a single liposuction. The need to surgically remove the excess gland, in fact, can be evaluated later, especially after puberty.»
Prof. Carlo Tremolada
For whom it is appropriate
Gynecomastia surgery is suitable when needing to reduce or remove breasts that have appeared on a male chest, or in cases of breast ptosis. Treatments with anabolic steroids in bodybuilders often cause the appearance of non-reversible gynecomastia, which must therefore be treated surgically.
The intervention has no age-related preclusions, and can be carried out from school age, but each case must be evaluated individually.
Local anaesthesia with sedation.
Recommended post-surgery treatments
Lymphatic drainage massage.
The patient will stay in the clinic for 2 to 4 hours. The surgery itself lasts from 30 to 60 minutes.
On the first and seventh day after surgery.
2 days. Sport activity should be avoided for at least 3 weeks.
Image team led by Prof. Carlo Tremolada performs gynecomastia surgery in Milan.
You can view before and after photos of gynecomastia operations. The material related to previously treated cases allows to evaluate examples of results according to the different needs.
The cost of surgery for gynecomastia depends on several variables and is tailored to each patient. View the prices page or fill out the contact form below to request further information.