What is Mastectomy and Why Doctors Prescribe it for Gynecomastia?

Mastectomy is just another term used for male breast reduction surgery. Don’t let the name scare you into thinking it is anything other than that.

There are two types of gynecomastia: true gynecomastia and pseudo-gynecomastia. True gynecomastia is glandular condition, a benign enlargement of the male breast due to a hormonal imbalance in the body.

This type of condition cannot be treated with liposuction, since it is not due to excess fat in the breasts. It will only respond to breast reduction surgery.

The second type, pseudo-gynecomastia is due to being overweight or obese and is caused by excess fat in the breast.

This condition can be treated, often exclusively, with liposuction. The procedure of liposuction is performed by making an incision in the breast and inserting a tube, then drawing the fat out from the tube.

This technique will not draw out the excess glandular tissue which is denser and attached.

A man considering having surgery to reduce the size of his breasts will have to be examined by a doctor to determine which type of gynecomastia he is dealing with. The doctor may perform a combination of reduction surgery and liposuction.

Doctors will prescribe mastectomy, or breast reduction surgery for men whose glandular tissue growth will respond to such a surgery.

The costs associated with this type of surgery are considerable and they must be paid for out of pocket, as insurance will not typically pay for elective surgery. Risks are involved and can be serious. Some of the risks are as follows:

  • Reactions to the tape, sutures, glue, topical preparations and injections, sometimes severe can occur.
  • Risks associated with the anesthesia, which can be so severe that they can cause death.
  • Excessive bleeding or hematoma.
  • Blood clots
  • Breast asymmetry after the operation, sometimes leaving the patient discouraged and wondering why they had the surgery in the first place.
  • Breast shape or contour asymmetry or irregularity
  • Reduction of sensation in the nipples or breasts which is often temporary, but can be permanent.
  • Damage done to deeper structure: nerves, blood vessels, muscles, lungs. This may also be temporary, but can again be permanent.
  • Pulmonary complications, cardiac complications, or deep vein thrombosis.
  • The fatty tissue within the breast may die from oxygen loss, sometimes called fat necrosis.
  • Seroma or fluid accumulation around the surgical area.
  • Infection that can often be severe and lead to hospitalization for lengthy periods of time.
  • Slow or poor wound healing.
  • Pain that does not respond to medication, lasting longer than anticipated.
  • Risk of revisional surgery to correct what the patient may feel is not optimum results.
  • Unsightly and extensive scarring, often leaving the patient distraught or sorry that the operation was performed.
  • Often permanent skin discoloration occurs, especially if the man goes out in the sun to tan.
  • Skin sagging, while predictable before the surgery, can be distressing to the man afterward. Sagging must be targeted by exercises designed to firm up the chest.
  • Be aware that men who smoke have a greater risk of skin loss and slower healing complications. Smoking should be stopped prior to surgery and refrained from post-surgery for at least six weeks.

While these risks are real, they must be considered against the benefits that surgery provides for the patient. There is instantaneous reduction in size and the effects are almost always permanent. Men who gain weight after the surgery however, can expect an enlargement of the breasts again due to excess fat being deposited in the breast.

It is easy for men who need breast reduction surgery to get talked into trying creams or pills manufactured to reduce the size of the breasts or firm them up. While surgery is a real option that offers concrete results, these hormone creams and pills do not offer anything aside from wasting your time and taking your money.

A man may begin to consider the costs of surgery compared with a few bottles of cream, which the manufacturer sells under the guise of a miracle product that has helped millions of other men treat and cure their condition.

In reality, these products do nothing in the way of breast reduction. By their very nature, they can not work. Do not fall victim to their sales tactics, which can be very effective in playing on the hopes and desperation of men who want to get rid of their breasts.

Online sites selling these products, claiming they are a treatment for gynecomastia, are often fly by night companies, mostly overseas where safety nets are not in place to keep them from mixing up batches of toxic elements and bottling them, labeling them, and selling them out of their own countries, to unsuspecting customers.

When the bottom falls out of the market, they close up shop, remix the same junk, re-bottle it, re-label it, and sell it under a new name to treat a new condition.

Gynecomastia is a multi-billion dollar industry for these sellers with no conscience. Do not believe the false claims or reviews on their websites. They have been written by people in third world countries who are paid up to a nickel a review, and will say anything to feed their families.

Another option available to men are compression shirts or gynecomastia garments, which hold the breasts firmly against the chest and visually eliminate the condition instantly.

For many men who do not want to risk surgery, or for men or boys who are waiting to see if their condition will reverse or clear up, gynecomastia shirts are an affordable solution to their problem. Compression shirts can be worn daily with no ill effects.

Regardless of what type of gynecomastia you are dealing with, talk with your doctor, who can often offer different treatment plans to suit your needs. Ask a lot of questions, and get informed before making any decisions. Go slow, and do what is right for you.