Male breast (gynecomastia)

The overdevelopment of male breast glands, on one or both sides, is called gynecomastia. The genuine gynecomastia must be differentiated from the pseudogynaecomastia, a breast enlarged by fat tissue. Surgery is indicated if a feeling of tension or dragging pain persists or the gynecomastia imposes significant mental distress.

It is vital to determine the hormonal status by blood sample prior to the surgery. An ultrasound-examination as well as a mammogram are necessary to rule out a possibly malignant tumor. Furthermore these image-guided techniques help to determine whether the breast consists of pure fat tissue only or of glandular tissue as well. The result is crucial for both the surgical technique and the cost coverage by the statutory health insurance.

Glandular tissue will be surgically removed through an incision along the areola in a one-hour surgery under general anesthesia. A hospital stay of a day is required. Pure fat tissue can be removed by liposuction through small punctures either carried out as an outpatient surgery or under semiconscious anesthesia.

Gynecomastia often appears in a combination of glandular and fat tissue. Surgery including the removal of the breast gland with subsequent liposuction achieves aesthetically appealing results. A possibly existing distinctive excess of skin can be removed around the areola. Physical rest for one week is advised after the surgery. Sports activities may be resumed about four to six weeks following the surgery. A compression shirt has to be worn day and night for four to six weeks.