MALE BREAST REDUCTION
The Starts Technique – Freedom from Gynecomastia
By: Dr. Nathan Newman
What Is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia, the term used for enlarged male breasts is a medical term that comes from the Greek words for “women-like breasts.” Though this condition is rarely talked about, it’s actually quite common, affecting an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men. It may affect only one breast or both. Usually there is no known cause nor any associated medical condition found in patients with Gynecomastia, but the incidence increases with certain drugs, such as digitalis, anabolic steroids, Tagamet, and spironolactone, and with the use of marijuana or alcohol, and with obesity. Medical causes of gynecomastia have been associated with liver or endocrine disease. It is important to check for these medical conditions in people who have gynecomastia. In addition to medical problems, gynecomastia can cause terrible embarrassment, social inhibition and self-consciousness for boys and men who suffer from it. Many will try to hide it with baggy shirts, avoiding bare chested activities, and withdrawing from public exposure. For men who feel self-conscious about their appearance, breast-reduction surgery can significantly help their appearance and self-image. The procedure removes fat and glandular tissue from the breasts, and in extreme cases removes excess skin, resulting in a chest that is flatter, firmer, and better-contoured more masculine-looking chest. Due to improved techniques and more patient awareness, the number of men undergoing breast reductions has doubled over the past decade.
The Best Candidates For Gynecomastia Correction
Surgery to correct gynecomastia can be performed on healthy, emotionally stable men of any age. The best candidates for surgery have firm, elastic skin that will reshape to the body’s new contours.
This is not the way to lose weight. Individuals who drink alcoholic beverages in excess or smoke marijuana are usually not considered good candidates for surgery. These drugs, along with anabolic steroids, may cause gynecomastia. Stopping these drugs is a prerequisite for surgery.
How Is Male Breast Reduction Performed?
Older techniques for correcting gynecomastia were based on scalpel surgery. An incision would be made around the areola, and the fat removed directly through the incision.This results in reduction of the fat, and in improved shape, but left a scar around the areola.
Modern Technological developments such as the Soft Tissue Advanced Rotary Sculpture Systen (STARS) technique, the latest innovation in liposuction technology, has allowed vast advancements in gynecomastia correction surgery.
Post-Op Considerations For The Scalpel Technique Include:
- Some postoperative bruising, swelling, and burning sensation.
- Numbness or lack of sensation could last up to a year.
- Infrequent complications may include infection, skin damage, fluid accumulation, bleeding, scarring or pigment changes.
- Patient may need to wear an elastic pressure garment for 3 to 6 weeks.
- Must avoid exposing scarred area to the sun for at least 6 months.
The STARS Technique
First the breast area is prepared for liposuction by the tumescent technique, by which large volumes of diluted anesthetic is injected into the fat layer of the desired surgical area. with the use of the tumescent technique, the complications and risks associated with general anesthesia may be avoided. Next, liposuction using the STARS technique is used to remove the excess fat from the breasts to give a smooth sculpted result.
The STARS technique in conjunction with the tumescent technique minimizes the risk of gynecomastia correction surgery and has many advantages over the older scalpel method.
Benefits of STARS Technique:
- Allows the cosmetic surgeon to sculpt the body with more ease and finesse to give you the desired results
- Reduces surgical and anesthesia time
- Eases removal of fat
- Reduces blood loss
- Protects nerves, blood vessels and other structures from being damaged
- Reduces bruising
- Reduces pain during and after the surgery
- Reduces length of recovery
- Helps achieve better cosmetic results
- Minimizes scarring
One very important additional benefit of the STARS technique is that only very small incisions are needed. These incisions are not only extremely small, but can be located away from the areola, so that are not noticeable.
What To Expect After Surgery
The patients who have elected to have STARS for their liposuction surgery are able to walk after the surgery and resume their basic daily activities the next day after surgery. They are able to walk, drive, shower, etc. The most common complaint is a feeling of soreness, as after strenuous exercise, which improves over a couple of weeks. Patients are usually able to resume their normal exercise routine within two weeks of the surgery. Most people experience some drainage of the tumescent fluid from the incision sites over night. This usually stops by the next day. There is minimal bruising and mild to moderate swelling for about two to three weeks. Gradually the liposuctioned area heals from the inside and settles into the newly sculpted contour. Most people wear an elastic garment to minimize swelling and discomfort for one to three weeks.
Summary Of Benefits Of Male Breast Reduction:
- Results are permanent (although subsequent obesity can create a gynecomastia-like effect).
- Firmer, flatter, more contoured chest.
- Significant boost in self-confidence.
- Return to work in a few days, unless strenuous activities are involved.
Note: Some insurance companies will pay for breast reduction if it’s considered medically necessary. However, be aware that they may have specific requirements such as a letter from your surgeon, a referral from your general practitioner, and/or photos or other documentation. Be sure to find out what your insurance company requires if you intend to use insurance to pay for this surgery.