Gyanaecomastia (male breast tissue)
What is it?Gynaecomastia is the formation of breast tissue in men. It can
be quite distressing and people affected feel understandably
self-conscious. Many boys develop it at puberty but it usually
settles with time. There is no reason for gynaecomastia in
the majority of men who have it. In some, however, certain
medical conditions and medications can be associated.
Is Mr Callan experienced at this procedure?Mr Callan has over 20 years of experience at this procedure.
He performs gynaecomastia surgery regularly and keeps up
to date with the latest techniques. As a fully trained plastic
surgeon, Mr Callan performs this procedure to the highest
Can I see photographs?You can see photographs of people who have had this
procedure when you have your consultation. As Mr Callan
performs this procedure frequently, we have a large number of
photographs of those who have your type of gynaecomastia.
Who has surgery for gynaecomastia?Men and boys who develop visible breast tissue which is
distressing for them. It is normal for men to have a small
amount of breast tissue. It looks natural and gives a smooth
contour to the chest.
Am I suitable?You need to be sensible and honest about your reasons for
wanting gynaecomastia surgery and happy with your informed
decision. You should also be as healthy as possible. A time of
personal crisis is no time to be making decisions about such
What would make me unsuitable for surgery?Smoking, being outside the BMI (body mass index) range of
18-28, under stress when making your decision, or having a
medical condition that would make surgery unsafe.
How is it done?Mr Callan performs all his surgery at St John of God Hospital
in Geelong, a fully accredited hospital. An incision is made
inside the areola (coloured part around the nipple). The excess
breast tissue is removed and the skin allowed to retract onto
the chest. For severe gynaecomastia some skin may need to
Will I have scars?The only incision line is the one within the areola. There may
also be a horizontal incision in severe gynaecomastia but this
is rare. The incision lines are always there but as time goes
on they generally improve to the extent that they are barely
visible, so they’re not a great concern for most people.
What are the benefits?What you get out of surgery is entirely a personal matter.
If the size of your gynaecomastia currently distresses you,
surgery may help. However, the benefits depend on whether
or not you have been properly assessed. You may need
to consider other options prior to surgery, such as weight
loss or cessation of some medications, and you may need
What are the risks?All surgery carries some element of risk. You can
minimise your risk by being as healthy as possible and
as psychologically prepared as possible, by selecting an
experienced and qualified surgeon, and by giving yourself
a stress free time during which to recover. The particular
risks and complications of this surgery will be discussed
at your first consultation. The most common of these are
fluid collections and that it takes a couple of months for the
chest to assume its final shape. A few men may lose some
sensation in the nipples but that is not usually a concern.
There are other risks common to all surgery and you will be
made aware of these.
How long will I be in hospital for?Gynaecomastia surgery can be done as a day procedure
but may involve an overnight stay, depending how you are
after the anaesthetic. Someone will need to take you home
from hospital and should stay with you the first nigh t.
Gynaecomastia surgery is not a particularly painful procedure
but can be a little uncomfortable for a couple of days. You will
be given medication to keep you comfortable.
How long will I need to recover?This ranges from a few days to a few weeks. If your activities
are sedentary then you may only need a few days, but if you
do heavy work and lifting you may need up to three weeks.
It’s a good idea to take some time out from more strenuous
activities so you don’t prolong your recovery. Too much
movement will cause fluid accumulation. Mild to moderate
exercise is allowed early on and full aerobic activities after
three weeks. You can shower within hours of surgery as
dressings are minimal. You must not drive until you are fully
recovered from both the anaesthetic and the discomfort of
surgery. If in doubt, don’t.
Will I wear a garment after surgery?You will be given instructions on the purchase of a garment
prior to surgery. This garment is important in the early
postoperative period to help flatten the chest and keep
discomfort to a minimum, as wel as preventing fluid build up.
You can cease wearing it after three weeks. You may shower
from the first day after surgery.
Will I need to be seen after surgery?Yes. We will keep in close contact with you by telephone for
the first few days and then will see you about five days after
surgery, then at three weeks and three months then a year.
You are of course welcome to call or visit any time with any