Does Gynecomastia Surgery Last Forever?
Gynecomastia patients often ask the question ” Does my gynecomastia surgery results last forever?” The simple answer is that it rarely returns. There are, however, a few exceptions.
Usually, the Gynecomastia condition is not a permanent situation. It typically appears during early adolescence and undergoes a series of stages of inflammation, tenderness, and finally resolution. The resolution stage is final in 2 years. If the gynecomastia doesn’t resolve by this time frame, it becomes permanent. If gynecomastia surgery (male breast reduction) is required, it is a permanent solution and lasts forever. There are a few exceptions explained below.
The Causes of Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia occurs in boys or men when their breast tissue enlarges or overdevelops. The breasts grow larger than normal and are sometimes uneven. Often, the condition occurs during puberty, but it can happen at any age.
There are numerous causes of gynecomastia, including:
- Side effects from certain medications
- Use of illicit drugs
- Certain diseases and medical conditions, including liver disease, kidney disease, and testicular cancer
However, gynecomastia is often idiopathic, meaning the cause is unclear.
Most cases of gynecomastia aren’t permanent. Before opting for male breast reduction surgery, a patient should take certain preliminary steps to find the cause of the condition. Some causes will resolve on their own over time.
If the condition is from taking a certain medication, they should stop taking it or switch to something else if possible. If it is from a hormone imbalance, an endocrinologist can treat the cause. Boys going through puberty should also wait until they enter young adulthood to see if the condition resolves itself. The same is true for men who are obese and currently losing weight. Reaching a normal weight could resolve the condition naturally.
Treating a known cause or waiting for the condition to resolve itself is typically the first line of treatment. Most health professionals consider gynecomastia surgery as the last resort after other treatments fail. However, some patients opt for a fast solution instead of waiting the condition out.
What Causes Gynecomastia recurrence?
One of the most common reasons for male breast reduction surgery revision is not breast tissue recurrence, but incomplete glandular breast tissue removal. This could be due to a surgeon who is inexperienced and did not remove the glandular breast tissue completely. In this specific case, the glandular tissue and excess fatty tissue can be stimulated by medications like anabolic steroids or the fat tissue can be stimulated by weight gain.
Options for Breast Tissue Recurrence?
Unfortunately, the only option for glandular tissue recurrence or failure to remove the glandular tissue initially is re-operation. The surgery can be performed through the same incision and the recovery is similar. If the re-growth is due to fatty tissue or psuedogynecomastia, liposuction can be performed. This is a shorter recovery. Plastic surgeons can select the best gynecomastia procedure for you.
Making the Decision for Gynecomastia Surgery
Sometimes, male breast enlargement doesn’t go away. Long-lasting breast enlargement can lead to discomfort and chafing of the breast tissue. It may also make boys and men the target of bullying. The condition may affect their self-confidence, driving them to seek a solution through gynecomastia surgery.
One of the most common questions from gynecomastia patients is whether the surgery lasts forever. The short answer is “yes,” gynecomastia surgery is curative. However, there are some exceptions to the rule.
During surgery, the surgeon removes the excess breast tissue, and the remaining tissue usually doesn’t grow back. However, some factors can lead to a recurrence of the condition.
Gynecomastia that results from the use of medications, hormones, or anabolic steroids could lead to a recurrence post-surgery. If the patient must continue taking the medication or hormones post-surgery, it is much more likely that the condition will recur.
Gaining weight after surgery is another potential cause. Although excess fat is removed during surgery, a good surgeon leaves some tissue in place to create a natural male shape. Gaining weight causes the remaining fat cells to enlarge, possibly causing the condition to recur. When that happens, it may or may not be as severe as it was previously.
The use of liposuction has made removing breast tissue a less invasive procedure. The development of new technology has given skilled surgeons a tool that improves chest wall contouring. Gynecomastia surgery is usually performed as an outpatient and takes 2-3 hours to complete. Most patients experience little to no pain and a short, gentle recovery time.
Finding a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Male breast reduction is one of the simpler procedures performed by a plastic surgeon. However, you should choose a surgeon with the experience and skills to get the results you want. The American Board of Plastic Surgery recommends looking for a surgeon with these three factors:
- Skills and Experience – In performing gynecomastia surgery specifically.
- Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery – Certification is voluntary and it ensures the surgeon has completed the required training and exams for all plastic surgery procedures.
- A History of Good Results – Patient testimonials are the best way to learn how other patients feel about their results.
Why Choose Dr. Delgado for Gynecomastia Surgery?
Dr. Miguel Delgado is a board-certified plastic surgeon who has treated thousands of males with gynecomastia. He is world-renowned for his authority on gynecomastia and is also the medical director of Gynecomastia.org, the largest forum for gynecomastia in the world.
Adam Alkhato, a previous patient of Dr. Delgado, says, “If you are looking for the most conclusive and exclusive gynecomastia private surgical experience in the North West, Dr. Delgado cannot be matched.”
If you are considering male reduction surgery, contact our office at 415-942-9286 or request a virtual consultation on our website.