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Breast development with men (gynaecomastia)

Gynaecomastia is the medical term for female breast development with men. We speak of gynaecomastia when one or two breasts are abnormally large. The breasts can develop in such a way that they look like female breasts. With gynaecomastia, there generally is excessive gland tissue. In some cases, the female breast development is only caused by excessive fat tissue (pseudo-gynaecomastia). Another possibility is that there is a combination of fat and gland tissue. Gynaecomastia often occurs in young men during puberty and this type of breast development usually disappears spontaneously. However, gynaecomastia can also occur with middle-aged men. Female breast development with men can be a serious problem and can cause feelings of embarrassment.

When the breast development is only caused by gland tissue, the procedure includes making an incision below the areola. The plastic surgeon will separate the excess amount of gland tissue from the skin and the muscle, after which it is removed. The surgeon will leave a small amount of tissue underneath the nipple in order to prevent the nipple from denting. When necessary, some excess skin will also be removed (skin resection). The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia.

When the breast development is only caused by fat tissue, the excess amount of fat tissue is removed by liposuction. This can be done under local or light general anaesthesia. Liposuction only requires a small incision at a location which is not very visible. The surgeon uses a suction tube to remove the subcutaneous fat tissue. First, a fluid is injected that loosens the fat cells and then the fat is removed using a thin, hollow needle (suction cannula).

In some cases, it is necessary to perform a combination of liposuction and the removal of gland tissue. In order to determine whether the breast development was caused by excess gland or fat tissue it is, in most cases, required to examine the breast development with an ultrasound. The small incision made for the liposuction will be closed with tape. When the procedure includes the removal of gland tissue or a combination of gland and fat tissue, the incision is closed with dissolvable sutures. The procedure takes about one to one and a half hour.

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