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What is Gynaecomastia?


Gynaecomastia (sometimes referred to as man boobs or moobs) is the medical term for the development of female breast(s) on a male. The tissue can is comprised mainly of breast tissue, fat or a combination of the two and can sometimes only affect one breast. It can occur at any age but is more common after puberty and can be a source of embarrassment. 


What causes Gynaecomastia

Below are a number of causes that may lead to the development of breast tissue in men:

  • being overweight, 
  • taking steroids,
  • marijuana usage,
  • hormonal causes 
  • genetic predisposition, 

If you are considering surgical correction as a solution I would advise that your GP see you before booking a consultation with your chosen Consultant Plastic Surgeon. 


Men that may benefit from a Gynaecomastia surgery are those who:

  • Have breasts resistant to weight loss
  • Have ptotic (droopy) breasts
  • To improve any asymmetry in breast shape and position on the chest wall
  • Are not happy with the shape of their breasts
  • Want to improve self-image and esteem and be able to wear tighter-fitting garments


How is the operation performed?

The operation is usually carried out under a General Anaesthetic (you are asleep), but can be performed under a local anaesthetic, with or without sedation, and takes around an hour and-a-half to complete. Several different options are available to treat the excess tissue including liposuction (various types exist), open excision and a minimal access approach known as the “Levick” (avulsion) technique. The best approach will be discussed with you by your Consultant Plastic Surgeon following a consultation and assessment of your chest.


What happens after surgery?

You will usually stay in hospital for one night after the surgery, going home the next day.

During your recovery you will be required to wear a tight-fitting compression vest and will be required to abstain from physical exercise for at least six weeks after surgery. A period of at least two weeks off work is advised, depending upon your job.

In my practice, I invite patients to return for a follow-up appointment (usually in a wound check-in clinic) around one week after your surgery, and again at six weeks and three months, and at any time in-between that may be required.

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