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Can Gynecomastia Come Back After Surgery?

Medically reviewed by Mr. Omar Tillo MD, MS, EBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast)

Gynecomastia, often referred to as man boobs, is a condition where breast tissue overdevelops in men. To correct this, patients may choose to undergo gynecomastia surgery, also known as male breast reduction, a cosmetic procedure to remove the excess tissue and skin. Liposuction can also be used in tandem to remove any excess fat deposits.

In this article, we will discuss the permanence of gynecomastia surgery so that you can better understand if this cosmetic procedure is right for you.

Is Gynecomastia Surgery Permanent?

Gynecomastia surgery is a permanent cosmetic procedure meaning the excised fat and glandular tissue will not grow back. However, it is important to note that regrowth of excess tissue may occur if patients lead an unhealthy lifestyle or as a result of certain drug use and medication post-surgery. As such, it is important that patients follow the aftercare instructions provided by their surgeon to ensure results are maintained.

Main Cause of Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is caused by an imbalance of the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen. Such an imbalance can be due to a range of reasons, including:

  • Obesity: This can cause an increase in the production of oestrogen. Excess fat also causes the breasts to take on a more pronounced appearance. 
  • Ageing: The natural ageing process can cause a reduction in the levels of testosterone and an increase in body fat.
  • Puberty: This can cause a temporary imbalance in hormones, although this typically stabilises with time.

Factors That Impact Reoccurring “Man Boobs”

There are several reasons that excess breast tissue can redevelop after male breast reduction surgery.

Marijuana Use

Marijuana consumption is the leading cause of man boobs in men aged 18-35. This is because marijuana stimulates the production of oestrogen, the hormone that is responsible for the production of breast tissue. In addition, it can cause a reduction in the production of the male sex hormone testosterone. Overall, this hormonal imbalance can lead to the reformation of excess breast tissue. Therefore, patients should avoid the substance to ensure the results from their cosmetic procedure are maintained.

Undiagnosed Medical Issue

Patients who experience gynecomastia recurrence after cosmetic surgery may suffer from a condition known as pseudogynecomastia. This means that there is excess fatty tissue over the breasts and not excess breast tissue. Patients with this condition should pursue liposuction to remove fat and not gynecomastia which removes excess skin and glandular tissue.

Weight Gain

Although fat cells removed during gynecomastia surgery will not grow back, significant weight gain can cause the remaining fat cells to grow bigger. In addition, this can also cause new fat cells to form in both treated and untreated regions. As such, patients should seek to maintain a stable weight through a healthy diet and an exercise regime to prevent recurring gynecomastia.

Swelling After Gynecomastia

Swelling following gynecomastia surgery is a common side effect during the recovery process. To help to reduce swelling and contour the chest area further, you will be provided with a compression garment, which you will have to wear for the first two weeks after your cosmetic surgery.

Ideal Candidate For Gynecomastia Surgery

Your suitability for gynecomastia surgery will be assessed during a 1-to-1 consultation with our surgeon Dr. Omar Tillo. In general, patients in good health, at their ideal weight, who wish to contour their chest are good candidates for male breast reduction surgery. Patients are also advised to wait until the age of 20, which will allow time for any hormonal imbalance caused by puberty to naturally stabilise.

Is Gynecomastia Surgery Worth It?

Gynecomastia surgery is an increasingly popular cosmetic procedure, with many patients reporting enjoyment from a more contoured abdomen, as well as increased comfort in tight clothing. As such, this surgery can be regarded as a worthy pursuit. 

Schedule a Consultation with CREO Clinic Today

If you are looking to contour and chisel your chest by removing excess tissue, gynecomastia surgery may be suitable for you. At the CREO Clinic, our cosmetic surgeon, Dr Omar Tillo, specialises in body contouring and has extensive training and experience in gynecomastia surgery. Contact us today to arrange a 1-to-1 consultation with Dr Tillo and find out how gynecomastia surgery can help you achieve a more chiselled chest. 

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