Here are some frequently asked questions that Philadelphia and South Jersey male breast reduction doctor Adrian Lo, MD, FACS, FRCS (C), typically hears from gynecomastia patients.
1. How long should I take off from work following surgery?
It depends on your profession. Generally, you should plan to take about 2-3 days off if you work in a comfortable office environment. You should plan to take about one to two weeks off if you perform heavy lifting or strenuous activities for work.
2. How long should I abstain from exercise following surgery?
You should avoid strenuous exercise for about three to four weeks. Light activities and walking may resume immediately after surgery. Dr. Lo recommends that all his Philadelphia / Delaware gynecomastia patients begin chest exercises at 3-4 weeks to shape and sculpt the chest area. This is important for proper healing and to lessen the risk of postoperative complications.
3. How long should I wear a compression garment following surgery?
You should wear a compression garment for four weeks after surgery or as directed by Dr. Lo. The compression garment helps minimize postoperative swelling and provides support for the treated area while you heal. There is a heavier compression garment/vest that you wear for 1 week after surgery, and then most patients wear a lighter breathable compression athletic shirt as recommended by Dr. Lo.
4. If I am traveling from out of town, how long should I plan to stay in the area following surgery?
As an out-of-towner, you should plan to stay in the area for five days to one week following surgery. Please visit the Out-of-Town Patient Information page for more details.
5. How much does gynecomastia treatment cost?
Gynecomastia treatment ranges in cost, depending on the complexity of your situation and surgical procedure. On average, male breast reduction surgery costs $5500 to $8000, including the cost of surgery, operating room, anesthesia and follow-up appointments.
6. Is gynecomastia treatment covered by insurance?
Insurance does not usually cover male breast reduction surgery and/or liposuction of the chest area. Rarely, insurance may cover the procedure if the gynecomastia is caused by a separate medical condition, such as a hormone-producing tumor.
7. What will my scars from surgery look like?
Dr. Lo typically makes the 1-inch incision for male breast reduction surgery around the periphery of each areola, so it is hidden by the pigmented skin in that area. If you need liposuction to reduce fatty tissue in the chest area, Dr. Lo makes the 1/3 inch incision in the underarm area, where it is not easily visible. Also note that with proper care scars fade within about a year after surgery and may be nearly invisible with time.
8. Are surgical results permanent?
Yes, your results are permanent, only in rare cases does it come back.
With true gynecomastia, Dr. Lo excises most of the excess glandular tissue, so gynecomastia does not typically come back unless you stimulate the growth of remaining breast tissue with steroid or other drug use.
With pseudogynecomastia, Dr. Lo performs liposuction in the chest area and removes fat cells. These removed fat cells cannot grow back. However, minor weight gain may cause the remaining fat cells to become enlarged, and major weight gain may cause new fat cells in the treated and untreated area to grow.
9. What type of anesthesia is used during surgery?
Dr. Lo uses general anesthesia for male breast reduction surgery and/or liposuction in the chest area. Another option is twilight sedation where you are awake but comfortable, and feel no pain during the surgery.
10. Do I need to stay overnight at a hospital or medical center following surgery?
Dr. Lo typically performs male breast reduction surgery and/or liposuction of the chest area on an outpatient basis, so you do not need to stay overnight following the procedure. However, you will recover at the surgical center or hospital for a few hours directly after surgery, and a responsible adult must pick you up from surgery and stay with you the first night following surgery.
11. What age do I have to be to undergo gynecomastia treatment with Dr. Lo?
Dr. Lo evaluates each case individually. You do not have to be a certain age; Dr. Lo has provided gynecomastia treatment for teens as young as 13 and adults as old as 65. However, you do need to be in good overall health. Dr. Lo will determine if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure during your consultation.
12. Can Dr. Lo perform multiple plastic surgery procedures at one time?
Yes, it is common for Dr. Lo to perform multiple cosmetic procedures at the same surgery. Often men will have liposuction of the abdomen and flanks/love handles, tummy tucks, nose reshaping or rhinoplasty and facial rejuvenation surgery performed at the same time as their gynecomastia surgery.