As you take the necessary steps to educate yourself about gynecomastia and gynecomastia surgery, it will be helpful to familiarize yourself with the common terminology used.
Gynecomastia (enlarged male breasts) – Gyne refers to female and mastia refers to the breast. Gynecomastia is strictly a male disorder in which swelling of the breast tissue is caused by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. Gynecomastia can affect one or both breasts, sometimes unevenly. Generally, gynecomastia isn’t a serious medical problem, but it can be tough for boys and men to cope with the condition.
Bilateral Gynecomastia – A condition of over-developed or enlarged breasts affecting both breasts.
Unilateral Gynecomastia – A condition of over-developed or enlarged breasts affecting just one breast.
Endocrine system – A group of glands that make hormones which help to control activities in the body such as reproduction, metabolism, growth and development. Testing the endocrine system may be done to look for signs of diabetes, thyroid disorders, growth and hormone deficiency, osteoporosis, hypertension and obesity.
Areola – Pigmented skin surrounding the nipple.
Breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) – The surgical removal of breast tissue to reduce the overall size of the breasts.
Male breast reduction – A surgical procedure to reduce excess breast tissue and fat in one or both breasts to reduce the size of the breasts for a firmer, flatter, more masculine chest.
Puffy nipple – Protrusion of the nipple and areola, usually in the shape of a cone, caused by excess breast tissue underneath the nipple and areola.
Breast roll – The accumulation of fat around the outer part of the chest, which can also be present under the arm and toward the back.
Skin excision – The removal of excess skin.
Breast lift (mastopexy) – A surgical procedure to raise the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour.
Liposuction – Also called lipoplasty or suction lipectomy, this procedure vacuums out excess fat from beneath the skin’s surface to reduce fullness.
Free nipple graft – Surgical removal of the nipple and areola, which is then placed in a new position as a skin graft. Used for severe gynecomastia cases.
Sutures – Stitches used by surgeons to hold skin and tissue together after an incision has been made.
General anesthesia – Drugs and/or gases used during surgery to relieve pain and alter consciousness. Patients are put completely to sleep. Administered by an anesthesiologist. This option is only used in a hospital or out-patient surgery center.
Intravenous sedation – Sedative medication administered by injection into a vein to relax the patient so a surgical procedure can be performed without discomfort or awareness. Patients are not put completely asleep, but are in a “twilight” state. This option is most commonly used in an outpatient surgery center and can be administered by a registered nurse or anesthesiologist.
Local anesthesia – A numbing medication injected directly to the surgical site to relieve pain. Often combined with a mild oral sedative. Patients may be awake, but are usually vaguely aware of their surroundings. Not used with major surgery. This option is typically used for in-office procedures. Administered by the surgeon.
Hematoma – Localized swelling that is filled with blood caused by a break in the wall of a blood vessel. The blood is usually clotted or partially clotted, and it exists within an organ or soft tissue space. A risk associated with most cosmetic procedures. Treatment depends on the size and location, but usually involves draining the accumulated blood.
Dr. Joseph Cruise is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 15 years of experience. Regarded as one of the top gynecomastia surgeons in the world, Dr. Cruise has gynecomastia-specific content that can be found at lagynecomastia.org. Dr. Cruise has dedicated his career to cosmetic surgery but has also had extensive training in General Surgery, Hand Surgery, and Microvascular Surgery. Dr. Joseph Cruise is also a member of the Rhinoplasty Society as well as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
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