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Gynecomastia Recurrence: Can it Come Back?

Posted on Friday, May 10th, 2013 by Dr. Babak Dadvand

Gynecomastia is caused by an excess of glandular, or breast, tissue. Pseudogynecomastia is caused by an excess of fatty tissue. Both conditions can give the male chest a more feminine contour. Surgery for gynecomastia is best performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in gynecomastia surgery. Although recurrence of gynecomastia is not common after excision, it may occur in a few instances.

In my practice, recurrence is very rare (less than 1% of my patients experience recurrence). The goal of gynecomastia surgery is to remove as much glandular tissue as necessary to achieve the ideal contour but at the same time leaving enough glandular tissue to support the nipple-areola complex. This will prevent concavity of the areola.

Conditions that may imitate gynecomastia recurrences but are not related to glandular tissue may include the following:

1. Initial edema swelling for the first few months after surgery

2. Weight gain

3. Scar tissue

Because young people naturally undergo very intense healing processes, they may experience excess production of fibrous tissue (scar). This usually becomes noticeable between 1-2 months after the procedure. If deemed to be scar, a series of kenalog injections may be attempted in combination with scar massage in order to break down the scar tissue that has formed.

Post-surgical use of anabolic steroids following partial removal of the glandular tissue may produce a recurrence of true gynecomastia. To minimize the chances of recurrence in bodybuilders it is essential to excise most of the sub-areola glandular tissue and the entire tail of the hypertrophied glandular tissues.

Finally, in cases of pseudogynecomastia where the excess tissue is predominantly fatty, moderate to significant weight gain may cause a recurrence of the breast fullness. This is not because the remaining fat cells expand.

To learn more about gynecomastia and to view before and after pictures visit my website at drdadvandplasticsurgery.com.

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