Gynecomastia Scars: What to Expect
“Where will the incisions be placed?” “What will my gynecomastia scars look like?”
These are questions every man who’s considering male breast surgery asks at some point, whether he’s online doing research at gynecomastia.org or chatting with us in the consultation room in New York. Gynecomastia patients are actually luckier than patients seeking some other plastic surgery procedures in this regard. Here’s why.
Every surgical procedure leaves a scar as the body heals with tissue that’s more fibrous. In the case of relatively extensive plastic surgery where skin is delicate and there is tension on the wound – such as abdominoplasty, for instance – scars tend to be quite noticeable. In a less invasive procedure, especially in an area where scars can be disguised, the traces of surgery can be almost unnoticeable after healing.
This is the case for most male breast reduction patients. Our own New York gynecomastia surgeries usually involve a 1/8 inch “nick” in the skin on the side of the chest near the armpit where post-op scars are unlikely to be noticed. These heal to look like blemishes.
Sometimes we also make incisions around the areolas. As these small incisions are made along the border of chest skin and the darker skin of the areola, the eventual scars are almost invisible. Take a look at some of our before and after gynecomastia photos to see if you agree (scroll down to the bottom of the photo gallery).
Of course every patient is different, and scars are inherently unpredictable. As you consider surgery, talk with your plastic surgeon about this. Share any worries about scarring you may have, especially if you or a close member of your family has a history of unfavorable scarring. And take note of what you can do to ensure your incisions heal properly, including wearing your post-op compression vest or bandages and limiting strenuous activities that can pull at scars and cause them to widen.
Good news about scars: If a wound heals poorly, plastic surgeons have lots of tricks to improve the resultant scars – so all is not lost.
In any decision about plastic surgery, there are tradeoffs to be considered. One of those tradeoffs is whether the scars that are likely to result are worth the aesthetic and/or functional improvement. Most men suffering the embarrassment of man boobs decide that the scarring they can expect as a result of gynecomastia surgery is well worth the improvement in contour.