Gynecomastia: The Scar Tissue Issue
We answered some questions about subcutaneous gynecomastia scar tissue online the other day and thought we would share our input here. Some of our New York gynecomastia patients have similar questions, and if you’ve recently had male breast reduction, you might be wondering about this issue as well. Here’s some basic information based on our thirty years of experience working with guys and their man boobs.
What to Know about Gynecomastia Scar Tissue
The first two things to keep in mind are the following: 1) the body heals from trauma by scarring—this is essentially a good thing, and 2) the exact formation of scar tissue takes time and is at least somewhat unpredictable. Within a few weeks of gynecomastia surgery, scars tend to begin developing under the skin and continue building for a few months. Then, development tapers off and some of the tissue softens over the next few months in many cases. Most scarring seems to occur directly under the nipple/areola complex for unknown reasons.
We understand why some guys seem very concerned about this process. Many guys with moobs obsess about their case, and this preoccupation can continue after surgery. They want to know if their surgeon didn’t remove enough gland or if excess scar tissue is forming that will mar their results. Some believe that if they can feel something, anything, under the skin it should be treated. Maybe, maybe not!
Your Decision Making Process
If you’ve had male breast reduction surgery and are worried about what you can feel in the center of the breast, here’s a course of action we suggest you follow before you panic:
1) Reflect on how your chest has changed in the weeks following your procedure. If your chest was well contoured after surgery (nearly flat), it should indicate gland tissue was removed properly. Thus, any lumps or bumps forming under the nipple are probably scar tissue and not gland that has been left behind.
2) See your plastic surgeon and talk about your case. You will have post-op visits anyway, so take the opportunity to study the surgical report with your doctor and discuss thickening tissue or any other worries you may have.
3) Consider your options. You may know that steroid injections can help soften scar tissue. Depending on our examination of a patient and the timing, we sometimes propose treatment with cortisone. If bulky but soft scar tissue appears within two or three months after surgery we choose a mild course of treatment; if the tissue is harder and appears later, we get a little more aggressive. Be advised that steroid injections are tricky and should be given by someone who has experience with proper injection techniques and the possible side effects.
4) Do not fall for the “feel this” test! Remember those obsessive patients we referred to? They’re the ones who may have a burning need to pass the “feel my chest and tell me if you feel something in there” test. We always tell our New York gynecomastia patients that we perform male breast reduction to restore masculine contours—that means they can expect to have a smooth, appealing look after surgery. The appearance is what’s important—take a look at our before and after gynecomastia photos to see what we mean.
Let Us Know if We Can Help
We strongly advise guys we talk with to consult their original surgeon with any concerns they have. Assuming a patient has chosen a board certified plastic surgeon who’s very experienced with gynecomastia, the doctor should be able to determine whether post surgical scars need treatment or should be left alone.
If you are not comfortable working with your plastic surgeon any longer, or if you would like another opinion, we would be glad to help. We can have an initial conversation with you by phone—just give us a call at 212-570-6080. Or you can fill out our online form. In the worst case scenario, should you consider gynecomastia revision surgery, know that we have performed hundreds of these challenging procedures and you may want to come to Manhattan to work with us.