Gynaecomastia FAQ's

Am I a good candidate for Gynaecomastia surgery?
You are a good candidate if one or more of the following situations apply to you:

  • If you feel self-conscious abut the appearance of the Gynaecomastia
  • When medical treatment / non surgical treatment has failed
  • Discomfort, some Gynaecomastia can be tender and painful

Surgery may be discouraged in men who are overweight and have not tried proven weight loss techniques such as diet and exercise however disproportionate breasts can be surgically removed. Also men who drink alcohol in excess or smoke marijuana are not usually considered good candidates as these drugs along with anabolic steroids may case Gynaecomastia. Often once these drugs are stopped Gynaecomastia may improve.
What happens when I see Dr Lim?
Your first consultation with Dr Lim will take around 45 minutes and you are most welcome to bring a friend or partner along to your consultation. During the consultation, Dr Lim will take the time to discuss the procedure with you, the changes you desire and any other issues that you feel are important to you. This will help Dr Lim understand your expectations and determine if they are achievable. Dr Lim will explain the risks of surgery and discuss the methods of Gynaecomastia surgery with you.

During your consultation, your Gynaecomastia will be assessed and photographs will be taken to plan the procedure. You will be given a written quotation and information to take home to read. You do not have to make the decision to proceed with the surgery at this initial consultation. Dr Lim will discuss the reasons for your gynaecomastia and may arrange further tests if these are required.
How will Dr Lim evaluate me for surgery?
Dr Lim will examine you and assess the type of tissue requiring removal. He may send you off for further tests to assess the reason for your Gynaecomastia if required. You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. This will include information about any medical conditions you may have, any medications you are currently taking, any drug allergies you have, medical treatments you have received and any previous surgery you may have had. It is important for you to provide complete and correct information. If you are planning to lose a significant amount of weight, you will need to discuss this with Dr Lim. He may recommend that you stabilise your weight before undergoing surgery. A second consultation (at no extra cost) is usually required if you wish to proceed with surgery.
How should I prepare for surgery?
It is advisable to stop smoking at least two weeks prior to surgery and two weeks following surgery. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory medications can increase bleeding and should also be avoided two weeks prior to surgery. You will be given all pre-operative instructions prior to your operation and the staff from Dr Lim’s rooms will be in touch with you before your operation to discuss any further last minute questions you may have. You will need to contact the hospital a day before your surgery to confirm your admission and fasting time.
Where will my surgery be performed?
Dr Lim performs the surgery in fully accredited hospitals: Castle Hill Hospital and Westmead Private Hospital. Gynaecomastia procedures are performed under general anaesthetic and you can expect to be in hospital for most of the day unless staying over night.
What will the day of surgery be like?
You will need to contact the hospital a day before your surgery to confirm your admission and fasting time. On entering the hospital, you need to report to the admissions desk and the staff will direct you through the admission process. Dr Lim and the anaesthetist will both see you prior to surgery and Dr Lim will make some markings on you. Following the surgery you will spend some time in the recovery room where you will be closely monitored until you are fully awake. You will have an elastic bandage or compression garment around your chest and may have surgical drains on both sides to drain away fluid that may accumulate after surgery.
How will I look and feel initially?
The first few days after surgery are generally the most painful, particularly when you are moving around or coughing. You will be prescribed pain medication during this period and Dr Lim will provide a prescription for you upon discharge. It is also normal to feel tired and a little slow for a day or two after an anaesthetic. You will have dressings over your incisions and will be able to shower 48 hours after surgery. Over the following two weeks your bruising will resolve and the majority of the swelling will resolve within a month or so. You should avoid straining, bending and lifting during this time as these activities may increase swelling and/or cause bleeding. You will need to wear a compression vest continuously for three weeks day and night and then for a further three weeks at night only.
When can I resume my normal activities?
The recovery period following this surgery varies from person to person but most people are back to their normal routine within a few weeks. In the mean time, it is important to begin getting back to normal and you will be encouraged to begin walking around on the day of your surgery. Returning to work depends on your job demands and Dr Lim will advise you regarding this. You may be able to return to light work within a week. Once again, Dr Lim will discuss your individual situation with you.
How is the Gynaecomastia surgery performed?
The type of surgery performed will depend largely on the type of tissue causing your Gynaecomastia. If the tissue is fatty tissue liposuction alone may be used. During this procedure a slim hollow tube called a cannula is attached to suction and inserted through one or more small incisions. The cannula is moved through the tissue using firm strokes to break up the fatty tissue which is then suctioned away. If the tissue is glandular a small cut is made at the lower edge of the areola and may be extended onto the skin. The gland tissue is then dissected away and removed. The procedure usually takes between one to three hours to perform.
I understand that all surgical procedures have risks involved but how do I find the information to make an informed decision?
Dr Lim will discuss with you the risks involved and the potential complications of the surgery and fortunately, significant complications from Gynaecomastia surgery are infrequent. We endeavour to have our patients as fully informed as possible and while some of the potential risks seem frightening, it is important for you to be aware that they can occur. Some of the potential complications that will be discussed with you are:

  • infection
  • accumulation of blood (haematoma)
  • loss of sensation in the nipple
  • loss of nipple and areola tissue
  • asymmetry
How long will the results last?
While you will be slightly swollen following the surgery and it may take several months to see the ultimate result of the surgery, the benefits will be immediately obvious to you. Your chest shape will continue to be affected by the changes that ageing, weight loss and weight gain produce in all men.
How long do I need to see Dr Lim for following my surgery?
Dr Lim will monitor your progress carefully and the staff will stay in contact with you during the post-operative period. Your relationship with Dr Lim and the nursing staff does not end once you have had the procedure. If you have any questions or concerns after your operation, you are always welcome to call and discuss these with us.