(‘Man Boobs’)

Gynaecomastia is an excessive enlargement of the male breast.  It is not an uncommon condition in both teenage boys as well as adult men and can be due to excessive levels of female oestrogen hormone which is normally present at very low levels in males.

In teenage boys, it is often a temporary condition at puberty due to a hormone imbalance in which case it lasts for a few years before eventually settling down.

It is important to appreciate that the male breast is made up of both glandular tissue and fat tissue and an excessive amount of either or both these tissues will cause Gynecomastia.

In adult males, True Gynaecomastia is due to an enlargement of glandular tissue in the male breast and results from any condition that causes an increase in the circulating oestrogen hormone.

This form should be distinguished from Pseudo-Gynaecomastia which is an enlargement of the male breast through excess fat.

Accordingly, Gynaecomastia can be due an increased amount of either tissue component, or both.

An Ultrasound, Mammogram or MRI may be indicated to distinguish between the two types of Gynaecomastia in order to determine the best surgical approach.  This surgery could be excision of the excess glandular tissue, liposuction of the excess fat, or both.

Approximately 35% of adult males have a significant degree of Gynaecomastia and it can be a very embarrassing condition that affects and restricts their lifestyle. Men with Gynecomastia often confess they won’t get involved in activities or sports that require them to expose their chests, or they will only wear very loose shirts and tops to try and camouflage their breast enlargement.

What are the costs?

The total cost of your procedure is made up of each of the following individual costs:

  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Anaesthetist’s fee
  • Hospital costs
  • Pre-operative medical tests
  • Post-operative compression garment
  • Medications

Our Surgeon will give you an itemised quotation at your initial consultation.

Is the surgery eligible for a Medicare rebate?

Liposuction alone for Gynaecomastia does not attract a Medicare rebate.

If, however, you need excision of glandular tissue with or without any associated liposuction, a partial Medicare rebate can be claimed for both the Surgeon’s Fee and the Anaesthetist’s Fee.

If you do qualify for a Medicare Item Number, and you also have Private Hospital Health Insurance, you can also claim a portion of your Hospital Fees depending on your Fund and Level of Cover.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes Gynaecomastia (‘Man Boobs’)?

The male breast is made up of both fat and glandular tissue. An excess of either, or both of these tissue elements, will cause breast enlargement. The appropriate surgical treatment will depend on which of these two tissues is the cause.

What is the treatment for Gynaecomastia?

If the breast enlargement is due to excess fat, straightforward Liposuction will suffice.  If, however, the enlargement is due to excess glandular tissue (which is not removable with liposuction), surgical excision will be required.  An MRI examination can help determine which tissue component is responsible for the enlargement.  If both tissues are responsible, both liposuction and surgical excision would be required.

Do I need to wear a Compression Garment after my surgery?

Yes, but it is a sleeveless, elasticised vest and not detectable under normal clothing.  Although surgeons may differ as to how long compression should be applied after any liposuction, we believe that a better final result is achieved if the compression is applied for 6 weeks after surgery.

Will my breasts enlarge again after surgery?

Whether you have surgical excision of the glandular tissue, or liposuction of the excess fat, under normal circumstances the Gynaecomastia should not return.

How is it done?

If you need only liposuction to the breast, this is best performed in Hospital under General Anaesthesia. However, you don’t need to stay in hospital. You can go home shortly after the procedure provided you have someone to collect you. You cannot go home alone.

Similarly, if you need only a small amount of glandular tissue excised, this is also done in Hospital as a Day-Only procedure.

Only when the Gynaecomastia is very large and requires both excision and liposuction, is an overnight hospital stay required.

What are the costs?

Our Surgical Fee will depend on exactly what needs to be done and accordingly cannot be estimated until our Surgeon has seen you.

In addition to the Surgical Fee, there will also be additional costs for the Anaesthetist and Hospital based on the expected duration of your surgery. Our Surgeon will give you the expected total cost at your initial consultation.

Can I claim any of my costs on Medicare?

Liposuction alone for Gynaecomastia does not attract a Medicare rebate nor does it qualify for Private Health Insurance. However, excision of breast tissue, known as Subcutaneous Mastectomy, does attract a Medicare Rebate, plus a rebate on your Private Health Insurance if you have such Cover.

In addition to the Surgical Fee, there will be additional costs for the Anaesthetist and Hospital based on the duration of your surgery. Our Surgeon will give you the expected total cost at your initial consultation.