Reconstructive Plastic Surgery


Gynaecomastia is a common condition prevalent in men of all ages. Treatment for gynaecomastia is managed in many different ways and is dependent on your individual circumstances.

During your consultation at RPS our surgeon will discuss your individual options with you.


What is Gynaecomastia and What is the Treatment?

Gynaecomastia is an increase of male breast tissue and can occur in one or both breasts, causing them to sag or change in appearance. This condition can cause emotional distress and affect a man’s self-confidence.

There can be many causes for gynaecomastia, some of which may resolve with time. If gynaecomastia is the result of medications, changing or ceasing medication will help. If it’s the result of another underlying medical condition, getting treatment for this condition may help.

Based on the cause, we can help to tailor a treatment plan to suit your needs. This may be in conjunction with your GP or with other specialists. If surgery is necessary, we will discuss the options with you.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Insertion of a plastic tube (drain) may be necessary at the time of surgery to remove excess fluid. To help you recover your surgeon may prescribe any of a variety of pain medications. You may feel tired and sore for the first two weeks after surgery. It’s normal to experience pain, bruising, swelling and numbness.

We recommend no heavy lifting and to avoid strenuous exercise, sports, and swimming.


Notify the RPS team immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • fever/high temperature – 38°C or higher
  • shortness of breath
  • breast leakage after day one of recovery – blood or fluid
  • increasing pain in either breast
  • increasing redness around incision site
  • heavy bleeding from incisions site.
More information

What else you should know

When should I seek help?

Always consult your doctor if you are experiencing:

  • swelling
  • pain or tenderness
  • a nipple discharge from one or both breasts.

If you are experiencing emotional discomfort, you may want to speak with a counsellor or psychologist for extra support.

What questions should I ask my doctor?
  • What treatment options are available for gynaecomastia?
  • Will surgery fix my gynaecomastia?
  • Will treatment reduce the breast tissue size and any soreness?

Is surgery right for me?

Whether surgery is a viable option depends on the individual. This treatment may not be suitable for everyone. You will need to talk with a specialist plastic surgeon before you make a decision. They will consider your condition, general health and advise on the most suitable treatment.

There are a few things to consider before gynaecomastia surgery, including:

  • Surgical management of gynaecomastia requires incisions. Incisions are most commonly hidden in natural contours or in the areolae, however some scars may be visible.
  • If you are overweight and haven’t tried to lose weight through diet and exercise, surgery may be best considered after weight loss.
  • For younger men, we will consider the impact of growth and hormonal changes on breast growth before considering surgery.
  • If gynaecomastia is a result of alcohol or drug/prescription drug use including steroids, an enduring result from surgery will depend upon you being free of these medications.
  • Weight stability is essential to maintain the results of surgery.

Gynaecomastia surgery may be a suitable option if:

  • You have tried alternative medical treatments and they haven’t been successful.
  • Your breasts make you feel self conscious.
  • You experience discomfort as the breast tissue is tender and sore.
  • You are physically healthy.
  • Your expectations are realistic.
  • Your breasts are fully developed.
  • You can cease smoking and drug use or do not use these drugs.
Will I have scarring?

Incisions are normally hidden in natural contours or in the areolae, however some scars may be visible. Surgery may leave small scars around the areolae.

Are there any potential complications and risks associated with gynaecomastia surgery?

Generally, modern plastic surgery is safe, however there are some potential risks and complications.

  • allergic reaction to anaesthesia, potentially fatal cardiovascular complications such as heart attack.
  • A blood clot in the deep veins of the legs (deep vein thrombosis), which can travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolus) or even to the brain and become life-threatening.
  • Allergic reaction to dressings, tape adhesive or other materials used during or after surgery.
  • Excessive bleeding.

Some potential complications and risks associated with surgery for gynaecomastia may include:

  • Slightly mismatched nipples.
  • Temporary numbness or loss of breast sensation.
  • After surgery breast growth can reoccur if breasts are not fully developed.
  • Another procedure may be necessary to remove excess skin.
  • Permanent pigment changes in the breast area.
  • Visible scarring (including keloid) that is red and raised and can be itchy – but pose no threat to your health.
Our Canberra specialists

The team at RPS Canberra are committed to providing you with the best possible outcome.

The extensive specialist skills of our surgical team ensure that you are provided with surgical options designed to maximise form and function.

Our surgeons hold an impressive array of academic credentials, extensive professional experience and a personal commitment to patient satisfaction.