Any invasive surgical intervention that entails the use of general anesthesia is not devoid of risks. Although the procedures performed to correct Gynecomastia are categorized as cosmetic surgical measures, some complications may come into play post surgery. So, it is imperative to gain a thorough understanding of the risks involved in Gynecomastia Surgery vis a vis the benefits of the procedure in order to make an informed decision about undergoing this form of treatment. [Related: Find out cost of gynecomastia surgery]
Medical and surgical issues
Excessive bleeding: Although excessive bleeding post surgery is rare, this is the most likely risk that patients encounter when undergoing any procedure that involves an incision including one that is made for laproscopic procedures. Heavy blood loss during the procedure may create a need for blood transfusion. The risk of hematoma is also high post surgery. In case of blood transfusion, there are chances of infection, including HIV and hepatitis.
Infection: Wound infection is a risk that most patients have to contend with even in case of relatively small surgical procedures. If an infection does occur, additional administration of antibiotics, hospitalization and additional surgery may be required to treat the condition.
Seroma: This is the accumulation of fluids between the skin and the underlying tissue; should a seroma occur, it can be treated by draining the fluids.
Sensitivity and discomfort
Change in sensitivity of the breast skin and nipple: Patients often experience partial or even complete loss of sensitivity in the breast area and around the incision. Complete loss of sensation in both nipples is also a very real risk after gynecomastia surgery.
Hypersensitivity: Some patients may experience hypersensitivity and exaggerated response to temperature changes after the procedure. This can often be corrected by massage in the recuperation phase; however, in some cases the issue may persist and even take on a chronic form.
Post surgery pain and discomfort
Some amount of pain, skin irritability and a burning sensation are common after a surgical procedure; however, these are usually resolved within a few days. In some cases, the pain may persist even after the wound has healed completely if a nerve is trapped in the scar tissue. Chronic pain is rarely experienced post recuperation.
Irregularities in skin contour: There may be palpable differences in the skin contour, including dimpling and wrinkling. While massage after the surgery can resolve this over time, some aesthetic concerns may prevail, requiring additional intervention.
Asymmetry: It is also common for some irregularity in breast size to come into the picture after gynecomastia surgery, as the untreated breast treated will usually be smaller than the one on which the procedure has been performed.
Skin discoloration: Swelling and bruising also occur commonly after a surgery and the skin surrounding the incision may seem darker or lighter. However, it is uncommon for the skin discoloration and even the swelling to persist.
Scarring: All procedures involving an incision will leave a scar; however, the smaller the incision, the less visible the scar will be. Sutures may also cause visible marks; in both cases, if the scars are unusually large or asymmetrical, additional surgical treatment may be recommended.
Fat necrosis: The surgery may cause the fatty tissue inside the deeper layers of the skin to die leading to unusual firmness or dimpling. This can in turn cause visible contour differences and a second surgical procedure may have to be conducted to remove the fat necrosis.
Like all surgical interventions, patients do run the risk of deeper vessel damage during the surgery and there are no guarantees that the condition will not recur after the procedure. In other words, the growth in the adipose tissue may persist even after breast reduction, depending on the hormonal levels of the patient.
Finally, it is imperative to understand that the aim of the surgery is reduce the size of the breast and to not give you a chiseled upper torso. However, it is possible to work on the chest muscles post surgery to get a better muscular definition.