Background: Gynecomastia is a morphostructural impairment of the mammary region in men caused by parenchymal hypertrophy or a cutaneous distortion of breast skin covering or both. The clinical classification introduced by Simon et al. in 1973 ranks gynecomastia in three degrees. Each subtype can be treated with a specific technique. This article describes an alternative surgical procedure for treating gynecomastia with severe ptosis(type III and type IIIb of Simon's classification).
Methods: Fifty-eight patients were treated for gynecomastia in our Plastic Surgery Unit from 1996 to 2004. The cutaneous excess of periareolar skin is evaluated by a pinching test. A circular periareolar mark is traced corresponding to the cutaneous excess that has to be removed.Initially, liposuction of adipous tissue on the periphery of the mammary region is performed through two cutaneous 3-mm incisions at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions around the areola. After this, the liposuction incisions are enlarged from 10 o'clock to 8 o'clock and from 2 o'clockto 4 o'clock to create access for the mastectomy. This dissection creates a double dermal areolar pedicle. The new areolar position is fixed with a Benelli round block suture.
Results: A resolution of the morphologic deformity without evident scars after hair growth and a correction of the breast deformity has been observed in the 6-month follow-ups conducted for all the patients.
Conclusion: We observed that the vascular-nervous net under the areola at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock is very important, more so than the lateral pedicle, and the conservation of a double vascular-nervous pedicle reduces significantly the risk of areolar necrosis, especially in cases of gynecomastia type III and in cases where there is a high degree of breast malformation such as the tuberous breast.