Background: Gynocomastia is a relatively common condition in men, with a reported overall incidence of 32% to 36% and as high as 65% among adolescent males in some series.
Objective: We reviewed the senior surgeon's experience over the past decade in the surgical treatment of gynecomastia using suction-assisted lipoplasty (SAL) with a cross-chest tunneling technique, performed alone or in combination with direct excision.
Methods: Thirty-four patients with gynecomastia were evaluated and treated surgically at the University of Texas Medical Branch in the past 10 years. Twelve were treated with cross-chest SAL alone, 16 with cross-chest SAL and direct excision, and 6 with direct excision. Infusion of wetting solution was performed with the use of a 2.0-mm cannula, through an access site at the medial border of the contralateral nipple-areolar complex. Next, a 4.0-mm Mercedes-tip (Byron/Mentor Corp., Santa Barbara, CA) cannula was tunneled across the sternum to liposuction the contralateral prepectoral fatty breast. Patients with composite fatty and glandular tissue first underwent SAL, then direct excision through a periareolar incision; those with only retroareolar glandular tissue underwent direct excision alone.
Results: All patients who underwent SAL alone or SAL combined with excision had satisfactory aesthetic results and no reported postoperative complications. In one patient who underwent excision alone, a hematoma developed.
Conclusions: Despite newer technologies, traditional SAL performed with a cross-chest technique and direct excision as indicated is a valuable approach that yields predictable success. This approach avoids scarring and offers a sculpted reduction of the retroareolar glandular and fatty elements, resulting in a natural, smooth breast contour.