Incidence of Complications for Different Approaches in Gynecomastia Correction: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2022 Jun;46(3):1025-1041. doi: 10.1007/s00266-022-02782-1. Epub 2022 Feb 9.


Background: Gynecomastia is nowadays a very common disease, affecting a large cohort of patients with different ages. The aim of this literature review is to assess the incidence of complications with all proposed techniques and for combined procedures versus single approach procedures in gynecomastia correction.

Materials and methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed to identify all reported techniques for gynecomastia correction covering a period from January 1, 1987 to November 1, 2020. For all selected papers, demographic data, proposed technique, and complications' incidence have been recorded.

Results: A total number of 3970 results was obtained from database analysis. A final total number of 94 articles was obtained for 7294 patients analyzed. Patients have been divided into three groups: aspiration techniques, consisting in 874 patients (11,98%), surgical excision techniques, consisting in 2764 patients (37,90%), and combined techniques, consisting in 3656 patients (50,12%). Complications have been recorded for all groups, for a total number of 1407, of which 130 among "Aspiration techniques" group (14,87%), 847 among "Surgical excision techniques" group (30,64%), and 430 in "Combined techniques" group (11,76%).

Conclusions: Several techniques have been proposed in the literature to address gynecomastia, with the potential to greatly improve self-confidence and overall appearance of affected patients. The combined use of surgical excision and aspiration techniques seems to reduce the rate of complications compared to surgical excision alone, but the lack of unique classification and the presence of several surgical techniques still represents a bias in the literature review.

Level of evidence iii: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors .

Keywords: Gynecomastia; Gynecomastia review; Liposuction; Literature analysis; Surgical gland excision.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Esthetics
  • Gynecomastia* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome