Will my skin tighten after surgery? Nearly all our New York gynecomastia patients ask this question in one form or another. Given our three decades of serving guys with man boobs, we can usually make a very good guess about this aspect of surgery with a careful examination and conversation.
Here are some things we’ll want to talk about when you visit our New York gynecomastia consultation room.
Skin gives up elasticity with age—you are probably aware of this. Collagen and elastin fibers break down, which leads to droopiness and an impaired ability to bounce back after being stretched. This is a general principle, though, and genetics also play a role in skin quality. We see great variability from patient to patient in terms of the way skin ages.
If you’re overweight now, your chest skin will have stretched to accommodate the extra pounds. If you were once heavy and have shed the weight, your skin will still be somewhat affected by expanding and shrinking. The overall impact of extra weight depends on how heavy you are or were, and for how long. Just like a rubber band, if surface tissues are stretched moderately and for a short time, they’ll retain a good measure of elasticity.
A unique characteristic of teens with gynecomastia is that they usually can count on significant skin elasticity. We are often amazed at how much skin spontaneously tightens, even when a young guy comes to us with very large breasts.
You probably think of UV damage when you consider environmental influences on your skin, and you’re right. If you’re a sun worshipper or frequent a tanning salon, your skin will be affected. You should also know that smoking has a negative impact on your skin as well, and on all the tissues of the body. By restricting blood flow, nicotine hinders your skin’s ability to heal from trauma and stay young looking.
For most of our New York gynecomastia patients, we have a very effective strategy for enabling the skin to lie smooth after surgery. Even if we are simply removing excess breast gland under the nipple for a bodybuilder, for instance, using tiny incisions, we gently undermine surface tissues with a slim cannula (with suction turned off). This allows the skin to re-drape and flatten out, often right on the operating table!
When we believe a patient’s skin may not shrink enough on its own for a good surgical outcome, that’s when it’s decision time. We talk at length with guys in this category to help them make the best choices. If it’s a borderline case, patients may elect to have the minimal incision surgery and see what the recovery period brings. If the skin does not tighten up enough within a few months, they may choose a second procedure to remove excess skin and reposition the nipples. This then becomes a staged surgery.
For guys who are overweight with large breasts, or patients with man boobs whose skin is loose already, we may recommend surgery that leaves scars underneath the breast fold and around the areolas. For some, there’s simply no way to have a flat, masculine looking chest without skin removal and consequential scarring. Scars will fade with time and most often leave narrow, light colored lines, but they will not disappear. These patients have the choice of a masculine appearing chest—one that will look much better in clothing—or keeping their man boobs. For more on the choices and a few before and after gynecomastia photos of men with larger breasts, visit this page of our site.
The best way to gain an understanding of what you can expect from your skin after gynecomastia surgery is to schedule a consultation with us. We’ll examine you carefully, give you our best judgement and make a recommendation and/or explain any choices you may have. Then the decisions are entirely up to you.
Why not contact us today?
Reach out to Dr. Jacobs today to schedule your consultation!