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Medical Articles

Stephanie W. Holzmer, Priya G. Lewis, Mark J. Landau, Michael E.Hill


Gynecomastia is a graded condition characterized by enlargement of the male breast that affects a significant proportion of the male population. A plethora of varying surgical approaches currently exists in the literature; thus this comprehensive review sought to analyze surgical practice patterns and trends as they pertain to gynecomastia grade and severity. The current literature was queried utilizing the PubMed and MEDLINE databases—based on predefined parameters and individual review, 17 studies were ultimately included. Key data points included gynecomastia grade, surgical intervention, rate of complication, including hematoma, seroma, infection, and necrosis, and drain use. Two-sample t test was utilized for further analysis. A total of 1112 patients underwent surgical treatment for gynecomastia. Skin-sparing mastectomy with or without liposuction was the most frequently used procedure followed by mastectomy with skin reduction. Major complication rates ranged from 0% to 33%, with hematoma formation being most common (5.8%) followed seroma (2.4%). There was a higher rate of hematoma/seroma formation among authors who routinely utilized drain placement (9.78% versus 8.36%; P = 0.0051); however, this is likely attributable to the large discrepancy in percentage of grade III patients found in each group (50.23% versus 4.36%; P = 0.0000). As a wide variety of surgical techniques exist for the treatment of gynecomastia, an individualized approach based upon gynecomastia grade and patient preference may assist the surgeon in providing optimal outcomes. This senior author’s preferred method for treatment of gynecomastia is illustrated in the included algorithm. 

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doi: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000003161