I feel it is important that anyone having surgery with me is aware of the possible negative sides of surgery and understands the small but real risks. The following paragraphs cover what happens when things occasionally don’t go as expected.
Like all surgery there are risks of complications whoever does your surgery. It is important you are aware that many of the problems you may get after your surgery, if they are treated promptly, have no obvious effect on the final outcome.
It is unlikely your chest is symmetrical before surgery and there may be a small degree of asymmetry after the operation. (If it is a big difference then a surgical correction can be discussed). All operations have a risk of bleeding. In gynaecomastia surgery there is a small risk that a blood transfusion may be required (no more than 1%) or that there may be bleeding leading to a collection of blood (haematoma), which needs to be removed under an anaesthetic (less than 2%). Infection is rare and antibiotics are given around the time of surgery to reduce the risk. Some people form bad scars (about 2%) and these can be troubling for a while although often respond to treatment over several months.
There is a small risk of seroma (fluid collection under the skin) this is normally treated by removing the fluid with a syringe and needle in clinic; occasionally further surgery can be required. There may be some numbness of the skin, this will normally get better over a period of time but there is a small risk of small areas of permanent numbness.
Risks particular to gynaecomastia surgery are problems with nipple sensation which may be lost or significantly reduced and can be permanent. There is a very small risk of the nipple not surviving (less than 1%) in its new location and this can require a reconstruction which will not be a good match for the other side. There may be some contour irregularity once the swelling has settled. At the limit this can require a fat transfer procedure.
Other rare problems include some wound breakdown in the wound under the chest which mostly responds to a period with dressings and a problem termed fat necrosis where some of the internal fat loses its blood supply and causes inflammation and hardness and occasionally an oily discharge. Again this responds in the main to dressings and has little if any impact on the final result. All operations can result in long-term discomfort.
All operations have a small risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), chest infection and Pulmonary embolism. Death following elective surgery is exceptionally rare (1:250,000 in fit and well people)
As this is a surgical procedure to deal with appearance no guarantee can be given to the final appearance, but if we agree it is an unsatisfactory result correction will be offered at no additional cost.