The surgeons from UT Southwestern Medical Center have designed a new procedure to retain the nipple’s original color while undergoing breast reduction surgery in men. It prevents discoloration which is common in men who go for the removal of excess breast fat typically after a weight loss.
The complete findings of this procedure are enlisted in the research paper, now published in the journal Aesthetic Surgery Journal Open Forum.
This new process involves the removal of the lower side of the breast and then re-lifting it towards the face, creating the natural breast shape. The excessive fat from breast and skin is removed from the lower side only.
Breast reduction surgery in men is common when they lose several stones of weight by going through any medical procedure i.e. bariatric surgery or simply the lifestyle changes. The standard breast reduction surgery removes the nipple, leaving the men without nipples. However, this case would no more be the same.
Jeffrey Kenkel heads the department of plastic surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He shares that it is common for dark complexion men to lose their nipple color during this surgery. It happens because the blood vessels are cut and removed when they separate a nipple. After it, they graft it back to the chest but this nipple often loses its original color. Nearly 50% of people experience this discoloration of the nipple problem while going through breast fat reduction surgery in men.
This new technique which retains the blood vessels and doesn’t remove them during the surgery. It doesn’t even leave any excessive fat even with retaining the blood vessels. The surgeons would graft the flap back at the end of this excessive fat removal breast surgery by retaining the original color of the nipple.
Medical experts find it better than the standard surgery which grafts the nipple later allowing the discoloration to happen. With this new procedure, the natural color and shape of the nipple would be retained.
Men who have dark nipples were at higher risk of this nipple discoloration. The standard surgery could make their nipples light or give them a weird spotty look which is somehow undesirable by them. The original dark color changes to a much lighter tone of pink. And the truth is that many of these people don’t even consider this risk before they see it.
The breast reduction surgery is more about having a flat chest and less about a discolored nipple. However, most of the patients don’t call this a concern unless they see it after surgery, leaving no way to change it.
Dr. Kenkel completed his first flap procedure in 2011 on a patient who was ready to have this surgery on him. Within the last eight years, 13 other patients have been under this same procedure. All of these patients were over 160 pounds before and they were able to drop their BMI from 52% to below 30%. However, this weight loss transformation left them with excessive, saggy skin and fat breasts.
This new surgical procedure takes nearly 90 minutes and the follow-up period after this surgery is up to 18 months. Only 4 out of 14 people reported some minor post-surgical problems such as late healing, seroma, etc. But most of them recovered fast and without any post-surgical complications. Only those who maintain their weight for at least three months are eligible for this breast reduction surgery in men.