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High grade gynecomastia: surgical correction and potential impact on erectile function.

INTRODUCTION: Gynecomastia denotes benign enlargement of the male breast. It is a common belief that gynecomastia is stigmatizing and may frequently cause social embarrassment and psychological stress. It is possible that this may reflect on erectile function of the afflicted. High grade gynecomastia requires radical breast tissue excision and skin reduction ending up in aesthetically unappealing scars.

AIM: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the reduction mammaplasty using no vertical scar technique in males with high grade gynecomastia; as regards technical refinements and outcome in the hope of providing a cosmetically appealing solution to this condition. This study also reports on the effect of high grade gynecomastia on erectile function, as well as the effect of surgery.

METHODS: Fifteen male patients with gynecomastia underwent breast reduction using the "no vertical scar reduction mammaplasty." Erectile function was evaluated before and after surgery.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Surgical outcome and erectile function.

RESULTS: All patients but one were satisfied with the outcome. Complications were minimal and manageable. Eleven out of 15 patients had a preoperative International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) score less than 20 denoting erectile dysfunction. All but one (n = 10) showed improvement in their IIEF score following surgery. The difference between pre-operative IIEF (average 17.8) and postoperative (average 23.5) was statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: The "no vertical scar reduction mammaplasty" is a reliable technique in cases with gynecomastia and significant ptosis. It has the added benefits of avoiding the vertical scar, hiding the transverse scar in the shadow of the inferior aspect of the breast, with minimal complications. Gynecomastia as a condition causing a feminized outlook may have a negative impact on self confidence and body image. We suggest that this may have a potential negative effect on erectile function, that can be improved by adequate surgical correction.

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