Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi says it has carried out the procedure on 30 patients so far Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: A new procedure developed by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi for treating gynecomastia, enlarged breast tissue in men, does away with the problem of a ‘dished-out appearance’ post-surgery, the hospital says.

Get exclusive content with Gulf News WhatsApp channel

Normally, patients undergo surgery, during which physicians remove excess breast tissue and skin, perform liposuction, and reposition the nipple areola complex to a more natural position. However, the removal of the tissue often causes a concave dip in the chest, known as a dished-out appearance, which can hamper the patient’s self-image and overall post-surgical outcomes.

Reconstructive procedure

Now, experts at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of the M42 network, say they have created a new reconstructive procedure aimed at enhancing surgical results for gynecomastia, a common problem affecting men around the world. The technique, conceptualised and performed by Dr Rafal Iskanderian involves utilisation of the thickened and anomalous inframammary fold that forms under enlarged breasts to augment the pectoralis muscle, the largest muscle in the chest wall, thereby preventing the undesirable dished-out appearance after this type of surgery.

Dr Rafal Iskanderian

Dr Iskanderian, who is Staff Physician in the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Programme at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, said: “Traditionally, the anomalous inframammary fold is carefully resected and disposed, but this can create an abnormal torso image. Our novel technique seeks to avoid the undesired appearance that may result from gynecomastia corrective surgery, and can significantly enable young men opting for the procedure to become confident in their own skin. We have carried out the procedure on 30 patients, and the results are extremely promising and well-received”.

read more

How common is the problem?

Gynecomastia, which is caused by hormonal imbalances, steroid or medication use, obesity, or organ malfunction, is believed to affect up to half of all healthy men around the world. If the condition does not resolve itself within six months, or disrupts an individual’s self-confidence, surgical intervention is the prescribed course of action.

There is growing awareness about gynecomastia, with the condition reported by 30 per cent of patients seeking care through Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Breast Health Programme.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi treats about 100 cases of gynecomastia each year. While the condition is itself not a risk factor for breast cancer, every patient is initially screened through imaging, and even biopsies if required, to ensure that the enlarged breast tissue is not malignant. This is crucial since 0.5 to one per cent of breast cancer patients around the world are men.

The Breast Health Programme at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi provides a clinical assessment for men with gynecomastia, utilising an approach encompassing history, examination, complete blood workup, and imaging tests. This process aims to accurately diagnose hormonal imbalances and rule out potential malignancies associated with gynecomastia.