What is Gynecomastia?
Men sometimes develop excess tissue in the breasts. Clinically, this is called gynecomastia. Most men don’t think of the condition as anything more than having some extra weight and it showing in their breasts. This can make a man consciously avoid situations where he has to remove his shirt such as at the beach or when out on a boat. It can be very embarrassing.
Gynecomastia occurs in as many as 40 – 60% of men. The cause is not always known, but the incidence increases with certain drugs (digitalis, anabolic steroids, tagamet, and spironolactone), use of marijuana or alcohol, and obesity. This condition can cause extreme embarrassment, social inhibition and self-consciousness for boys and men who suffer from it.
What is Male Breast Reduction?
Many men may feel like they need to live with gynecomastia, but the plastic surgeons at Elite Plastic Surgery can perform male breast reduction, giving them back their self-esteem and confidence.
This procedure is designed to restore a more masculine appearance to the male chest, using a combination of breast tissue removal and liposuction to improve chest wall contour. The result is a flatter, firmer and more masculine-looking chest.
Gynecomastia Surgery Before & After
*Individual results may vary
The causes of breast enlargement in men are not fully understood. The condition is prevalent in pubescent boys, with up to 70% having it to some degree, due to elevated estrogen and testosterone levels during those years. Teenage gynecomastia usually goes away as hormone levels return to normal after puberty.
For middle-aged men, hormones can also be involved due to fluctuations that accompany normal aging. Drug use can also be a factor. Certain medicines are more often the cause of male breast enlargement.
Taking these medicines can trigger the condition:
- Certain antibiotics
- AIDS treatment drugs
- Anti-anxiety medicines
- Heartburn-reducing drugs
Who Is a Good Candidate for Male Breast Reduction?
Men with excess fatty tissue and firm, rubbery glandular tissue under the nipple area are good candidates for male breast reduction surgery. Men whose breasts have grown as part of weight gain aren’t candidates for male breast reduction surgery. In these cases, the patients need to first lose the excess weight and then see if the condition persists. Also, heavy drinkers and marijuana smokers are not eligible for the surgery.
Most cases of gynecomastia goes away with time without other additional treatment treatment. If gynecomastia is caused by other underlying medical conditions, treatment options are available to help.
For adolescents that do not have any apparent cause of gynecomastia, our doctors will suggest re-evaluations every three to six months to see if the condition improves by itself. Gynecomastia typically goes away by itself without treatment in less than two years. Treatment may be necessary if the condition does not improve on its own or if it starts to cause significant pain, tenderness or embarrassment.
If gynecomastia does not improve and becomes bothersome despite initial treatment or observation, our specialists may advise surgery. Two gynecomastia treatment options include:
- Liposuction: This surgery removes breast fat, but not the breast gland tissue itself.
- Mastectomy: This type of surgery removes the breast gland tissue. Surgeons typically perform this endoscopically, using only small incisions. This less invasive type of surgery involves less recovery time.
Risks of Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Risks of male breast reduction surgery include:
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation
- Fluid accumulation
Recovery After Gynecomastia Surgery
During your recovery, your surgeon will cover your wounds with dressings or bandages. An elastic bandage or support garment may be used to minimize swelling as it heals after surgery. This will also help support your new chest contour. For more information about post operative instructions, click here!
Male Breast Reduction Results
The final results of gynecomastia surgery are permanent in many cases. However, if gynecomastia resulted from the use of certain prescription medications, drugs (including steroids), or weight gain you must be fully free from these substances and remain at a stable weight in order to maintain your results.
Schedule a Consultation
If you’re considering a male breast reduction and would like more information, contact our Grand Rapids office today! Call (866) 331-0612 to schedule a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons.