You read that right. Male breast reduction. You’ve heard the slang term for it, "man boobs," but the condition deserves more respect. The medical term is gynecomastia and it applies to men whose breasts are enlarged. The plastic surgery community estimates that 40% – 60% of men suffer from gynecomastia and do nothing about it. Instead, these men avoid taking their shirts off in public, going swimming, and wear ill-fitting clothing to conceal the condition of their chest. Aydin Plastic Surgery's double board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Bill Aydin, performs male breast reduction to correct the situation to give his patients back their body confidence.
CAUSES OF GYNECOMASTIA
The causes of adult gynecomastia are not all known. We do know that in pubescent boys, where the condition is common (affecting up to 70% of boys to some degree), an estrogen and testosterone imbalance is suspected. Teenage gynecomastia usually passes as hormone levels stabilize. Middle-aged and older men can also have enlarged breasts due to shifts in hormone levels that come with aging. Certain medicines also can cause gynecomastia:
- Anti-anxiety drugs
- AIDS treatment drugs
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Heartburn treatment drugs
Men whose breasts have grown as part of weight gain are not candidates for male breast reduction surgery. They need to first lose the excess weight and see if the condition persists. Also, heavy drinkers or marijuana smokers are not eligible for the procedure as their breast enlargement may be a byproduct of usage.
Men with gynecomastia have a firm rubbery mass underneath the nipple area. The size is usually less than 2 inches across and may be sensitive to touch. In an attempt to reduce the condition, your doctor may prescribe medication that reduces the amount of estrogen your body is producing.
"Best Decision I Ever Made in my Life, I Have Never Looked Better! - Paramus, NJ - Dr Aydin is the best Plastic Surgeon and I will NEVER use anyone but him if I ever need any work done again. I had a full tummy tuck, lipo sculpting for fat transfer and I am so grateful for Dr Aydin! I look better now, then most 18yr olds and I just turned 40 with 3 kids! You know a Doctor is good when 2 of your friends go to him after they see your results. He has also done my botox, my friends botox, he removed a Callus on my finger, he cut it out and the scar looks like the natural line on my finger, he is REMARKABLE! I trust him with my life, I know he knows exactly what a woman wants and he makes that a realty. Dr Aydin and his team, are unlike any other, they took care of me, he called to check on me all the time, he took his time when he was doing my surgery (most doctors rush), he made sure his work was perfect (he is a perfectionist), he even made a house call, there is no Doctor like Dr Aydin and I am so grateful for all he did to help me look amazing! ?? "- J. / RealSelf / Jan 09, 2016
"Thank you Dr. Aydin & Staff!!! - I was beyond impressed with my experience with Dr. Aydin and his amazing staff! He is extremely intelligent, a compassionate and caring person, and a truly outstanding experienced plastic surgeon. From entering the office, to the cleanliness and order of the procedure, all the way to the follow up after my surgery - professionalism is second to none! I was completely blown away by how helpful..."- L. / RealSelf / Jun 01, 2017
"34 Year Old Male, Tumescent Liposuction of Lower and Upper Abdomen, Flanks, and Upper Back - Personable, easy to talk to, patient, attentive to detail, exceptional at his practice."- E. / RealSelf / May 30, 2017
"Amazing experience - Once I stepped into the center, l felt at ease and all "surgery" fear, went away.Immaculately clean center. Very well kept. You are promptly greeted by Miray and Victoria, beautiful, sweet, smiling and very respectful girls. Less than 5 minutes, you are called in. You pass by more smiling faces and very clean rooms. Two minutes and the doctor is in greeting you.Dr Aydin is very nice,..."- A. / RealSelf / May 16, 2017
"Dr. Aydin and His Staff - Paramus, NJ - Where should I even begin about Dr. Aydin? What a spectacular doctor! Not to mention his office is top notch with such friendly staff. Everything about them is exceptional. I decided to have a breast reduction and lypo on my waist areas. This was the first time I've gotten cosmetic work done. I was feeling a little apprehensive about the whole process. I had my first consultation in addition..."- S. / RealSelf / May 16, 2017
Before surgery is recommended, the surgeon will perform a variety of tests and possibly prescribe medications to see if any improvement occurs. If the breast enlargement persists, surgery is an option. Mild cases of gynecomastia are corrected with liposuction. Small incisions are made surrounding the areola where suction tubes (cannulas) are inserted to extract fat and breast tissues. When the enlargement is severe, a longer incision is done to excise breast tissues and loose skin. Skin tightening may also be incorporated and the nipples repositioned so that they are proportional to the new chest shape.
Male breast reduction surgery uses general anesthesia and is performed in an accredited surgical facility. The operation lasts up to an hour. It is normal to have bruising and swelling around the chest area for the first couple of weeks. A compression garment must be worn for about 2 weeks to help with reshaping and healing. Most patients are able to return to their normal routine after a few days but must avoid any strenuous physical activities, especially ones that will put pressure on the chest. Results are generally satisfactory with patients regaining their confidence in situations where their chests are bared.
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Male Breast Reduction FAQs
Is This Gynecomastia?
This condition must not be confused with a false gynecomastia, also known as pseudogynecomastia, in which the enlargement is caused by fat deposits instead of breast tissue development. The plastic surgeon will be able to determine this by physical examinations or lab tests during the initial consultation. If it is a case of excessive fat tissues on the chest, the approach in treatment is the same when removing excess fat tissues in any part of the body. Proper diet and exercises are initially recommended before considering any surgical treatment. However, if the issue persists, a liposuction – sometimes even combined with a lift – may be performed to reshape the chest.
Will My Pecs Show?
Gynecomastia, unfortunately, hides the normal chest muscles that lie underneath the layers of overdeveloped breast tissue. For those who have severe gynecomastia, it is even possible that the overgrowth of breast tissue has developed into internal scarring. With a breast reduction surgery, all excess fat and breast tissues will be removed and the pectoralis muscles will be spared so that they can become more visible. With proper diet and exercise after the surgery, men will be able to tone and strengthen their chest muscle to regain the chest’s natural form.
Is Lipo A Must?
Liposuction is the primary approach in extracting fat or any soft tissues. Because it uses a small cannula to vacuum the fat out, it is a less invasive approach compared to excising the tissue, which requires longer incisions. There are liposuction options that are even less invasive. These options will be provided with more details prior to the surgical plan so the patient can consider all factors and ultimately decide which technique is preferred.
Will There Be Scars?
If the breast reduction technique uses liposuction, the incisions will be minimal and will be placed around or near the areola. The plastic surgeon will make every effort when it comes to making the incisions and suturing to minimize the effects of scarring.