Gynecomastia is a medical problem that causes enlarged breast tissue in men.
This condition can occur in men at any age, but it’s most common in these populations:
- Birth: About 50% of male infants have enlarged breasts, but they usually go away after the first month.
- Puberty: More than 50% of adolescent boys have enlarged breasts to some degree. Changing hormone levels, including increases in estrogen and decreases in testosterone, can make the breasts grow. However, the problem usually goes away as the boy’s hormones level out in six months to two years.
- Adults: Enlarged male breasts occur more often in men over 50. As they age, the body produces less testosterone, and it may have more fat that boosts estrogen production.
There are many reasons men get gynecomastia, but imbalances of estrogen and testosterone are most common. Some conditions that cause breast enlargement in men are:
- Adrenal tumors
- Kidney failure or kidney disease
- Thyroid disease
- Liver disease
Some men also get gynecomastia from taking steroids, and the problem may disappear once the patient stops taking these medications.
Your doctor will perform a medical evaluation to determine if you have gynecomastia and check your medical and family history. Blood tests, a breast ultrasound, and a mammogram may be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Dr. Smita R. Ramanadham is a double board-certified plastic surgeon who can improve the appearance of your chest with gynecomastia. She also can perform many other related procedures in the New Jersey, New York City, and Tri-state areas.
The procedure may vary somewhat by the patient, but gynecomastia usually involves these steps:
Dr. Smita will administer general or local anesthesia to ensure your comfort during the procedure.
If the gynecomastia is from extra fatty tissue in the breasts, your surgeon may use liposuction. This procedure involves inserting a thin cannula through several incisions.
The surgeon moves the cannula back and forth to break up the fat, which is then sucked out.
There are several liposuction methods the surgeon can use, but the most common is tumescent liposuction. This popular procedure involves injecting lidocaine and epinephrine in the target area to reduce bleeding and swelling.
Then, the surgeon inserts the cannula to remove the fat and injected fluids.
Excision may be needed if extra skin and breast tissue need to be taken out to correct the problem.
Many gynecomastia procedures involve liposuction and excision, but Dr. Smita will review your anatomy and let you know.
Benefits Of Gynecomastia
Men with enlarged breasts may feel they don’t look masculine enough. Gynecomastia can change the appearance of the chest to offer these benefits;
- Improve self-confidence: Diet and exercise help but may not make the breasts smaller on their own. Many men can only get a more masculine chest with surgery. This procedure allows them to wear tighter clothing and not be shy about going to the beach without a shirt, which increases self-esteem.
- More masculine physique: This procedure makes the chest more sculpted and aesthetically attractive.
- Better posture: Many don’t know that the size and shape of one’s chest can affect posture; it can make the upper spine curve and cause serious problems, such as a humpback. And some men even hunch over to hide their chests and this can deform the spine over time.
- Lose weight: Extra weight in the chest can make exercise uncomfortable, so men with gynecomastia may avoid working out. This can interfere with weight loss and good health.
- Reduce back pain: Women with big breasts aren’t the only ones that can have back pain. Men with enlarged breasts can have severe back pain from this condition, especially those who have weak back muscles.
- Long-term results: When the fat and glandular tissue is removed from the chest, they won’t return. As long as you eat a healthy diet and exercise, you shouldn’t have additional problems in this body area.
Ideal Candidates For Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia is major surgery and not everyone is an ideal candidate. Dr. Smita will perform a medical evaluation to determine if you are a candidate for the procedure. She may recommend gynecomastia if you fit these guidelines:
- Your condition cannot be corrected with diet, exercise, and drug treatments
- You don’t have a severe medical condition that can hamper healing
- You don’t smoke or use drugs
- You have an optimistic outlook and specific goals to improve your condition
- You’re in good overall health and aren’t overweight
- Your breast development is stable
- You feel as if your breasts are large or unattractive
Some adolescents may qualify for this procedure, but they could need other surgeries if the breasts continue to develop.
Surgery Preparation For Gynecomastia
Preparing for gynecomastia surgery means you should be sure you don’t take medications that may cause bleeding.
Also, you shouldn’t smoke several weeks before and after surgery, and eat a healthy diet to speed healing and recovery.
Gynecomastia Risks And Complications
Like any surgery, gynecomastia has some degree of risk. But a board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Smita will reduce the risks if you follow her guidelines in a committed way.
Serious complications are unusual in this procedure, but some of the most common are:
- Poor response to general anesthesia
- Blood clots
- Slow healing
- Exessive scarring
- Excessive fluid and blood loss
- Fluid accumulation under the skin
- Numbness near incisions
Some plastic surgeons may be more aggressive in removing fat from the breasts. If too much liposuction is done in one session, there can be excessive loss of bodily fluids and blood that can lead to complications.
Removal of extra glandular tissue also may create an uneven result that requires revision surgery.
It’s important to select a board-certified plastic surgeon for this procedure for best results and minimal risks.
Most gynecomastia patients recover well. The first two weeks are the most uncomfortable, and you may have some soreness and swelling in the breasts. It’s essential to rest and avoid intense exercise to prevent complications.
Your surgeon may give you a compression garment to wear around the chest to make the skin mold to your slimmer contours. The garment also will prevent excessive swelling that can complicate recovery.
After the first two weeks, you can go back to work and do light exercise. But you may experience some swelling and bruising for several weeks.
Some patients become impatient with seeing their final gynecomastia surgery results, but it takes time. You will continue to have residual swelling for a few months in many cases, and final results can take six months to appear.
Patients undergoing gynecomastia may want to have other procedures simultaneously. Having more than one procedure at a time is more cost-effective and condenses your recovery time.
Dr. Smita will do a medical evaluation before scheduling your gynecomastia procedure to discuss other procedures you may want.
Below are some of the most frequent questions about gynecomastia surgery:
What Causes The Male Breasts To Enlarge?
There are several possible causes of this condition, including hormone levels and whether he takes medications that affect hormones.
Some men have gynecomastia from their genetics, but others may have the condition from using steroids or drinking too much alcohol. If you engage in either of these habits, you should stop right away, and the problem may go away after a few months.
How Can I Get Rid Of My Enlarged Male Breasts?
Before considering surgery, you should try traditional methods to eliminate this condition, including diet and exercise. Eating healthy foods and getting exercise can correct a hormone imbalance and burn extra fat.
Also, if you drink too much alcohol or take steroids, stop immediately. Both habits will increase the chances of gynecomastia.
Once you have tried these solutions and still have enlarged breasts, you may want to consider surgery.
What Procedures Can I Have To Eliminate Gynecomastia?
The most common procedure to eliminate enlarged male breasts is gynecomastia, which removes the extra fat and glandular tissue.
Your surgeon may also use the excisional method to eliminate skin, fat, and glandular tissue.
Is Gynecomastia A Serious Problem?
Gynecomastia isn’t usually a serious medical condition, but it can cause men to be embarrassed and self-conscious. As a result, people with this condition may avoid socializing and exercising, which affects their mental and physical health.
That’s why many patients who have had surgery report a high satisfaction level with their results. In addition, having a more masculine-looking chest improves self-esteem and self-confidence.
What Exercises Can Help Me Lose Gynecomastia?
You can’t lose weight in a specific area by doing exercises. However, you can lose fat that may affect the size of the male breasts by doing cardio to lose weight.
Also, consider doing chest workouts to boost the size of your pectoral muscles.
How Long Will My Gynecomastia Surgery Last?
Surgical results are permanent because the removed glandular and fat tissue can’t grow back. However, the condition can return if you gain a lot of weight or take medications that may cause gynecomastia, such as steroids.
What Foods Can Cause Enlarged Male Breasts?
If you want to improve the appearance of your chest on your own, you should avoid eating processed foods, soy products, beer, eggs, and dairy products.
Many doctors recommend avoiding chicken and eggs because they both contain hormones that can enlarge the male breasts.
It also helps if you consume more fruits and vegetables and reduce your consumption of simple carbohydrates.
How Can I Check If I Have Gynecomastia?
Glandular tissue usually develops in the breasts of men with gynecomastia. You can check for enlarged breast tissue by feeling the breast with your fingers. If you have this condition, you may feel a rubbery, soft lump in the breasts.
If you don’t feel this kind of lump, your breasts may simply have too much fat, which can be removed with liposuction. But it will help to lose weight before having surgery.
Will My Gynecomastia Go Away By Itself?
It’s not easy to say if this condition will go away on its own. But it generally does resolve by itself in newborns and adolescents.
However, older men with this condition probably shouldn’t assume it will disappear by itself; once the breast tissue has developed, it can only be fixed with surgery.
Also, if prescription or illegal drug use caused the condition, it will come back after surgery if the patient doesn’t stop taking them.
How Can I Eliminate ‘Man Boobs’ Fast?
You should first try a diet and exercise program to lose weight and reduce the breasts’ size. This program should include eating more fruits and vegetables, not eating processed foods, and avoid consuming grains and soy products.
Talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon about gynecomastia surgery if these options don’t produce the results you want.
Do I Need Anesthesia For Gynecomastia Surgery?
Most plastic surgeons use general anesthesia for this procedure, but it also can be done with local anesthesia.
Your surgeon will talk to you about whether she will use local or general anesthesia. Some patients have anesthesia allergies, so a local anesthetic may be the best choice.
What Kind Of Scarring Can I Expect?
Scarring occurs with any plastic surgery, and gynecomastia surgery is no exception. The amount of scarring with this procedure depends on the technique used and the amount of tissue removed.
Some patients only need incisions around the areola, and the scars are almost invisible. Others may require skin removal, and you will have scars on the sides of the chest. But surgeons typically make these incisions under the pectoral muscles, so it’s hard to see.
Your amount of scarring also depends on how well your body heals; some patients scar more than others. Talk to your plastic surgeon about how you’ve scarred in the past and what you can expect with this procedure.
Gynecomastia surgery is an attractive option for men who cannot reduce the size of their breasts with only diet and exercise. So, talk to Dr. Smita today about whether this procedure is a good fit for your needs.
RESTORE YOUR MASCULINE CHEST
If you are frustrated with the side effects of male breast enlargement (gynecomastia), we invite you to contact our office and schedule a consultation with Dr. Ramanadham to learn about our male breast reduction procedure at our facility. Once you have had treatment for gynecomastia, you will not have to keep hiding your chest when you go to the gym and beach. We have helped many New Jersey men and have enjoyed helping them regain their self-confidence.
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