While most men appreciate breasts, no guy wants to see them adorning his own reflection in the mirror. Yet, the number of men who will someday deal with gynecomastia – also known as “man boobs” – is well over a third of the general population. That’s a staggering number of men who will suffer the psychological toll of a condition that can make them feel less masculine, less confident, and less secure in their self-image as men. Most men dealing with man boobs don’t have any idea how common they are – or what to do about them. So, what is gynecomastia? What causes it? And how does one get rid of it?
What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is the swelling of the male breast tissue resulting in the appearance of femininely shaped breasts. The glandular tissue and surrounding fat grow larger and heavier, and the nipples and areola may begin to spread, changing the usual, flat, male breast into one that is more full and rounded. In fact, the term gynecomastia actually means “female-like breasts”.
Causes of Gynecomastia
The condition might first appear during puberty – a time when children are the most insecure and their peers are the cruelest – due to the shifting hormones in a boy’s body. Cases such as these are uncomfortable for a time, but almost always correct themselves within a year or two. Late in life, hormones may shift again, so the natural rebalancing of hormones may cause a drop in testosterone or an increase in estrogen. This is why gynecomastia often affects men as they reach the age of retirement.
In between, hormones can change for many reasons – or for no reason – and the condition is unlikely to resolve on its own. Though it may have no definitive cause at all, gynecomastia has been linked to the use of certain drugs – particularly anabolic steroids and marijuana – as well as to genetics and obesity. So always take care of your body and be careful what you put in it.
Gynecomastia vs. Pseudogynecomastia
Speaking of obesity, it is important to note that true gynecomastia involves the glandular tissue in the male breast. Weight gain alone can cause the dreaded “moobs”, but this is known as pseudogynecomastia, and generally does not change the glandular tissue beneath the fat. The distinction is important because pseudogynecomastia can often be resolved by weight loss, where true gynecomastia must be handled by a doctor.
How To Get Rid Of Gynecomastia
While a healthy diet and exercise regime can alleviate pseudogynecomastia, only a qualified surgeon can help once the glandular tissue has enlarged. Gynecomastia surgery is also known as male breast reduction surgery or male reduction mammoplasty. It can sometimes be resolved with liposuction alone, meaning that the tissue is simply sucked out through a tube, called a “cannula,” inserted under the skin and into the male’s breast tissue. More likely, an incision will be made along the underside of the breast, so that the tissue can be cut away and reshaped. If the areola is particularly enlarged or puffy, incisions may be made to sculpt them to match the new look of the more masculine chest.
Always be sure to choose a board certified plastic surgeon, read client testimonials, and explore credentials. As with all surgeries, ask your doctor about his previous experience with your procedure. Aristocrat Plastic Surgery & MedAesthetics is the proud home of Dr. Kevin Tehrani, a top New York plastic surgeon with the respect of his patients and peers. We invite you to ask as many questions as you like in your free consultation.
Who Is A Good Candidate for Gynecomastia Surgery?
Whether your man boobs are a bit puffy or the talk of the locker room, the important thing is how comfortable you are in your own body, so don’t feel like you have to be a C-cup in order to justify plastic surgery. You should be in general good health, drug-free, and at or near your ideal weight range. We also highly recommend that you stop smoking since smoking tends to make the skin less elastic, and less likely to “bounce back” after surgery. If you’re overweight, you can still have corrective surgery, but your results may be a little imbalanced. A sculpted chest with a beer belly just won’t look natural.
The Gynecomastia Surgical Procedure
Your surgeon can use a combination of excision (cutting away the tissue) and liposuction to achieve a more masculine chest. Dr. Kevin Tehrani is a board-certified top plastic surgeon who has experience with gynecomastia surgery and will conduct your procedure with the utmost care in either our Manhattan or Great Neck offices. He’ll remove the unnecessary breast tissue and sculpt your chest into a more masculine physique.
Insurance is not likely to cover your male breast reduction surgery, as it is considered a non-essential, appearance-only surgery. Your consultation with Dr. Tehrani will be completely free of charge, and we’ll be happy to discuss your options while you’re in our office. Rest assured that we have many financing options to fit nearly any budget. Contact us now if you’d like to schedule a free gynecomastia surgery consultation at either our Great Neck or Manhattan offices.
Risks of Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Despite being a purely cosmetic procedure, the choice to have gynecomastia surgery shouldn’t be taken lightly. All surgery carries risks such as infection, bleeding, and loss of sensitivity. But male breast reduction surgery is not a particularly dangerous procedure.
How Will Male Breast Reduction Surgery Benefit Me?
To begin with, the most obvious benefit of male breast reduction surgery is that you’ll look the way you want to look – and lose the man boobs! Your chest will be flattened and shaped to fit the masculine image you deserve. You’ll notice an immediate improvement in your posture. You’ll even breathe better without all that excess weight on your chest. Another benefit? Your shirts will fit better. In fact, you’ll probably feel more confident taking off your shirt – or letting someone else take it off for you! In fact, the most important benefit of gynecomastia surgery is how you’ll feel about yourself when it’s done.
Are “Man Boobs” Unhealthy?
Physically, no. Pseudogynecomastia can be indicative of a weight problem that may affect your overall health. It isn’t news that being overweight may be putting a strain on your heart, lungs, joints, and vascular system, but no more so than gaining weight in your belly. So, by themselves, man boobs do not put you at greater risk for cancer or any other disease. However, if you have swelling, pain, tenderness, or discharge from one or both nipples, it’s definitely time to have your doctor check you out.
If your gynecomastia is a swelling of the actual breast tissue (beneath the fat), it represents absolutely no danger to your physical health. The psychological effects, however, can be severe. It can make a man’s sex life awkward to the point of loss of libido. He might avoid the backyard barbeque or a dip in the pool for fear of being seen with his shirt off. Jogging or other exercises may wind up on the back burner because of the emotional and physical discomfort of his breasts. Getting rid of gynecomastia can be a truly liberating experience for a guy who wants to get his life back.
Options For Men With Breasts
Don’t let the moobs spook you. And don’t wait another day, while your friends are flexing at the gym and sunning by the pool. You DO have options. The first thing to remember is that gynecomastia is very common, so you’re not the only one dealing with it. And yes, it can be dealt with. To determine whether your male breasts are an accumulation of fat or a swelling of the breast tissue beneath, ask about a free consultation. Once Dr. Tehrani determines exactly what you’re dealing with, he can begin to advise you on how to combat the man boobs. Start a dialogue today that will lead you to a more confident tomorrow.