Gynecomastia may not pose a health risk, but that doesn’t mean that is not challenging or frustrating to live with. The condition, where excess glandular tissue in the breasts makes the chest look enlarged or feminine, can be a source of considerable embarrassment and self-consciousness. Although there are no medications or exercises that can successfully treat gynecomastia, male breast reduction surgery can be extremely effective. During male breast reduction, I am able to remove this excess tissue from the breast area to create a flatter, more masculine chest contour. To help prospective patients gain a clearer idea of gynecomastia and whether they might be a good candidate for male breast reduction, I have taken some time to answer a few common questions on the subject:
Gynecomastia can affect men and boys of all ages. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), somewhere between 50% and 60% of adolescent males in the US suffer from gynecomastia. In many cases, breast enlargement in younger men is caused by increased levels of estrogen that occur naturally during puberty. It’s common for the chest to flatten out by the age of 20, but breast enlargement can persist for some men. Gynecomastia is also very common for adult men. The NIH estimates that about 65% of men between the ages of 27 and 92 years will experience some degree of gynecomastia during their lifetime.
Question #2: What causes gynecomastia to occur?
There are a number of factors that can contribute to gynecomastia in men. A hormone imbalance that leads to an excess of estrogen production (most common during puberty and later in life) is a common cause. Gynecomastia can result as a side effect of certain medications including antibiotics, cancer treatments like chemotherapy, and antidepressants, as well as recreational drugs like marijuana. In some men, health conditions like kidney failure, tumors, and hyperthyroidism can lead to breast enlargement.
Question #3: Can breast enlargement return after male breast reduction surgery?
One of the best things about this procedure is that the final results of male breast reduction are meant to be very long-lasting. In some cases, they can even last a lifetime. Since the excess tissue that causes the breast enlargement is removed during the procedure, your breast enlargement should not persist or return. However, it’s important to follow your plastic surgeon’s post-surgery instructions, watch your weight, and avoid using steroids or recreational drugs that can cause a recurrence of your symptoms.
If you experience gynecomastia, take comfort in knowing that there is a solution. In my experience, the emotional and psychological impact of treating male breast enlargement can have a profound impact on a patient’s self-confidence and wellbeing. If you have any questions about gynecomastia or male breast reduction, contact me, Dr. David Whiteman to schedule a complimentary plastic surgery consultation today. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for additional tips, news, videos, and more from the world of plastic surgery.