Why Some Men Have “Breasts” & Others Don’t

Let’s take it back; all the way back to birth.  With the exception of a few key anatomical differences between males and females, we are essentially built similarly.  When it pertains to the breasts you may be saying to yourself, “only women have those!”  Well technically you’re incorrect on that statement.  In the medical sense, men and women both have breast tissue from the start.  It’s when we hit puberty that the estrogen versus testosterone component comes into play.  When females enter puberty the hormones stimulate the breast tissue to develop into breasts while the males predominately maintain a flat chest and minimal breast tissue.  For some men however, their breast glands can become enlarged, giving them unusually large breasts.  So, why do some men have breasts and others don’t?  We have a name for the answer: gynecomastia.

To give you a little history lesson, gynecomastia comes from the Greek phrase “woman-like breasts” and is the classification of a medical condition that affects an estimated 40-60% of the male population.  It can affect both breasts, or one or the other, and can make men self-conscious or incredibly embarrassed by the appearance of their overly large breasts.  Typically the root of a patient’s gynecomastia is left unidentified but is largely due to hormone imbalances, genetic predisposition or excess weight gain.  While most gynecomastia cases occur around the time of puberty, men can be affected as well if they have any hormonal level abnormalities or are taking certain medications.

A common misconception about gynecomastia is that because it’s a case of oversized breasts, it must be an issue with fat – one that can be solved with diet and exercise.  Sorry to say you’d be wrong again, folks.  Gynecomastia can only be treated with a male breast reduction procedure.  First, I start by removing the excess breast tissue and fat, by way of liposuction and surgical excision.  Once we get that out, I’ll remove any loose, remaining skin and reposition it to create a smoother chest area.  If you’re one of the rare patients with large areolas (the circular pigmented tissue around the nipple), don’t worry, we want everything to be proportionate to the new breast size so I am able to reduce and reshape the areola as we deem fit to compliment the final look.

As your double board-certified plastic surgeon, my goal is to create a flatter, firmer chest.  I want my patients to be confident with their male breast reduction results and regain their self-confidence.  A word to the wise though – if you start to gain weight and abandon proper exercise and healthy eating, the extra pounds could cause your breasts to become enlarged again, and we certainly wouldn’t want that for you.  Do your work and enjoy your results for as long as possible.  If you believe you suffer from gynecomastia and would like to discuss your male breast reduction opportunities, please don’t hesitate to contact Southern Plastic Surgery.  Keep up with the latest plastic surgery news by following me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

You Don’t Have to Be a Mom to Enjoy a Mommy Makeover

Contrary to what the name may suggest, a mommy makeover procedure isn’t only reserved for those who are mothers.  While it’s original intent was to identify a procedure that corrects common physical changes that a woman’s body experiences during/after carrying and delivering a child, similar effects can also occur to those who have never had kids themselves.  Mommy makeover surgery consists of a strategic combination of body contouring and breast procedures to remedy effects that natural aging and weight gain/loss can have on the body.  Don’t let a name fool you into thinking that it’s not an option for you, because it is.  With the many benefits combination procedures have, let’s take a look at what mommy makeovers can be for all women.

liposuction-atlanta-georgiaOriginally, mommy makeover was coined as a term to describe procedures that reverse the effects of pregnancy weight gain, weakened abdominal muscles and excess sagging breasts from breastfeeding.  Each surgical plan is customized to give each patient mommy makeover results that mirror a pre-pregnancy body; one more proportionate to the patient’s frame, without all of the excess fat and skin.  The two biggest areas of concern for moms tend to be the stomach and the breasts.  As your child grows in the womb, the abdominal muscles can stretch and become separated from the abdominal wall, commonly referred to as diastasis recti.  On top of weakened muscles, the abdomen can form a pooch and harbor excess skin and fat long after a child is born.  Achieving a contoured waistline can be hard to do with even the most steadfast diet and exercise regimen, therefore tummy tuck surgery tops the list for procedures to re-sculpt the midsection and re-tighten the muscle.

Then we take a look at the breasts.  After breastfeeding, the once enlarged breasts simply will not go back to the position they were once before; the extra skin sags and the breasts become more pendulous and less perky.  We have several options to address these concerns.  First we’ll figure out if you want to go bigger, smaller and possibly add a lift.  With a breast augmentation, we’ll use a pre-determined breast implant to increase the bust and raise the breast higher up on the body.  If you already have large breasts and want them to relieve some of the weight from your body, a breast reduction can remove the excess fat and skin.  When combining a breast reduction with a breast lift we aren’t enhancing the breasts but raising them higher in position, one more proportionate to your body’s frame.  For those that aren’t mothers, gravity takes its toll on the breasts and can cause the same pendulous effects when experiencing dramatic weight gain/loss.  The same combinations would be beneficial to helping restore the breasts to a more youthful aesthetic.

A major benefit to combination mommy makeover surgery is that you’re minimizing several key factors: recovery, time and money.  Having one comprehensive procedure versus say three (for example one procedure for a tummy tuck, another for a breast reduction and another for a breast lift) will reduce the overall amount of time you need to recover.  Less time spent in the hospital means less time spent at home recovering and quicker time getting you back to your regular schedule.  With each surgical procedure there are fees outside the cost of materials and labor like hospital stays, anesthesia, surgical fees and medications.  Each time you have a procedure these are factored into your total costs; if you have one complete procedure, those fees apply to that one procedure versus multiple.

It’s really about when the timing is right for you.  For mothers, the time should be when you’re finished having children because the same physical effects could reverse any results you’ve accomplished from your plastic surgery procedures before that point (the same goes for women who have a tendency to fluctuate in their weight gain/loss).  If you’d like to learn more details on the benefits of mommy makeover or combination procedures, don’t hesitate to contact Southern Plastic Surgery.  For the most up-to-date plastic surgery news and specials be sure to connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Health and Wellness: Breast Reduction Surgery to Improve Physical Ability

In a recent health article from ABC News, a new plastic surgery trend has risen among young female athletes. To help improve their sports performance, athletes have chosen breast reduction surgery for overly large breasts that can inhibit physical ability and cause back and shoulder pain. Overly large breasts, also known as a condition called macromastia for females, can cause both physical and emotional concerns. Patients with overly large breasts often complain of physical constraints such as the inability to engage in vigorous athletic activity or added respiratory stress due to the weight of the breasts on the chest. Additionally, patients can also experience emotional concerns due to self image or inability to perform physical activities.

Health and Wellness Breast Reduction Surgery to Improve Physical Ability

At Southern Plastic Surgery, double board certified plastic surgeon Dr. David Whiteman performs breast reduction surgery on both male and female patients to create a more proportional and comfortable result. During the procedure, Dr. Whiteman will make an incision along the underside of the breast and remove excess skin and tissue. The remaining breast tissue will be tightened and repositioned. Occasionally, breast lift surgery can be combined with a breast reduction for a more youthful look.

Following any plastic surgery procedure, Dr. Whiteman always advises his patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Since breast reduction surgery allows patients to freely engage in more physical activity, Dr. Whiteman encourages patients to take advantage of their plastic surgery results and develop a regular exercise routine. By adapting a healthy diet, a regular exercise routine, and lifestyle habits, patients will maintain and improve results. For patients looking to jumpstart a lifestyle plan, Jackie Madison, our office administrator, also serves as our in-house certified NESTA lifestyle and weight management coach.

If you’re interested in breast surgery or any other procedures offered at Southern Plastic Surgery, please contact us to schedule your consultation. Stay connected with Dr. Whiteman on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic and reconstructive surgery news and information.