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+.

Introducing the Grammy Makeover Series

Some of you may be familiar with the popular mommy makeover procedure.  Best known as a combination of breast and body contouring procedures (performed in one comprehensive surgery), mommy makeovers address common physical changes mothers can experience after pregnancy and childbirth to restore a pre-baby body.  Now, we’d like to introduce to you the Grammy makeover – the newest combo procedure helping grandmothers and mature women everywhere get their pre-child/grandchild body back!You can think of a Grammy makeover as a supercharged mommy makeover – offering a wide variety of face, hand, arm, breast and body contouring procedures to combine into one procedure.  After we determine your cosmetic goals, we’ll take a look at the procedures that will help you achieve your ultimate plastic surgery results.  For part one of my Grammy makeover series, I would like to start by covering some of the options that Grammy makeover patients have.

Grammy-Makeover

 

Grammy makeovers can address a multitude of concerns.  From creating a well-rested look by eliminating fat pockets and excess tissue with eyelid surgery to saying goodbye to sagging skin and wrinkles with a neck lift or facelift, Grammy makeovers can start with breathing new life into the face.  To compliment your overall look, cosmetic injectables like Botox® or facial fillers like Juvéderm® may be a non-surgical addition to your Grammy makeover.  As we head to the breasts, we will evaluate their look, in relation to your body frame (are they sagging, too big, too small or all the above?) and determine which breast enhancement procedure will give you bigger (or smaller), perkier breasts – depending on your preference.  If “bat wings” keep you hiding your arms, you may consider an arm lift to remove the extra skin and create a more toned appearance.  To create a sculpted midsection, free of a stomach pooch or weakened abdominal muscles, tummy tuck (also known as abdominoplasty) using the scarpa fascia technique may be what you need.  Finally, let’s not forget about the hands; what better way to complete your Grammy makeover than with hand rejuvenation using Radiesse®?  What’s unique about the Grammy makeover is that it’s 100% customizable; for you and only you.  There isn’t a pre-determined package to limit the type of results you want; the combination possibilities with a Grammy makeover are endless!

As your double board-certified surgeon, I want to help restore the face and body to its once youthful look.  Natural-looking plastic surgery results that highlight each patient’s beautiful existing features are important, so creating a surgical plan that best suits them uniquely is vital.  As an added bonus just as with mommy makeovers, Grammy makeovers have low overall complication rates (this is largely in part to working with an experienced, board-certified surgeon because not all doctors have the same expertise and skillset).  Grammy makeovers also offer the same benefit as mommy makeovers in regards to what patients save – time and money.  By combining procedures into one, patients reduce their overall recovery time (imagine having 3-5 separate surgeries spanned over several months, or years, versus once) as well as extra costs associated with surgical fees that can certainly add up with each individual procedure.

Plastic surgery doesn’t have to be a hard-reaching goal; you just need to know your options!  If you’ve been considering a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure or would like to learn more about the Grammy makeover, please contact Southern Plastic Surgery (SPS).  Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks as we discuss more details on the Grammy makeover.  Be sure to also follow SPS on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the latest updates.

Raquel’s Story: Don’t Always Believe the Hype

I get to work with a lot of great patients – for some, on more than one occasion.  Being able to hear how a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure has positively impacted their lives later in life is part of the drive that keeps me motivated to help patients achieve their goals!  Today, I’d like to share with you Raquel’s story.  When Raquel first came to me nine years ago, she was interested in pursuing her first breast enhancement procedure.  “A friend of mine was also consulting for breast implants around the same time and had recommended Dr. Whiteman.  She had explained how comfortable she felt with him versus other doctors she had met with,” Raquel recently shared, “but what sold me was that Dr. Whiteman also worked with breast cancer survivors for breast reconstruction surgery.”

breast implant surgery in atlanta georgia dr david whitemanDuring Raquel’s consultation we discussed her goals and explored several different breast implant sizes and types to find the fit that worked best for her.  “I had always been flat chested, smaller than an A cup, so I had always wanted breast implants to balance me out.  Fitting into bathing suits or tops and dresses was always a problem; I never wanted anything too big, just natural,” Raquel recalled.  “Once in my 20s, I was mentally ready and went for it.”  A few years after her procedure, Raquel gave birth to her first child and experienced capsular contracture, a condition associated with breast augmentation where scar tissue forms around a breast implant causing the breasts to harden.  “I had the misfortune of having one of my breasts capsulate after my first pregnancy, which is something random that could happen for no rhyme or reason, and replacing them was the only solution.  I chose to have them replaced and both experiences with Dr. Whiteman and the hospital staff were the best.”  When we have a patient come to us with something like capsular contracture, breast revision is the procedure of choice to eliminate the scar tissue and exchange the affected breast implant.

Since her breast revision four years ago, Raquel has welcomed her second child into the family (her kids are currently 5 years old and 5 months old) and keeps busy as an active mom and wife, fitting in home projects and decorating in her spare time.  “Life after my surgery is great; my husband has no complaints!  I have been extremely happy with my breast augmentation results; they are the perfect size for my tomboyish body and it has given me a confidence boost.  I enjoy not having to worry about clothes fitting me!”

For breast augmentation patients, breastfeeding with implants is a common concern.  While it’s true that some patients may have difficulty, don’t believe the hype for discouraging breast augmentation and breastfeeding because each person is different.  When we asked Raquel how it was for her choosing breast augmentation prior to having kids and breastfeeding, she would tell you what she told us, “I had no problem breastfeeding both of my kids.  It’s been nine years since my first breast surgery and four years since replacing them and they still look as good as when I had my first surgery.”  As a double board certified plastic surgeon, it’s my job to educate my patients on maintaining their results to the best of their ability. This could mean incorporating a healthier diet and exercise plan, finding the time to have a procedure that fits into your lifestyle and discussing what’s best for you and your body long-term.  With open communication between you and your surgeon, hopefully your experience will be just as rewarding as it has been for Raquel.

I’ll be sharing more patient testimonial stories with you in the upcoming months and invite you to reach out to my office if you have any questions regarding a procedure that we perform at Southern Plastic Surgery.  Be sure to also connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery trends, patient features, news and information.