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Charles A. Messa, III, MD, FACS

Q&A on Male Breast Reduction

Posted June 20, 2018 in Gynecomastia Surgery

According to the 2017 ASPS Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Statistics report, there has been an upward trend in the amount of male breast reduction surgeries performed since 2000. Unfortunately, some men experience the development of enlarged breast tissue (gynecomastia) strictly due to genetics; others experience it based on lifestyle choices. Gynecomastia surgery helps to relieve the feeling of lacking a masculine physique and the resulting plethora of emotional and physical stress.

young male underwear model

How Does Gynecomastia Develop?

There are two levels of gynecomastia that can occur at any age in one or both breasts:

Hormonal Imbalance

This condition, deriving from an imbalance between testosterone and estrogen levels, causes excess breast tissue to develop. This could be the result of genetics or medical conditions, but it is also common in athletes and bodybuilders who are using anabolic steroids. These steroids increase the amount of estrogen in your body, which can lead to breast tissue development.

Drugs, both prescribed and otherwise, have also been proven to contribute to gynecomastia. These include medications for prostate cancer and an enlarged prostate, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, chemotherapy, as well as “street drugs” such as amphetamines and marijuana. Excess alcohol use is also thought to lead to the formation of gynecomastia. Although it is possible that this condition can rectify itself once the drug use has concluded, surgical methods are usually required.

Weight Gain

This cause derives from an excess of localized chest fat (pseudogynecomastia). This is generally the result of a rapid increase in weight and can occur in adolescent boys as well as adult men.

Why Is Exercise Not Enough?

In cases of pseudogynecomastia, weight loss can be a successful treatment. This is because the excess is only fat, and can, therefore, be reduced. In gynecomastia patients who have an excess amount of breast tissue from hormonal imbalances, no amount of exercise will be able to target and get rid of the glandular tissue; surgery is the only treatment.

What Will the Procedure Be Like?

Your gynecomastia surgery technique will be dependent on the type of gynecomastia that you have. If your enlarged breasts are a result of pseudogynecomastia and exercise hasn’t been able to remedy the condition, liposuction is performed to remove the excess pockets of fat and flatten the chest. In patients with excess glandular tissue, an excision technique is required. This procedure surgically removes the excess tissue and skin in the breast area and, if necessary, repositions the areola.

The removal of this excess tissue results in a smoother, more masculine profile. Generally, most gynecomastia patients have a combination of both excess fat and excess tissue. In these cases, a combination of liposuction and excision will be performed. Dr. Messa will let you know what to expect with your procedure during your consultation.

What to Expect from Recovery?

The recovery period for gynecomastia surgery is quite quick. Most patients take one week off of work or school to heal. The only exception is for men whose jobs are exceedingly strenuous and physically taxing. You should not participate in any sports or exercise for three to four weeks, especially vigorous movement of the upper body. When you begin to exercise again, you should start slowly and build your way up.

If you are struggling with gynecomastia, contact Dr. Messa at Weston Cosmetic Surgery today by calling (954) 659-7760 or (877) 250-8117.

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Weston Cosmetic Surgery Center
2823 Executive Park Dr, Weston, FL 33331