Breast development in men—or, to use the slang term, “man boobs”—can be a source of significant embarrassment, discomfort, and loss of self-confidence, as well as cause you to avoid situations where your chest might be exposed (at the beach, in the locker room, etc.)
It’s also relatively common, and can happen for many different reasons—including many causes that the man may have little to no control over.
The medical term for male breast development is gynecomastia, and sometimes goes away on its own. However, if it persists, is especially pronounced, or is simply causing you mental or emotional distress, a surgical procedure to flatten your chest could be the best option.
What Causes Breast Development in Men?
It’s a common misconception that “man boobs” are simply the result of being overweight. But while obesity certainly plays a role in many cases, it is far from the only potential contributing cause.
Quite often, breast development in men is the result of hormonal imbalances, particularly a decrease in testosterone and/or increase in estrogen levels. This can occur for a wide variety of reasons, including:
- Natural consequences of puberty or aging (especially in men between 50 and 70 years old.
- Use of specific medications, including those used to treat prostate problems, steroids, some antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, cancer treatments, and many more.
- Various health conditions, including hypogonadism, hyperthyroidism, kidney problems, tumors, and others.
- Obesity (which can increase estrogen levels, in addition to causing fat to deposit in the breast area).
- Alcohol abuse.
- Abuse of other controlled substances.
Who Is a Candidate for Male Breast Reduction Surgery?
Gynecomastia surgery may be recommended if you have been dealing with unwanted excessive breast tissue for an extended period of time, and have been unable to regain a flat-chested figure through nonsurgical means (such as diet and exercise, and treating any underlying health conditions).
Other considerations include:
- You are physically healthy, with no conditions that would potentially complicate recovery from surgery.
- You are at or near your target weight.
- The size and shape of your “man boobs” has stabilized.
- You are not smoking, abusing alcohol, or using illicit drugs.
- You have a positive attitude and realistic expectations.
Breast Reduction Procedure for Men
There are two main surgical approaches for gynecomastia surgery. Which one we choose will depend on your individual circumstances. In some cases, both will be recommended.
- Liposuction. The typical technique is to make a few small, inconspicuous incisions in the breast area. Through these incisions, a thin, hollow tube is inserted and moved back and forth to loosen up fatty tissue, which is then suctioned out via a vacuum or syringe.
- Excision/mastectomy. In this procedure, the entire glandular tissue of the breast is removed. Sometimes this can be done via minimal incisions. During the procedure, the nipple and areola may be reduced or repositioned as well to achieve a more distinctively masculine shape and size.
As with any other plastic surgery procedure, we’ll set up a series of follow-up appointments to check your progress after the surgery. You should also expect to take the first few days of your recovery very slowly, before gradually increasing the amount of activity and exercise you can perform.
Our helpful plastic surgery recovery guide covers the basics of a typical recovery protocol very well, so definitely check that out. That said, overall recovery times vary based on the individual, the procedure, and other factors, so we’ll be sure to discuss more specific expectations with you during your consultation.
Some scarring will continue to be present after the procedure, but we work hard to make it as inconspicuous as possible, concealing lines within the natural contours of your chest to the greatest extent possible. That said, the vast majority of our male patients consider minor scarring to be a small price to pay in return for a flat chest!
Say Goodbye to Your Man Boobs For Good
Don’t let embarrassment or anxiety about enlarged breast tissue keep you from feeling good about yourself, enjoying your time at the beach or pool, or feeling good in clothes. If your “man boobs” won’t go away and are bothering you, give us a call.
Dr. Lisa Learn understands what you’re going through, and will help you get the excellent results you deserve with skill and compassion. To schedule your consultation, give us a call at (954) 380-8411, or connect with us online.