Men don’t have breasts. At least that’s what we believe. Historically speaking, we look at the male and female bodies quite differently, even when some parts are very similar. The female form has breasts. The male form has “pecs” or, simply, chest musculature. However, it is not nearly as uncommon as one may think for a man to develop enlarged breast tissue. Unfortunately, men often believe that they can diet or exercise their way out of this condition. If breast enlargement is a matter of fatty tissue alone, diet and exercise might help. However, true gynecomastia is corrected only through surgery.
True gynecomastia is not a matter of weight. Many men who maintain a healthy BMI have struggled endlessly with puffy nipples or enlarged breasts. This is because gynecomastia may be influenced by age, genetics, hormones, drug use, and other factors. Even though gynecomastia is not considered a medically-serious condition, it does present the risk of immense negative impact on a man’s life. For this reason, it can be a beneficial decision for a man to consult with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon about male breast reduction.
What Causes Gynecomastia?
If not weight, then what? Weight is a common culprit of pseudogynecomastia, the kind that is more fatty tissue. However, even minor changes in weight, especially around middle age, can throw off the balance of testosterone in a man’s system. Without sufficient testosterone, the levels of estrogen naturally increase. Yes, men have a bit of estrogen in their body’s. When estrogen becomes dominant, there is a risk of developing excess breast tissue. In this situation, it may not be enough to start taking a testosterone supplement. Hormone imbalance is much more complex than many people think. A doctor may order thyroid function tests or other lab work to get a better understanding of where hormone imbalance has started. From there, proper treatment may be discussed. And even with proper care to optimize testosterone, the appearance of the breasts may not change.
Gynecomastia Treatment Options
In addition to recommended medical or lifestyle remedies, if necessary, men may seek the expertise of a plastic surgeon to help them sculpt their chest area. In some cases, gynecomastia can be corrected with liposuction. This minimally-invasive procedure involves precise suctioning of fatty tissue from the breasts, resulting in more masculing contouring. Sometimes, the best option to correct gynecomastia and ensure it does not recur is to remove both fat and glandular tissue. All people have breast glands. Men with overdeveloped breasts may benefit from the removal of this part of the chest. Surgery may also be the best option for men whose skin and breast tissue have become loose and saggy. In these cases, the surgeon can carefully sculpt a masculine shape that includes smooth, tight skin.
Gynecomastia is a frustrating problem that can have a significant impact on a man’s sense of confidence. To learn more about our male breast reduction services, contact our St. Peters office at (636) 896-0600.