Have you looked in the mirror lately and noticed the dreaded “man boobs”? If so, you’re definitely not alone. Millions of men every year develop gynecomastia, the medical term for enlarged male breasts. The good news? It’s usually not going to affect your health.
But just because gynecomastia is common and harmless doesn’t mean you have to live with it. Cosmetic surgery can be a great solution, allowing men to regain their confidence with a more masculine chest contour.
Gynecomastia surgery is safe and effective when performed by a plastic surgeon. But let’s face it: no one wants to undergo surgery if they don’t have to. The top question many men have about the procedure is if it’s really necessary. Can you fix gynecomastia without surgery? Let’s take a look.
Causes of Gynecomastia
To understand how plastic surgeons treat man boobs, it’s important to understand the cause of the condition. While some men develop larger than average breasts due to weight gain, true gynecomastia is not caused by fat alone.
Typically, at the root of the problem are the male and female hormones, testosterone and estrogen. All men and women have some of each hormone in their bodies naturally, but men have more testosterone and women have more estrogen. Since these hormones affect traits we identify as masculine or feminine, they can change a person’s appearance if there is an imbalance.
When a man has more estrogen than normal, he will often develop excess breast tissue. That’s why gynecomastia is especially common at certain life stages. Babies, adolescent boys, and older men are more likely to be affected by gynecomastia because hormone levels are fluctuating during these life phases. Medical conditions, steroid use, and marijuana can also trigger the development of extra breast gland tissues.
When Gynecomastia Goes Away
The good news is that not all cases of gynecomastia are permanent. Some men and boys only experience the condition for a short time. This is especially true in teens, which is why most surgeons will suggest waiting to see if the condition resolves itself before moving forward with surgery. After a year, if the condition has not improved, surgical treatment may be appropriate.
Men with pseudogynecomastia (excess fat causing the appearance of male breasts) may notice that their man boobs disappear when they lose weight. Gland tissue that develops, however, is typically permanent and will require treatment.
Creams, Pills and Other “Magic” Gynecomastia Solutions
Unfortunately, there are some cases of gynecomastia that just won’t go away on their own. In some men, hormone levels get so imbalanced that permanent glandular breast tissue forms. While there are many websites offering topical treatments like creams, or pill supplements that claim to resolve man boobs, these products are not proven to work and typically do nothing to resolve gynecomastia without surgery.
Gynecomastia treatments, other than surgery, are just a waste of money. While some men are able to see results by controlling their hormone imbalance, others will need surgery to improve the appearance of their chest. Surgery is the only reliable method for creating a masculine chest contour and fixing gynecomastia. Unless the patient’s hormones become significantly imbalanced again later in life, the results of surgery are permanent.
About Gynecomastia Surgery
Male breast reduction is a cosmetic procedure that should only be performed by an experienced plastic surgeon. During the procedure, the surgeon excises unwanted breast gland tissue and uses liposuction to remove excess fat in the chest and sculpt the area.
Patients will need to take a week or two off for recovery and avoid strenuous exercise for a month or more. A compression garment is worn during the first few weeks to support the new contours of the chest. Discomfort during the recovery period is usually minor and can be controlled with ice and medication.
Most men feel much more confident and have better self-esteem after they have healed from the surgery. They typically feel more comfortable in social and intimate situations or at the beach and no longer avoid these kinds of activities.
Schedule a Gynecomastia Consultation
Not sure if you need surgery for your man boobs or if you’re actually dealing with something else? Talk with an expert plastic surgeon to learn more about the procedure and about your own candidacy. At Aesthetic Surgery Center in Naples, FL, Dr. William Ross can help you figure out what cosmetic option is best for you and your aesthetic goals. Call (239)-594-9100 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ross at our beautiful facility today!