Most men desire a firm and contoured upper body. However, man boobs can pose a challenge when trying to strengthen the pecs and chest. This excess glandular tissue in the breast is known as gynecomastia and is often resistant to diet and exercise. Men with this condition tend to be embarrassed by their physical appearance or reluctant to remove their clothing in public. It may also bring feelings of shame and avoidance of intimacy. In the event that this tissue does not go away on its own, the first step is determining the cause of its development. For this reason, more men in Chicago are seeking a surgical solution for gynecomastia. Since opening his first practice, Dr. Steinbrech and his team at Male Plastic Surgery have become experts in scarless gynecomastia treatment for men.
Gynecomastia can oftentimes be confused with the presence of fatty tissue in overweight men. The cause of enlarged breasts is not one-size-fits-all. It is estimated 40 to 60 percent of men will develop this condition and it can happen at any age. The causes of gynecomastia can be linked to hormone imbalance, genetics, disease, or the result of taking certain medications. To rule out more serious medical conditions, the patient should seek further evaluation by a doctor.
Generally, gynecomastia is not a serious problem. Considering its prominence, it’s considered a common disorder amongst males. Signs to look out for include pain, tenderness, or swelling in the breasts that may increase over time. It can occur on both sides of the chest or sometimes just one. In that case, the breasts may appear uneven. Patients have also reported feeling a small, firm lump under the nipple area of either one or both breasts.
It’s important to note that most cases of gynecomastia cannot be prevented. It is often a result of a natural hormone imbalance. However, adult males can avoid taking certain medications, drugs, or lifestyle factors that may increase their chances of developing enlarged breasts.
The most common option for surgical breast reduction is liposuction. Prior to gynecomastia surgery, it is advised that patients stop taking all medications that could increase the risk of bleeding. Liposuction for gynecomastia can be performed under general or local anesthesia. The entire procedure can be completed in two hours. The surgeon will first administer the anesthesia. Then, a number of small incisions are made in the chest area. A cannula is used in a back and forth motion to loosen the excess tissue, which is then removed from the body by vacuum suction. This procedure is the least invasive way of getting rid of gynecomastia.
For more severe cases, surgical excision is necessary. This entails the removal of breast tissue and any excess sagging skin. This technique ensures that all necessary breast tissue is removed, not just fat. Gynecomastia excision is also recommended if the areola is too large or if the nipple(s) need to be repositioned. Sometimes gynecomastia is best treated with a combination of both liposuction and excision.
This may be to avoid excessive scarring or if there is an insufficient contraction of the skin following liposuction. Surgical excision for gynecomastia can take two to three hours and can be done under local or general anesthesia.
Men who identify as having man boobs and experience feelings of embarrassment or emotional distress may be good candidates for gynecomastia surgery. In order to qualify for this procedure, patients must have a condition that cannot be corrected through diet, exercise, or alternative medical treatments. The ideal candidate must be of relatively normal weight, have no life-threatening illness or underlying medical conditions, and be of an age where their breasts have been fully developed. Patients should not smoke or take drugs. It’s also important that the patient maintains a healthy body weight in the long-term post-surgery. If not, this could compromise the outcome of the procedure.
The recovery after gynecomastia surgery will depend on what procedure was performed. In both cases, liposuction or excision, the patient will be required to wear a compression garment. This should be worn until the patient has fully recovered in order to support the chest contours and to minimize swelling. The downtime for this procedure is about one week. Bruising, swelling, and minimal discomfort is to be expected. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication for the first few days after surgery. It is advised that all strenuous activity or exercise be avoided until the incisions have healed and the muscles are fully recovered. The results of this procedure are permanent unless there is future weight gain or the patient resumes taking medications associated with this condition.