Gynecomastia, the development of abnormally large breasts in men, is the most common form of breast problem found in men.
Gynecomastia can be an embarrassing condition, but it is surprisingly common, especially in adolescent boys. Overall, almost half of all men may experience this condition at some time in their lives. Gynecomastia can also appear or re-appear later in life, in middle age and older adulthood. If it occurs during puberty, it generally disappears on its own. Later in life, the problem can often be traced to medications ortreatments for prostate cancer.
Causes of Gynecomastia
The underlying cause of gynecomastia, especially during puberty, is an imbalance of oestrogen (the female hormone) and testosterone (the male hormone). When oestrogen levels get too high, the breast glands can begin to grow. In about 90% of cases the condition disappears of its own accord with maturity, but for the remaining 10% the problem persists into adulthood.
When gynecomastia occurs during puberty, it usually appears at around the age of 13 or 14. If the enlarged breasts are clearly visible, an already self-conscious teenager will frequently become embarrassed. And depending upon how enlarged the breasts are, there might also be some sensitivity and tenderness.
Most teenagers do not need any treatment for gynecomastia. But if the breasts are very tender and the patient is troubled by a large amount of growth, then a doctor might recommend a course of medication. This will typically work by interfering with the oestrogen activity within the breast cells, thereby stopping the growth. Published studies indicate that about 60 percent of patients undergoing such therapy have complete regression from gynecomastia. However, in cases where it does not help, Male Chest Reduction, removal of glands with/without removal of excess skin or a liposuction of the chest area can be carried out.
When Gynecomastia occurs later in life, it is usually also due to an imbalance of hormones. This is because in older men, testosterone levels decrease whilst oestrogen levels increase. This is often accompanied by an increase in body fat, which increases the likelihood of the condition.
Certain medications, particularly those used in the treatment of prostate cancer, can also lead to excess breast growth in men. In such cases doctors can try changing the medication associated with the breast growth. But as in the case of young males, when this fails to produce the desired result, recourse can be made to surgery such as breast reduction or liposuction to remove the excess tissue.
Best Candidates for Male Chest Reduction
Before considering surgical gynecomastia treatment, it is important to have a complete check-up to ensure that surgical intervention is the best course of treatment. The ideal candidate for gynecomastia treatment is someone who:
- Is bothered by the size of their overdeveloped breasts
- Has asked their health provider about alternative treatments for their condition
- Is physically healthy and at a stable weight
- Does not smoke or use drugs
- Has stabilised breast development
- Has realistic expectations
The decision to undergo Male Chest Reduction surgery is personal and should not be done to meet the expectations of others. During your consultation, will discuss your reasons for wanting surgery, your individual goals, review your medical history, assess your anatomy and determine if this is the right procedure for you.
Before & After Photos
To see before and after photos of some of Mr Rezai’s work, please refer to the gallery page: Male Chest Reduction Before and After
Types of Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia is generally considered to be of one of three types:
- Just made up of fatty tissue
- Just made up of breast gland tissue
- Made up of a combination of both fatty and glandular tissue
It is important to distinguish between each of these three forms of gynecomastia since the type of treatment differs in each case. The most common form of gynecomastia is a simple accumulation of fatty tissue, often related to general obesity. However, in a few cases there is significant glandular tissue present, sometimes with skin excess over the chest.
Gynecomastia Surgery – Options & Procedure
Male Chest Reduction is the surgery to correct gynecomastia and it involves reduction of breast size, flattening and enhancing the chest contours.
As with most surgical procedures, there are many options, depending upon the patient’s wishes, technical considerations and surgeon preferences. At your consultation, Mr Rezai will advise upon the best treatment option for you.
Male Chest Reduction – Liposuction
In most patients there is little or no excess redundant skin over the breast and all that is required is liposuction. This involves insertion of a cannula, a thin hollow tube, through several small strategically located incisions. The cannula is moved back and forth in a controlled motion to loosen the excess fat, which is then removed from the body by vacuum suction. There are various liposuction techniques that may be used, the technique most appropriate in your case will be discussed at your consultation.
Male Chest Reduction– Surgical Removal of Glands & Excess skin
In the case of glandular gynecomastia, it is possible to remove the glands through an incision placed around the lower half of the areola.
In severe cases of gynecomastia, the weight of excess breast tissue may cause the breasts to sag and stretch the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple) and skin. In these cases, the enlarged glands and excess skin is removed, theareola size is reduced, and sometimes the nipple is repositioned to create a more natural male chest contour.
The incision pattern used to correct severe gynecomastia is similar to the incision pattern use for breast reduction in women. This involves incisions placed away from the areola.
Sometimes gynecomastia is treated with a combination of liposuction and Surgical Removal of glands and excess skin.
- Gynecomastia surgery is performed under general anaesthetic
- The surgery takes about 60 to 90 minutes
- Patients stay in hospital overnight
- If you work is not physical, expect to return to work after one to two weeks depending on the type of treatment.
- Expect to be back to normal physical activity, including exercise and sports, within 6-8 weeks post-op
Following the operation
As is the case with all surgery, you should anticipate feeling bruised and sore. Your chest is also likely to be swollen. You will have to wear a support dressing for one week. Most patients are able to fully resume normal activities within four weeks, however, depending on the extent of the surgery you may not resume strenuous activities including exercise and sports until 6-8 weeks after surgery. Any sutures are removed after ten to fourteen days.
As with all scars, the scars will fade over a period of time. In many men, they heal to form a faint line. However, it is important to remember that no surgical scar ever totally disappears.
Risks & Complications
Cosmetic surgery is amongst the very safest of medical procedures. However, all patients must understand and accept that no surgical procedure is absolutely free from risk.
For further information regarding the risks and complications associated with Male Chest Reduction, please refer to Risks and Complications of Gynecomastia Surgery.
At Consultation, your surgeon will discuss these risks with you.
How long will the results of your Gynecomastia surgery last?
Unless the surgery is performed at a young age, it is highly unlikely that your breasts will re-grow. As in all men, excessive weight gain will alter the breast shape. Your breasts are also likely to sag as normal breasts do with age.