Enlarged male breasts, also known as gynecomastia, is a common yet rarely discussed condition. While most common in teens and older adults, gynecomastia can occur at any age, and will affect up to 70% of all men at one point during their life. Characterized by swollen, protruding, or sagging tissue along the chest, or puffy nipples with enlarged areolas, gynecomastia can rob men of their confidence. The emotional trauma from unusually large male breasts can cause a dramatic dip in self-esteem. Men suffering from gynecomastia may start to avoid certain situations, such as the gym and the pool, or avoid wearing tight shirts that emphasize their chest.
Although typical causes of gynecomastia can include genetics, hormone fluctuations, weight changes, and certain medications, the condition’s trigger is not always known. Dieting, exercise, and weight loss may do little to improve the unwanted tissue growth. If gynecomastia does not resolve on its own in about a year, the only way to restore a masculine, sculpted chest will be through medical intervention. In this situation, when a more invasive approach to gynecomastia is needed, patients can trust the Naderi Center in Herndon, Virginia and Chevy Chase, Maryland to provide the best male breast reduction procedures in the country.
Gynecomastia Correction with Dr. Erica Anderson:
Correction for mild to severe gynecomastia is available with Dr. Erica Anderson at the Naderi Center. Her male breast reduction is a surgical procedure designed to reduce breast size in those men with excessive fatty or glandular tissue along the chest. Using liposuction, excision, or a combination of both techniques, Dr. Anderson can create the desired masculine chest. The nipple and areola can also be reshaped during the procedure to provide a proportionate, pleasing look. A male breast reduction can dramatically help men to regain self-esteem and confidence in their appearance.
Common Causes of Gynecomastia
- Puberty –Excessive breast growth is common during puberty due to surging hormone levels. However, most of these cases resolve naturally in a year or two.
- Aging – Hormone levels shift again in men after the age of 55. More than 65% of older men will develop large male breasts.
- Medications – A large variety of medications can cause excess breast tissue growth, including amphetamines, antidepressants, blood pressure drugs, antibiotics, and herbal treatments.
- Obesity – Overweight males can see an accumulation of fatty tissue along the chest. Additionally, this fat may stimulate the body’s production of estrogen, triggering further glandular tissue growth in the breast, as well.
- Alcohol – Heavy alcohol consumption can affect liver function, in turn altering the body’s estrogen and testosterone levels, causing breast tissue to increase.
- Steroids – Anabolic steroids, sometimes used by athletes and bodybuilders, can change into estrogen once inside the body. This hormonal shift will result in breast growth.
- DNA – Gynecomastia is commonly passed down from generation to generation.
Good Candidates for Gynecomastia Correction:
Most men who have been struggling with excess breast tissue for more than a year may make a potential patient for gynecomastia correction. Ideally, surgical candidates will be over 18, after the body has finished developing. Prior to treatment, the cause of unwanted breast tissue growth should be determined, if possible, as symptoms could be signs of a larger health problem. Patients should have a good understanding of the surgical process, and hold realistic expectations for the results. After the private consultation with Dr. Anderson, it will be determined if gynecomastia correction is right for a particular situation.
The Gynecomastia Consultation:
Prior to scheduling your gynecomastia procedure, a private consultation will be scheduled with Dr. Anderson. At this time, she will perform a physical assessment, review medical history, and discuss aesthetic desires. After explaining the male breast reduction techniques, Dr. Anderson will share before/after photographs of her recent gynecomastia patients. The benefits and limitations of male breast reduction will be reviewed, and she will answer any questions that remain. Should a male breast reduction be the best way to achieve the desired results, a personalized gynecomastia treatment plan will be created. In most situations, gynecomastia correction is not covered by health insurance. At the consultation, the exact cost of surgery will be determined, and payment options will be reviewed.
The Gynecomastia Procedure:
Depending on the technique used, Dr. Anderson’s male breast reduction will be performed using general anesthesia, or IV sedation and local anesthesia. The procedure may be performed using liposuction or excision. Most cases will require a combination of both liposuction and excision for optimal results. Generally, a male breast reduction will take from one to two hours to complete. As an outpatient procedure, men are home resting that same evening.
Male Breast Reduction with Liposuction:
Liposuction can provide significant results for men troubled with excess fatty tissue along the chest. To begin, Dr. Anderson will make several very small incisions either around the areola or under the armpit. Through these incisions, the surgeon will use a cannula (hollow tube) to gently suction out the unwanted fat. Dr. Anderson will continue to sculpt the chest until the desired contour has been achieved.
Male Breast Reduction with Excision:
For severe cases of gynecomastia, or those with unwanted glandular tissue, excision may be used for optimal results. Dr. Anderson will begin by creating several incisions around the edge of the areola or along the natural crease below the breast. From here, she will remove the glandular tissue across the chest and under the nipple/areola. If excess, stretched tissue is present, these can also be removed at this time. When needed, the size of the nipple and areola can be reduced, as well.
Recovering from Gynecomastia:
Initially, men can expect mild bruising, swelling, and tenderness along the chest, following their gynecomastia procedure. The majority of these will resolve over the first week, although some swelling can remain for several months. A surgical compression garment may be recommended for proper healing and to reduce swelling. Discomfort after a male breast reduction is normally mild, but Dr. Anderson will prescribe the necessary pain medications, as needed. Most patients are feeling well enough to return to work in three to five days. Light activities can be resumed in two weeks, but strenuous exercise and heavy lifting need to be put off for four to six weeks.
While some results from a male breast reduction may be noticeable soon after surgery, it will take up to six months for the breasts to heal completely. Once the bruising and swelling have resolved, the benefits of surgery will be apparent.
Potential risks from Gynecomastia Correction:
Gynecomastia correction is a commonly performed procedure and is known for safely bringing patients excellent results. While complications are rare, they can include unexpected bleeding, infection, scarring, and nerve damage. Scarring after a male breast reduction is normally small and well-hidden, generally under the arm or around the areola, depending on the specific technique used. If the cause of excess tissue growth remains unresolved, such as that resulting from continued medications or hormonal changes, there is a chance that residual breast tissue may return.
Find out if a male breast reduction from the Naderi Center is right for you:
Dr. Erica Anderson brings decades of gynecomastia experience to the Naderi Center. Along with Dr. Shervin Naderi and Dr. Jessica Kulak, the top plastic surgeons at the Naderi Center offer patients exceptional results in a safe, comfortable environment. To find out if gynecomastia correction is right for your unique situation, contact the Naderi Center in Herndon, Virginia at 703.481.0002 or in Chevy Chase, Maryland at 301.222.2020 to arrange for a confidential consultation with Dr. Anderson.
Q – What is gynecomastia?
The condition known as Gynecomastia, or enlarged male breasts, is extremely common. There are many potential causes of gynecomastia, including hormonal changes, weight fluctuations, illness, and certain medications. In some instances, gynecomastia will resolve on its own, but in many cases, surgical intervention is required.
Q – Am I a good candidate for a male breast reduction?
If you are in generally good health and have been struggling with excess breast tissue for over a year, then gynecomastia correction may be appropriate for you. Prior to surgery, the cause of unwanted breast tissue growth should be determined, if possible. As with all cosmetic surgery procedures, patients should understand the surgical process and hold realistic expectations for their results.
Q – What happens during the male breast reduction procedure?
Gynecomastia can be corrected using liposuction or surgical excision. Excess fatty tissue can be eliminated with liposuction, however, this technique does not address unwanted glandular tissue, which will require surgical removal. In most cases, a combination of both techniques will be used. Dr. Anderson’s gynecomastia procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, getting patients back home the same afternoon.
Q – What can I expect from my gynecomastia recovery?
Mild discomfort is common after a male breast reduction, but Dr. Anderson will prescribe needed medications for comfort. Most patients are back to work less than a week after their gynecomastia correction procedure. Light exercise can begin in about two weeks, but more strenuous activities should be postponed for four to six weeks.
Q – Will I see immediate results after my male breast reduction?
While some changes in the breasts will be evident over the first one to two weeks, it can take up to six months for the breast tissue to completely heal. Once the swelling has resolved, the full benefits of surgery, and smooth chest contour will be noticeable.