Gynecomastia is a term used to describe the appearance of male breasts. This condition is not simply caused by weight gain as many men might assume. Rather, gynecomastia can develop in adolescence and continue to be a source of embarrassment for many years—even with a healthy diet and exercise regimen in place. Fortunately, male breast reduction surgery can help reduce the unwanted appearance of oversized male breasts. During the procedure, Dr. David Bottger can remove the excess fat and/or glandular tissue in the chest, often greatly improving self-confidence and the ability to enjoy sunny summer weather. When performed by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, male breast reduction can be safe, simple, and effective.
What are the Causes of Gynecomastia?
In most cases of gynecomastia, the exact cause is unknown. The condition can affect teenagers and adults alike, and may be exacerbated by:
- Weight gain
- Anabolic steroid use
- Hormonal imbalance
- Marijuana use
- Medication side effects
Gynecomastia can also have psychological impacts such as embarrassment and lack of self-esteem in men, sometimes causing those affected to avoid intimate encounters and situations where they may need to be shirtless. The good news is that if gynecomastia is debilitating your quality of life, male breast reduction is a relatively common procedure with an impressive safety record. Dr. David Bottger can treat your gynecomastia and help you feel more confident in—and comfortable with—your body.
What are Common Gynecomastia Symptoms?
An excess of breast tissue, producing the appearance of “breasts” on men, is a relatively common condition for those past the age of adolescence. Signs that you may potentially be affected by gynecomastia include:
- Enlargement of the glandular tissue, which results in the appearance of male breasts
- Distended nipples
- Discoloration of the nipples and areolas
- Sensitivity and discomfort in the chest area
Despite the large number of men who develop excess breast tissue, the condition can cause significant insecurity throughout the course of one’s daily life. For this reason, many gynecomastia patients seek out treatment to reduce their chest mass and minimize visibility of their breast tissue.
Who is a Candidate For Gynecomastia Treatment?
The majority of men with gynecomastia are good candidates for male breast reduction. You may consider the procedure to flatten your chest contours if you:
- Are emotionally stable
- Do not have significant medical problems
- Are in overall good health
- Do not smoke
- Have firm, well-toned skin that can retract well
- Are not using anabolic steroids or marijuana
If your gynecomastia is caused by an underlying medical condition, it is advised to treat the condition before undergoing gynecomastia surgery. In addition, you may not be the best candidate for male breast reduction if your gynecomastia is a side effect of certain medications you’re taking.
How is Gynecomastia Surgery Procedure Performed?
In some cases, liposuction alone is enough to significantly reduce the size of the breasts. With the liposuction technique, Dr. Bottger makes a small incision in the pectoral region and then uses a small tube to remove the extra fat. In other cases, direct excision of fat and glandular tissue may be required. If direct excision is performed, a small incision will be made at the areolar border. This incision is very inconspicuous and generally heals very well, leaving a practically invisible scar.
In extreme cases, excess skin may need to be removed as well. Dr. Bottger will discuss your gynecomastia surgery in detail so that you are well informed about what exactly will be done and what type of results and recovery you can expect. We encourage you to explore our gynecomastia surgery before-and-after photos to see how others have benefited from this surgery.
What is Recovery From Gynecomastia Surgery Like?
Immediately after your surgery, a tight-fitting compression vest is placed over the chest area. This vest should be worn for two to three weeks following surgery to help with swelling and ensure consistent results. If an open procedure was required, drains may be placed as well. These drains are usually removed after three to five days.
You may experience some pain, but this pain is not usually severe and can be managed well through medications. You should also expect some swelling and bruising after surgery, the majority of which will dissipate in around two weeks. Most men are able to return to work within one week of gynecomastia surgery. However, you should avoid heavy exercise and other strenuous activities for at least three weeks. Final results are typically seen at the three-month mark. However, it’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle following your surgery in order to maintain your results as well as your overall health.
If you are experiencing a lack of self-confidence or a negative body image from male breasts, contact Philadelphia plastic surgeon David Bottger, MD to schedule your confidential consultation. Male breast reduction has helped countless men increase their confidence in social situations, so don’t hesitate to talk to Dr. Bottger about whether the procedure may benefit you. Our practice serves patients in Philadelphia, Newtown Square, and other nearby areas of Pennsylvania.