Gynecomastia – Men and Breasts

What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is an excess of fat cells and breast tissue on a man’s chest. The breast size of gynecomastia can range from slightly to as large as a D cup on a female breast.

What causes Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia occurs in two phases of life – the arrival of puberty and then can disappear as a young man. If it doesn’t resolve itself after 12 months, it will most likely not resolve on its own. Gynecomastia can also appear later in life due to various disease states, hormonal irregularities, use of bodybuilding steroids, marijuana, or a side effect of various medications. Some supplements can cause disruptions in hormones leading to an increase in breast tissue. Gynecomastia can run in families.

Am I more prone to develop Gynecomastia if I am overweight?

No. There can be very thin men with large breasts and overweight men with flat chests. However, overweight men often put extra fat on their chest, for that is one of the places that fat is predisposed. Frequently, obesity and gynecomastia will coincide.

What are the treatments for Gynecomastia?

Male breast reduction surgery is the only recognized treatment for excessive breast tissue in men. Creams, lotions, massage, injections, exercise, and “magic pills” will do nothing for established gynecomastia. Diet and exercise will not help resolved gynecomastia.

Am I a candidate for male breast reduction surgery?

The most important question you should ask yourself is: does the condition bother you both psychologically and physically? Should the answer be yes, you should consider the procedure and begin gathering information to help you make an intelligent decision. Consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in this procedure. In general, it’s recommended to wait at least until the age of 18. However, there are some circumstances where a person should consider it earlier. For this, you will need to refer to the expertise of your plastic surgeon.

Will the results be permanent? What if I gain weight after the procedure?

Surgery will remove much if not all of the breast tissue. Once the fat cells are gone, they are gone. Please note, if you should gain a substantial amount of weight after your procedure the cells that are left will get bigger. It’s important to maintain your normal weight. Conversely, if you lose weight after a gynecomastia procedure, the results of the procedure will be enhanced.

Will I be under anesthesia during surgery?

Local anesthesia is utilized during your procedure as it’s in the tumescent fluid your surgeon uses to reduce the risk of bleeding. A gynecomastia procedure is a surgical procedure most surgeons will utilize a form of anesthesia.

Will I have pain that will require medication?

Usually, pain is minimal, but a prescription for pain management is given to ensure an optimal level of comfort. We also inject long acting anesthesia to keep your chest numb and pain-free for the first 24 hours.

Will I have postoperative numbness of the skin and nipples?

No matter what method used for surgery, there is always postoperative numbness of the chest skin and the nipples due to the temporary interruption of sensory nerve fiber conduction to the skin and nipples. There is not just one sensory nerve to the nipple – there are hundreds of tiny nerve endings all trying to connect.

Eventually, symptoms of healing such as tingling, itching, and super sensitivity subside. In the vast majority of men, normal sensation returns to the skin and nipples. It may take anywhere from 5 to 6 months for full sensation to be recovered.

What should I expect immediately after my procedure?

There may be some minor bruising after your procedure; this subsides within a few days. Swelling will appear over the first few days after your procedure and can continue for several weeks. Compresses and support garments help reduce swelling. A post-op compression garment will be worn for three weeks after your procedure, and essential for appropriate healing and an excellent result.

Will I experience scarring with a male breast reduction?

Every effort is made to minimize the scars from surgery. Usually, a 3 mm (1/8 inch) incision is made on the side of the chest just down from the armpit masking the appearance of scars. With the appropriate post-operative scar management, your male breast reduction scarring will be minimal and virtually undetectable. There will be no incision or scar on the front of the chest. There are no drainage tubes used postoperatively. Dr. Wilcox is the only Texas surgeon performing this gynecomastia technique as he developed and refined this over the last 10 years and sees patients nationally and internationally.

When will I see my results?

You will see the results of your procedure within 24 to 48 hours though it will take a few weeks for swelling to dissipate. Healing affects two parts of your body: your chest and your head. For example, most patients rapidly adapt and accept their new chest contours and are totally delighted with their results, while there are others who take months until their mental self-image adjusts to the new physical image.

Some surgical results will be evident over the first couple weeks, as the swelling begins to subside, but final results take up to 6 months. You will continue to notice improvements in the chest contour for up to 12 months after your procedure, as the body finishes healing. If you’re thinking of those swim trunks for next summer, now’s the time to schedule your procedure, most patients are “beach ready” in 6-8 weeks.

Can liposuction be performed on other areas of the body (for example, abdomen or love handles) at the same time as my Gynecomastia procedure?

Yes, it’s an excellent time to rid you of excessive fat tissue in your abdomen and love handles. The rule of thumb is… if you can grab it– it can go.

Can the size of areolas be reduced?

In the majority of cases, your skin will tighten after the excessive tissue is removed. Since the nipple/areola is also a skin structure, it too will tighten and diminish in size. The averages of areolar shrinkage are about 15-20%.

The areola may also darken somewhat in color after surgery. In rare cases, when the areola is extremely large, surgery can be performed to reduce it to a more appropriate size.

What can be done if I have large nipples (not the areolas)?

Nipple enlargement (hypertrophy) can consist of abnormal length, abnormal width or both. Surgery can be performed to correct either or both of these conditions at the same time. Scars resulting from this procedure are virtually invisible. These procedures can be performed alone or in conjunction with your gynecomastia procedure.

Schedule your appointment with Dallas Plastic Surgeon Dr. Robert Wilcox.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon Dr. Robert Wilcox is a highly respected member of the plastic surgery community and has served as the past President of the Dallas Society of Plastic Surgeons. With 24 years of experience, he has established an unsurpassed track record of surgical skill and integrity. Dr. Wilcox is the Founder and Director of the Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Center of Texas. Dr. Robert Wilcox has been named Top10MD for two years in a row. Only 1 in 3 doctors succeed with this recognition in the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Wilcox link to his profile or call 972.372.9313 today.