Gynecomastia

What is gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia, also called male breast enlargement, is an extremely common condition in which males develop excess fat and breast tissue in the chest region. Many men (well over 20 percent) experience this concern, especially as they get older; however, teens and younger boys can have it too. While gynecomastia does not present any health risks in and of itself, many patients consider this disorder to be distressing and aesthetically undesirable. Dr. Mark Richards, our board certified plastic surgeon, utilizes the latest techniques to remove excess fat and glandular tissue and restore a smoother, flatter appearance to the chest.

Causes of Male Breast Enlargement

Gynecomastia generally stems from two main sources: hormonal imbalance (relatively rare), or a genetic predisposition to fat accumulation or development of breast tissue in the chest (very common). In the latter case, the situation often persists even after major weight loss. Occasionally, certain prescription medications can also lead to hormonal fluctuations that cause swelling in the breast area. During the initial consultation, Dr. Richards will determine the origin of the condition and recommend a course of action that offers the best result possible.

Benefits of Gynecomastia Treatment

Some of the benefits that can be achieved with gynecomastia treatment include:

  • Improved self-esteem
  • Smoother, flatter chest
  • Greater comfort in and out of clothing
  • Long-lasting results

Gynecomastia/Male Breast Reduction Procedure

Depending on the consistency of the gynecomastia, liposuction may be the answer. Liposuction can remove the fatty breast tissue that contributes to the feminine appearance, thus restoring a flatter shape. VASER® LipoSelection® is especially well-suited to this procedure, because it allows fine sculpting detail and causes minimal damage to surrounding areas and normal connective tissues.

In the event the primary concern is glandular (breast) tissue, liposuction may help but not be fully effective. In this case, male breast reduction surgery can achieve more comprehensive results. Dr. Richards utilizes LipoSelection® combined with small incisions to remove the excess fatty and fibrous tissue from the chest, contouring the region to help achieve the patient’s cosmetic goals. In instances where both types of tissue are present, Dr. Richards may recommend a combination of VASER® LipoSelection® and male breast reduction.

Is non-surgical gynecomastia treatment an option?

Some practices have offered non-surgical treatment for this condition, but in our plastic surgeon’s experience the results were much less desirable. Heating or freezing the fat with energy, as some minimally invasive techniques claim to do, cannot break down the glandular tissue that is often present. Additionally, these non-surgical fat reduction methods typically cannot address excess skin that may develop from removing excess tissue. Dr. Richards’ techniques allow him to provide an aesthetically appealing outcome regardless of whether fatty tissue alone, glandular tissue alone, or a combination of the two types are found. During your initial consultation, Dr. Richards will discuss all of your options and review the benefits of each one. We welcome any questions you might have so that you can feel well-informed about your choices. If your gynecomastia is substantially all fat cells, a newly approved non-invasive device called UltraSlim may be very effective in reducing male breast size and shrinking skin. It’s available at our office now.

Recovery After Gynecomastia Treatment

Following the procedure, you should be able to return to normal activity and work within a few days. Some swelling and tenderness in the area is normal, and these effects should fade over time. We will provide prescription medication to help you manage any discomfort and make this process as pleasant as possible. Depending on the technique, you may need to wear a compressive garment band around the chest and under your clothing for part of the healing period. While recovering, you should also avoid strenuous upper body movements and exercise for approximately two weeks, or as long as Dr. Richards advises.

What do gynecomastia scars look like?

Dr. Richards makes every effort to minimize the appearance of scars. Your procedure will be customized to suit your needs, so the location of the incisions may vary from person to person. Generally they are located in skin creases under the breast and in the armpit. Other approaches may be recommended. We understand that scar tissue in a visible area like the chest can make some patients uncomfortable, but most men are so thrilled with their results they don’t notice the faint marks. Additionally, most individuals heal very well and the scars become relatively invisible over time. If you have any questions about how to reduce scarring, our medical team will be happy to provide recommendations, including laser skin resurfacing.

Dr. Richards is committed to providing his patients with excellent results. He understands that this condition can lead to lowered self-confidence, and he seeks to help improve the lives of his male patients through gynecomastia treatment.

If you have questions about male breast enlargement, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mark Richards, please contact Ageless Impressions – Plastic Surgery Institute today.