Got Man Boobs? Male Breast Reduction Is the Answer to Your Woes
- 29 May 2016
- Dr. Nidal (Nick) Masri
Just how annoying are man boobs?
You take off your top and instead of people taking notice of the reduced beer belly that you have worked so hard for, what they see are your breasts and how they seem to be protruding in a way that men’s breasts do not.
It is definitely disconcerting, and before long you find your man boobs becoming the butt of your male friends’ jokes.
Having huge breasts is the dream of every woman, but it can be downright embarrassing if you are a man. What you probably do not know is that there is a condition for this known as gynecomastia, which affects more than half of the world’s male population.
Gynecomastia is a medical condition resulting in abnormally large breasts in men. Originating from Greek words that mean “women-like breasts,” gynecomastia is actually more common that people realize as it affects more than half of the world’s male population. It can affect one or both breasts of males of all ages.
Most of the reasons why you might develop gynecomastia are unknown. However, the most common known reason is the use of drugs like steroids, as well as any medication containing marijuana, alcohol, and estrogen. It can also be caused by a variety of medical conditions such as impaired liver function and cancer. Basically, anything that can upset a man’s hormone balance can cause gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia is generally a painless condition, although there are times when pain manifests. Other signs and symptoms include breast tenderness, swollen breast tissue, and nipple discharge—the latter of which should be reported to your physician immediately once you experience it.
Treating gynecomastia with breast reduction
Fortunately, there is a way to get rid of gynecomastia, and that is through breast reduction surgery. It is easy to dismiss such cosmetic procedure as being exclusively for women, but men who suffer from unwanted breast enlargement can also consider undergoing the procedure.
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Breast reduction—also known as reduction mammoplasty—is a cosmetic surgery procedure in which fat, tissue, and skin are removed for the purpose of decreasing breast size. According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, this is the only consistently effective treatment for gynecomastia at the moment. It provides long-lasting and permanent results of a firmer, flatter, and more contoured chest, giving you a much-needed boost of self-confidence.
Basically, if you are uncomfortable or self-conscious about the appearance of your chest, you should consider undergoing a breast reduction. If you find yourself avoiding certain activities because you are too ashamed to bare your chest, male breast reduction surgery will certainly help you.
How male breast reduction is done
At present, there are basically two ways to undergo male breast reduction surgery. One is through liposuction, while the other is through cutting out excess glandular tissue. Both procedures take an average of two hours and is usually done on an outpatient basis. You can tell your cosmetic surgeon your preference regarding your anesthesia, which can be general or local.
Typically performed under local anesthesia with sedation, liposuction for treating gynecomastia involves a small incision on each side of the chest, with the exact location depending on your needs and the preference of your cosmetic surgeon. Through these incisions, your surgeon will remove excess fat and glandular tissue, thereby sculpting a new natural-looking chest contour as well.
Recovering after a liposuction is tolerable, although it should be done at your own pace. During the first few weeks after surgery, you will be asked to wear a compression garment to help minimize swelling and offer support to healing tissues. You will also not be allowed to exercise for about three weeks, although you can return to work within several days post-surgery.
Via tissue excision
For severe cases of gynecomastia, mere liposuction may not suffice. It is during these instances that a breast reduction via tissue excision may be needed in order to achieve optimal results. This is also best for patients with stretched and sagging skin around the breasts, usually as a result of massive weight loss.
In tissue excision, the cosmetic surgeon is able to remove a greater amount of glandular tissue and skin that cannot be successfully treated by liposuction alone. It requires an incision around the edge of the areola or within the natural creases of the chest. Though the process is quite similar to liposuction, tissue excision might make patients experience more soreness and swelling. However, you can still immediately return to work after one week of recovery.
Life after male breast reduction
After having gynecomastia surgery, you will notice an immediate improvement in the shape and appearance of your chest. The results are meant to be permanent, although you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent the recurrence of gynecomastia. Remember, steroid use, significant weight gain, drugs that influence testosterone levels, and certain medical conditions can all contribute to male breast enlargement.
Pain is usually minimal, though feelings of soreness for a few days is normal. It is also normal to experience loss of sensation in the treated areas after a male breast reduction, but this is usually a temporary side effect. Sensation should return gradually in the weeks and months to follow.
Your cosmetic surgeon will prescribe you with pain medications although over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol is sufficient. You might also be given a compression garment to wear in the first few weeks post-surgery to enhance your comfort and optimize healing.
Just like any other cosmetic surgery, it is important that you find an experienced and board-certified cosmetic surgeon for your male breast reduction surgery. He will help you learn more about the procedure as well as inform you of the risks, side effects, and complications associated with it. Moreover, a qualified plastic surgeon will help you achieve the results that you want and assist you in maintaining them in the long run.
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