Gynecomastia surgery, or male breast reduction, is a highly effective treatment for enlarged male breasts. It yields permanent results and provides a more contoured chest for an overall masculine appearance. At Nuance Cosmetic Surgery in Folsom, California, our highly-trained staff can support you throughout the surgery.
The Details of Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia is an enlargement or swelling of male breast tissue. It can affect one or both breasts and is characterized by excess fat, glandular tissue, and/or skin. This condition starts as a small lump beneath the nipple. Breasts then start to grow, usually unevenly, at a rate that is different for every male. When touched, enlarged breasts usually feel rubbery or firm.
The most common cause of gynecomastia is estrogen; levels are either too high or out of balance with testosterone. Other factors that can play a contributing role include:
- Lack of proper nutrition
- Tumors in the testicles or adrenal glands
- Liver disease
- Kidney failure
- Use of certain drugs
- Alcohol and recreational drug abuse
Understanding Male Hormones
Men produce both estrogen and testosterone within their bodies. A fluctuation in hormone levels, which happens naturally during puberty, or a change in how the body responds to these chemicals can lead to enlarged breasts. This means the condition may occur at any point in a male’s life, or it can persist starting at a young age.
Estrogen and testosterone are normal hormones that occur in–and are necessary to–both male and female bodies, albeit at different levels. In other words, men do and should have estrogen in their system. At different times these hormones fluctuate naturally in response to the growing body. It is when one becomes imbalanced that problems might ensue.
Life Cycle Changes
Breast growth in newborns is caused by exposure to estrogen from the mother. About one-half of male babies have enlarged breasts; they typically go away within six months but can last longer.
In preteens and teens, hormonal changes that occur naturally during puberty cause some breast growth. This also commonly goes away within six months but can last up to two years. Around age 50, men once more experience hormonal fluctuations that can contribute to enlarged breasts.
Prevalence of Gynecomastia
Around 50 to 60 percent of adolescents have gynecomastia at some point in their lives. The condition usually peaks around age 14 and, if it hasn’t gotten better by age 17, may persist indefinitely. Sometimes, a male’s chest continues to flatten into his twenties.
Adult males have an even higher rate of prevalence. Around 65 percent of men between the ages of 27 and 92 experience a degree of gynecomastia. In some cases, puffy nipples accompany enlarged breasts.
How Does Male Breast Reduction Work?
The surgery is done as an outpatient procedure under general or local anesthesia. The nature of this procedure depends on whether fat, glandular tissue, or excess skin needs to be removed from the breast area. In the cases of fat extraction, liposuction may be used in conjunction with the surgery.
During surgery, an incision is made to remove the glandular and fat tissues from your breast. The incision may be made around your nipple, and the length will depend upon your anatomy (we ensure all incisions are as small as possible). Once excess tissue has been removed and the remaining skin has been tightened, the incision is closed.
What Will the Chest Look Like After?
Surgery serves to flatten breasts and also enhance chest contours. This provides a more masculine appearance and can balance out the body. In severe cases where breasts sag and the areola has been stretched, surgery can be just as beneficial as in non-severe cases.
The goal of surgery is to make your chest look natural without any indication of a procedure. After, your breasts will no longer round, and you’ll enjoy a more symmetrical appearance. Surgery also eliminates the crease caused by excess tissue between your chest and the top of the abdomen.
Details About the Procedure
Gynecomastia surgery is right for almost everyone. If you are in good health and have realistic expectations about what the surgery can do for you, it’s likely you’re a candidate. During your consultation, we will conduct a thorough review of your lifestyle, medical history, and overall health. From there, we’ll discuss the ways this surgery can help you achieve the appearance you want.
Surgery and Recovery Are Quick
You will feel no pain or discomfort during your procedure, and you can go home the same day after a brief observation period. The surgery takes around two hours, and we’ll be available to answer any questions you have and provide post-care instructions.
Regardless of the procedure method, scarring after surgery is minimal. We typically put a dressing or compression garment over the treated areas to control swelling and maintain shape and structure. Most patients can return to work in less than a week and resume their regular schedules in two to three weeks. Doctor Sumida will give you specific instructions to ensure the safest and fastest healing.
Fat cells cannot grow back once they are removed, which makes this surgery such a success. However, we have to caution you against gaining weight in the future. A significant increase can cause any fat cells that still remain to expand and again enlarge your breasts. For this reason, we recommend three essential steps in keeping your results:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Abstain from excessive alcohol use
- Do not take steroids unless prescribed by your doctor
Scarring Is Minimal
The incisions made during male breast reduction surgery are small and discreet. This leads to minimal scarring that will have little to no impact on your overall appearance.
Our office is housed in a state-of-the-art facility, and we use the most advanced surgical techniques available. Our surgery center is AAAAF certified, and we have years of experience in providing a comfortable and results-driven experience for all patients.
Reasons to Have Surgery
Gynecomastia surgery is the only consistently effective treatment to reduce the appearance of enlarged breasts. This is because even men with very trim bodies can have bigger breasts. The common cause in these cases is glandular tissue.
Many men with gynecomastia also suffer from depression because of poor body image. This can trigger insecurities that make it difficult to meet new people, enjoy outdoor activities, and be more carefree. But after the procedure, patients feel more comfortable with their bodies. They enjoy a fuller life, whether going to the pool or participating in a pick-up game of basketball.
Makes It Easier to Maintain Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight can be difficult for men with gynecomastia. The excess chest tissue can make physical activity painful and uncomfortable. Breast reduction surgery not only boosts your confidence so you want to engage in the activities you love, but it also makes doing so much easier. This is especially true of physical activities, which can help you manage your weight without feeling self-conscious.
Can Ease Back Pain
Enlarged breasts can cause severe and chronic back pain that, with time, may extend to the buttocks and lower back region. This can affect posture, compromise the strength of your core, and even impact walking. After surgery, back pain naturally eases, and you can begin exercising again to re-strengthen muscles.
Provides Peace of Mind
With confidence comes peace of mind. The surgery can help you look and feel your best, which can be a relief after years of self-doubt.
At our office, we work daily with male and female patients, so we understand you may want to change your appearance but feel odd admitting that. Rest assured that we will provide all the information you need so your surgery goes as smoothly as possible.
Common Myths of Gynecomastia
Many times, men believe they have to simply live with enlarged breasts. But, happily, this is not the case. As we’ve discussed here, male breast reduction surgery is a straightforward procedure that provides permanent results.
It’s also commonly believed that only overweight men experience gynecomastia. In reality, men of all sizes can have enlarged breasts, and it doesn’t matter if you have a large, full figure or a thin, narrow build. Many different factors contribute to this condition, meaning it can affect nearly anyone.
Steroids Do Not Help Gynecomastia
Some men think they can reduce the size of their breasts by taking steroids that increase their testosterone levels. This can, in fact, have the opposite effect and make the effects of gynecomastia worse. After coming off the drugs, testosterone levels will again fluctuate, and a surge in estrogen can cause chest fat to develop more quickly.
Chest Exercises Cannot Reduce Breasts
Gynecomastia is associated with excess fatty tissue. Chest exercises can build muscle tone but will not reduce the abundance of tissue in that area. We still recommend, however, that you exercise and enjoy a healthy diet to maintain overall health.
Male Breasts Are Not Genetic
While genetics may play a role in weight, they are not solely responsible for meal breast development. Even men who are thin can develop large breasts because of hormonal imbalances, some prescription drug use, or recreational drug abuse.
Hormone Pills Won’t Work
Although hormones prescribed by a doctor can help balance these critical chemicals, they cannot reduce enlarged male breasts. This is because, again, the breasts contain fatty tissues that need to be removed.
The Male Misconception
Throughout history, society has focused more on women’s bodies than men’s. Women, as a result, have been given more options to enhance their appearance with makeup and cosmetic treatments. We’ve assumed that men, as part of their inherent masculinity, are happy with their bodies.
We now know this isn’t always the case. Men can feel just as insecure as women, and a survey revealed that males tend to worry more about their looks than money. Knowing this has allowed us to embrace a universal truth: men want to look and feel good just as much as women do.
Don’t Be Embarrassed
Wanting to make a change to your body to boost your confidence is perfectly acceptable. Of course, we know that male breast reduction comes with a whole host of benefits – like reduced back pain – but the choice to have this surgery is highly individualized, and we understand that. This is why we encourage you to shake off any feelings of embarrassment.
Take the Next Step
If you want to change the appearance of your chest, we recommend male breast reduction. Downtime is minimal, the results are almost immediate, and you can finally have the more masculine and contoured body you desire.
Our staff provides personal, compassionate care backed by knowledge and experience. Call Nuance Cosmetic Surgery of Sacramento, CA, today. We look forward to guiding you on this new and exciting journey.