Gynecomastia: Causes and Effective Treatment Options

Gynecomastia: Causes and Effective Treatment OptionsAbnormal enlargement of breast tissue or gynecomastia is an embarrassing concern for many men. It often has an impact on the individual’s social and emotional well-being. Gynecomastia can be effectively addressed with the cosmetic procedure male breast reduction in NYC. Though gynecomastia can occur at any age, it is commonly seen in adolescent boys, with around two-thirds of them developing some form of gynecomastia.

A recent US News article discussed the views of expert plastic surgeons on excess breast tissue or gynecomastia, how it affects millions of males regardless of age and the required strategies to cope with the situation. Dr. Christopher T. Chia, MD, the surgical director of bodySCULPT®, a plastic surgery group in New York City, points out that gynecomastia patients who come into his office are often men in their 20s and 30s who recall painful memories for having “man boobs”. Dr. Chia says, “It’s especially poignant for young boys who are coming into puberty, that’s a complicated period of life anyway. You add to that how kids could be merciless. A lot of these boys [with gynecomastia] don’t want to take their shirts off. They won’t change in front of their peers in the locker room, they wait until everyone leaves. Or they won’t shower after their gym class, their self-consciousness is that great.”

Factors such as hormonal imbalances, heredity, obesity, Gilbert’s syndrome, prevalence of certain medical conditions and the use of certain drugs that either increase estrogen production or hamper testosterone production could be the reasons for abnormal enlargement of the male breast. According to the Mayo Clinic, most cases of gynecomastia are caused by hormone changes during puberty in adolescents and a small percentage is caused by medication. Dr. Chia says, “Talk to your primary care physician, so that they can identify whether your gynecomastia is caused by medication, and whether discontinuing the meds could correct the condition.” He also adds that the doctor can reassure the patient that this condition is an extremely common one, and that they are not alone.

Other plastic surgeons say that gynecomastia caused by hormone changes in adolescent boys (age of 12 to 14) is relatively common. That is, in as many as 50 to 75 percent of adolescent boys (with gynecomastia), the excess breast tissue typically go away without treatment in six months to two years, but for others it would remain. Gynecomastia could create fullness under the breast or under the nipple which could be mild to severe. But the effects of gynecomastia are strictly aesthetic, and the condition isn’t associated with any other ill effects.

If you have gynecomastia and if medications have failed to resolve this embarrassing issue, you can benefit from male breast reduction surgery or gynecomastia surgery. When thinking about undergoing treatment, ask yourself these questions.

  • How much does the condition bother you? Is it basically a cosmetic concern? Gynecomastia becomes a concern when it is moderate to severe and causes a person considerable distress and embarrassment, and affects his quality of life.
  • Consider whether seeking treatment will make you feel better and whether you can afford the treatment.
  • Are you an ideal candidate? Talk to your doctor to find out whether you need the treatment and whether it can benefit you.

In recent years, the changing fashion concepts of men have persuaded an increasing number of teenagers and men to seek gynecomastia surgery. Even though the procedure provides optimal results, is there any minimum age to have the treatment? This question is more relevant for teenagers, because when teenage boys are seeking this treatment, they have to understand that it is not uncommon for boys to experience some changes to their breasts during puberty which however would take 2 to 3 years to resolve. If the condition persists and becomes a source of emotional distress and embarrassment, breast reduction treatment could be the solution.

With advanced technologies such as BodyTite RFAL (radiofrequency assisted liposuction) device or the Smartlipo Triplex laser liposuction device, male breast reduction in NYC can be performed safely and effectively. Both these modalities are designed to provide effective fat reduction as well as significant skin contraction. The procedure also improves the appearance and position of the areolas and gives a more natural male chest contour.

Yet another innovative surgical technique, ‘Boomerang’, can safely and effectively correct gynecomastia in muscular men who have shed significant amounts of weight. In this method, gynecomastia is successfully resolved as part of comprehensive body contouring surgery. The procedure involves making a series of opposing elliptical excisions to remove excess skin. The final result is tight skin closure to reveal superficial muscular bulk.

Ideally, gynecomastia surgery is delayed until full development of the male breast. This could be around the age of 18 years, after the effects of adolescent hormonal development on the breasts cease. Experienced and skilled plastic surgeons at an AAAASF-accredited plastic surgery center would perform a comprehensive history and physical exam and possibly blood tests to check your hormone levels. To confirm that the patient is a good candidate for surgery, they will make sure that there is no other underlying cause for the gynecomastia. Understanding how common gynecomastia is and that it’s not associated with other health effects can help you keep the condition in perspective.