Gynecomastia is the development of enlarged breast tissue in males. Often caused by a hormonal imbalance or weight gain, gynecomastia may not necessarily be detrimental to one’s health, yet it can take a hefty toll on one’s self-image. Men with larger than normal breasts may feel their choice of clothing is restricted, exercise may be uncomfortable, or they may balk when asked to take off their shirt. Thankfully, a simple procedure can remove the fatty tissue permanently, ridding patients of the physical and mental strains of the condition.
Dr. Daniel Brown offers male breast reduction surgery using liposuction, excision, or a combination of techniques. At his offices in Carmel Valley, La Jolla, and Coronado, he helps patients to regain their physique, self-esteem, and body confidence. Male breast reduction is one of the most commonly requested surgeries. If you seek renewed comfort and confidence in your skin, free of the effects of gynecomastia, we invite you to set up an initial consultation with Dr. Brown by calling 619-461-1500, or by filling in this form.
Male breast enlargement occurs in 50 to 60% of adolescent boys, and up to 70% in men ages 50 to 69, but it can happen to men and boys of any age. In fact, some studies show that at least 3 in ten men will experience the condition at some point in their lives. Adipose tissue, the medical name for fat, is usually not as abundant in the male chest, so what exactly happens when a man experiences gynecomastia?
Hormones are the chemical messengers of our body. They are involved in almost every organ in the body, and they can dictate some of our most important attributes. Testosterone, the male sex hormone, dictates many physical features and capabilities, including hair growth, muscle mass, and strength. It also affects men’s sex drive and aspects of emotional regulation. Estrogen, the female sex hormone, is usually found in lower amounts in men compared to women.
Hormones also play a huge role in fat distribution, which is why male and female fat distribution is markedly different. A hormonal imbalance may result in higher levels of estrogen in men who should be producing much higher levels of testosterone. Estrogen causes breast tissue growth, so this imbalance in males can lead to enlarged breasts.
If you notice enlarged and sagging breast tissue that has formed on one or both breasts, you could have gynecomastia.There are a number of signs to look out for, including:
- Increased Breast Sensitivity
- Tender to the Touch
- Breast Pain
- Lumps under the skin
- Enlarged Nipples
- Nipple Puffiness
- Nipple Discharge
Physical and Social Impact
Men with enlarged breasts may find that the fit of their clothing looks different. Nipples may appear swollen and may become more prominent, particularly in tight-fitting shirts. If the patient runs regularly, they may note that the breast tissue moves more freely, causing chafing and discomfort. As well as frustrating physical symptoms, gynecomastia can also make a dent in self-esteem. Data repeatedly confirms that the condition can lead to feelings of embarrassment, shame, and distress. In one study, researchers found that a staggering 94.8% of patients reported psychological stress because of their condition.
Hormonal changes can occur rapidly in our teenage years, which can lead to the development of gynecomastia in adolescent boys. Although it varies from patient to patient, doctors generally agree that surgical intervention is not necessary. Pubertal gynecomastia resolves with time in the majority of adolescent boys, but it’s always best to check with your doctor for confirmation.
Surgical Solutions for Male Breast Development
The most common way to remove breast tissue is liposuction. A surgeon makes discreet incisions at strategic points on the chest. Then, using a long metal instrument called a cannula, dislodges the fatty tissue and suctions it away. For patients with more substantial breast tissue, the surgeon may excise fat with other surgical tools. Male breast reduction surgery is the leading treatment for gynecomastia, and carries more than just cosmetic merit. Not only does it easily create the desired body contour, but it also helps improve the overall mental health of our patients.
Benefits of Gynecomastia Surgery
Male breast reduction surgery with liposuction helps patients achieve a slimmer, more sculpted chest. Surgery can not only correct the cosmetic aspect of gynecomastia, research has indicated that the psychological factor may be significant. The benefits of breast reduction surgery may include:
- A more masculine chest profile
- Increased self-esteem and confidence
- Freedom to wear fitted clothing or go shirtless
- A more sculpted physique
- Improved posture
A male breast reduction can also inspire patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle, allowing more confidence, and improved mental health overall.
Men who are uncomfortable about enlarged breast tissue are good candidates for breast reduction liposuction. Dr. Brown treats mild to severe gynecomastia in adult males. Although adolescents can benefit from the procedure, additional treatments may be required later in life. Ideal candidates for gynecomastia include those who:
- Feel self-conscious about their male breasts
- See little-to-no change after weight loss
- Have exhausted other treatment options
- Are non-smokers
- Do not use steroids or other drugs
- Have no serious medical conditions or illnesses
- Lead a healthy, active lifestyle
- Are realistic about their expectations
If you have concerns about the size and appearance of your male breast tissue, please contact us to arrange a personal consultation with Dr. Brown.
Daniel Brown, MD, FACS is a board-certified plastic surgeon whose comprehensive approach to gynecomastia treatment has restored quality of life to hundreds of men. At your personal consultation he’ll discuss your needs with you in-person and go over some details about the liposuction procedure, such as where the small incisions will be made. He will ask you to fill out some intake and medical history forms. Please let Dr. Brown know if you have previously undergone any previous chest surgeries. Once we have all of your information, we will schedule a date for you to come in for your male breast reduction.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Brown at our La Jolla, Coronado or Del Mar office by calling (619) 461-1500.
In preparation for your surgery, we recommend that you:
- Be Healthy – A healthier lifestyle can also lead to shedding a few pounds before the procedure, reducing the amount of fat tissue for surgical removal.
- Quit Smoking – Smoking causes constriction of blood vessels. Smoking before the procedure or too soon after will reduce blood flow to the treatment zone and slow healing.
- Stop Blood-Thinning Medications – Aspirin, other NSAID pain relievers and some dietary supplements thin blood. Stop taking these at least 2 weeks before your procedure.
- Fill Your Prescriptions – Before your treatment date, Dr. Brown will prescribe medication. Fill these a few days before your procedure.
- Secure a ride home. – Ask a responsible adult to drive you to and from our office. Scheduling transportation will allow you the freedom to focus on your recovery stress-free.
A male breast reduction procedure is unique to each patient. It can be performed while you’re under local anesthesia or general anesthesia. Excess fatty tissue is then removed through liposuction, excision, or a combination of both.
Dr. Brown makes an incision on each breast on the pigmented part of the areola or underneath the patient’s armpit. A cannula is placed in the incision to suction away excess fatty tissue.
The chest area is shaped for a firmer, flatter, more masculine contour.
Excision involves the surgical removal of glandular tissue. This procedure is ideal for men with larger amounts of fatty breast tissue. Excision is performed using an intra-areolar incision, also called a Webster incision, which follows the circumference of the areolas.
Once tissue removal is complete, Dr. Brown carefully sutures each incision. Finally, the patient’s chest is wrapped with a compression garment. Patients may require postoperative drain placement in the treated area to collect fluid.
After a brief observation period, patients are released to their attending caregiver. Recovery usually takes between 1-2 weeks. In this time, patients should:
- Avoid demanding physical activity
- Avoid using swimming pools and hot tubs
- Eat foods high in protein and low in salt
- Get up and move around gently every day
- Wear a compression garment as directed
- Take medication as directed for pain
Within 4-6 weeks, patients can resume more strenuous activities such as working out, and return to other activities at the direction of Dr. Brown. The bruising and swelling will lessen with time until the final results become more apparent.
Patients will observe results immediately, with increasing satisfaction as their newly sculpted chest emerges. Scarring is minimized due to their size and location. The results of breast reduction surgery are likely to influence a more positive self-image.
Corresponding & Complementary Procedures
Dr. Brown provides additional opportunities to achieve the body aesthetics you desire. These options include contour liposuction, tummy tucks, and facelifts.
- Contour liposuction: Although men store fat in different areas of the body compared to women, stubborn deposits can persist on the belly, lower back and hips. Achieve sleeker body proportions through the liposuction contouring of areas that traditionally store excess fat.
- Eyelid Rejuvenation – Sagging eyelids are an annoyance, both practically and aesthetically. As skin elasticity decreases with age, the eyelids can droop, revealing our age. Regain a more youthful eye appearance with an eyelid rejuvenation procedure.
- Face Lift: For more comprehensive facial rejuvenation, Dr. Brown addresses neck folds, an uneven jawline, and facial folds in men with a facelift procedure. This involved surgery repositions underlying tissue, removes fat, and redrapes the skin for a firmer, smoother, younger looking appearance.
Cost of Male Breast Reduction in La Jolla, CA
The cost of male breast reduction surgery varies. We will provide an estimate based on your individualized surgical plan. This will be contingent on factors such as your goals, needs, treatment method, and personal circumstances. Contact us today for a consultation at (619) 461-1500 to learn how male breast reduction surgery for gynecomastia can help you achieve your aesthetic goals and gain body confidence!