When most of us think about changing how the breasts look, we think of women and breast augmentation or a breast lift.
However, everyone has breast tissue, including men. For many males, the breast tissue enlarges more than it should, which is referred to in some circles as ‘man boobs.’
This problem can occur from hormone changes, heredity, certain drugs, or an underlying medical issue. Unfortunately, some men are uncomfortable talking about this issue with a doctor or plastic surgeon.
The good news is that this problem is often treatable for men who want to change how their chest looks. In some situations, a plastic surgery procedure called gynecomastia may be appropriate.
Below is more information about the ‘man boobs’ issue, its causes, and gynecomastia treatments.
Causes Of Enlarged Male Breasts
Testosterone in men usually prevents breast tissue from growing. But some men get enlarged breasts because of hormone fluctuations or changes; in this case, it’s referred to as gynecomastia and may be treatable with plastic surgery.
Gynecomastia happens more often in some groups, such as:
- Infants, because of estrogen coming from the mother
- Teenagers, because of hormone changes
- Men over the age of 50
There are many causes of gynecomastia, and figuring out what is causing your issue is something your doctor needs to investigate:
- Changes in hormone levels
- Taking some types of antibiotics
- Taking drugs that block how testosterone affects the body
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Taking certain mental health drugs
- Taking over the counter drugs to prevent ulcers
- Taking herbal supplements containing phytoestrogens
- Using anabolic steroids or androgens
- Extra body fat from overeating
- Kidney or liver disease
- Overactive thyroid gland
But for some men, extra breast tissue isn’t the cause of developing man boobs. Like the belly, the chest can develop more fat if you eat too much or don’t exercise. In these cases, dietary changes and exercises may eliminate the problem.
How to Get Rid of Man Boobs
“How to get rid of my man boobs?” This is a question that is on many men’s minds. Some patients may turn to plastic surgery to deal with their enlarged male breasts. There are two types of surgery to consider: best for you depends on your situation, and your plastic surgeon will recommend what he or she thinks is most appropriate.
Fat Removal With Liposuction
For some men, enlarged male breasts are only due to extra fat deposited in the chest. If excess fat in this area is the primary reason for your gynecomastia, liposuction may fix the problem.
Your plastic surgeon can use tumescent liposuction to suck the extra fat out of your breasts to flatten the planes of your chest. A small cannula or tube is inserted through small incisions in the breasts during the procedure to suck out the fat.
This technique is a good option if you have good skin tone and elasticity. If you have stretched or loose skin, it may not bounce back and adhere to your new contours. In this case, your surgeon may recommend another option.
Removal of Glandular Breast Tissue
Many gynecomastia cases are caused by glandular and fatty tissue in the male breasts. Fat can be reshaped without surgery, but extra glandular tissue will resist diet and exercise.
Your surgeon can take out fibrous breast tissue via a small incision under your nipple in this surgery. Some surgeons may do both glandular tissue extraction and liposuction during this procedure to get the desired results.
Recovery From Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Recovering from gynecomastia surgery is usually minimal with few complications. If your surgery only involved liposuction, you probably will be able to go back to most of your activities after seven or 10 days. However, you should wait a few weeks to engage in strenuous physical activity, especially arm and chest exercises.
You may need about two weeks to get back to normal activities if your surgery involved the removal of the breast gland tissue.
How Long Do The Results Last?
You should see a flatter, firmer contour to your chest after this male breast reduction surgery. Most men feel comfortable with taking their shirts off in public after their breast reduction surgery. The psychological benefits of this procedure can be substantial.
The fat and glandular tissue that are removed are gone for good. But it’s essential to eat correctly and exercise after your surgery to maintain your results. If you gain weight, use steroids, or take certain medications that cause the breasts to grow again, you may need another surgery.
Questions and Answers
Is there anything else that can help except surgery?
First, it is important to make sure you indeed have gynecomastia. It is always a possibility that you don’t necessarily have gynecomastia but simply enlarged breast tissue and excess fat. To learn if this is the problem, you can first try to lose weight. If you do not have gynecomastia losing weight will begin to solve this problem. If a patient is overweight it can be easy to think that the presence of excess fat on the chest is gynecomastia when in reality losing weight will begin to solve this problem. With gynecomastia however, even if if a patient tries to lose weight, the problem will still persist. This is a good way to tell if one is struggling with gynecomastia or simply extra weight.
What foods help with gynecomastia?
Fish oil’s antioxidants, Omega-3s, zinc-based foods, vitamin-E rich foods, milk thistle, vitamin-D-rich foods, and anti-inflammatory whole fruits for managing gynecomastia.
What vitamins help with gynecomastia?
Vitamin D, and zinc-rich foods like egg yolks, oysters, and tuna. Beware of phytoestrogen-containing foods that mimic estrogen.
Can testosterone treatment help with gynecomastia?
Testosterone replacement therapy effectively addresses gynecomastia in men with low testosterone levels.
All men have some breast tissue, but medical issues, certain drugs, and hormone changes can cause the breasts to grow more than they should.
For some men, excess breast tissue may give the appearance of man boobs. People gain weight in various places, and some men first put on the pounds in the breast area.
If your enlarged breasts don’t change with exercise, dietary changes, removing, and other non-invasive treatments, you may want to consider gynecomastia plastic surgery to address the problem.
Request a Gynecomastia Consultation
Interested in a Houston gynecomastia procedure? Please set up a consultation with Dr. Ashley Steinberg – Trouvaille Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery today. She’ll talk to you about the benefits and risks of the procedure to determine if you’re a good candidate for a gynecomastia procedure.
Everything You Need To Know About Man Boobs. (2019). Accessed at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326637
Gynecomastia Surgery Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/gynecomastia-surgery