Whether the condition is called “man boobs,” “moobs” or “gynecomastia,” the reference point remains the same. All three terms refer to the enlargement of male breasts, which can range from mild, nearly invisible swelling to noticeable breast formation. Although usually harmless and not always permanent, many men are embarrassed by this “feminine” trait and undergo male breast reduction surgery.
In this post, we’ll discuss some of the condition’s causes and symptoms, male breast reduction procedures, and what you can expect during recovery.
What Is Gynecomastia?
This is the medical term for when boys’ and men’s breast tissue swells, usually due to a hormonal imbalance that results in lower testosterone and higher estrogen levels. One or both breasts can be affected. The condition is most often seen in boys going through puberty and older men due to natural shifts in hormone levels. Newborn boys might also display the condition, as their mother’s estrogen is still present in large amounts in their bodies.
Additionally, some medications can lead to gynecomastia, including certain antibiotics, heart medication, and drugs used to treat anxiety and depression, AIDS, cancer and heartburn. Substances like marijuana, heroin, amphetamines, and steroids can also cause the condition to develop, as can excessive alcohol consumption.
Medical conditions can also cause male breast enlargement. Among these are hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, or a tumor on one or more of the glands responsible for controlling hormone production and balance.
Gynecomastia is typically nothing to be concerned about, but you should still visit your doctor anytime you notice changes in your breasts. This is especially true if they are symptomatic and bothering you with tenderness, unusual discharge and/or lumps. If your doctor gives you a clean bill of health and you still want to do something about the issue, you might consider gynecomastia removal surgery with a Houston plastic surgeon.
Male Breast Reduction Surgery to Reduce or Eliminate Gynecomastia
While most gynecomastia cases improve on their own without direct medical intervention, gynecomastia removal is a more immediate option well-suited for severe cases and/or men who suffer from painful or embarrassingly large breasts.
The surgeon makes a tiny keyhole incision through which excess fatty tissue is removed. The scars are small and located away from the chest wall.
This literally means the removal of the breast. In this case, the surgeon removes not just fat, but actual breast tissue as well. There will usually be a scar around the nipple.
This is the most invasive and expensive gynecomastia reduction surgery. Here, the surgeon may or may not remove fat in addition to lifting sagging skin to restore the breast to a firmer, higher position. This is best suited for men with more advanced cases of gynecomastia, but the resulting scars are larger and more visible than either mastectomy or liposuction scars.
Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery
Whether you’re considering gynecomastia surgery in Houston or elsewhere, you’ll want to know what to expect during recovery.
After your surgery, you can plan on about six weeks before returning to your full normal routine. Until then, you may experience bruising and swelling. For the first two weeks or so after surgery, you may need to wear an elastic pressure garment to help reduce excessive swelling while your body heals. Like any surgery, your physician will give you specific instructions about how to care for your surgical sites and what potential complications to look out for.
Surgery to remove male breasts is usually permanent. However, if the condition developed due to certain drugs (whether illegal or prescribed) or weight gain, avoiding those issues will help to maintain the results of your Houston Plastic Surgery procedure.