Gynecomastia (Male Breast Reduction)
How many times have you heard the term “man boobs?” It’s not exactly a compliment. But enlarged male breasts are one of the truly misunderstood parts of the male anatomy. People assume that if a man has enlarged breasts that it’s a direct result of carrying a few too many pounds. And, while this can be true, it can often be a case of gynecomastia, male breast enlargement.
Are male breasts common?
It’s estimated that around 50 percent of men suffer from gynecomastia, and it can trash a man’s self-esteem. But most men do nothing about the condition, other than avoiding trips to Indiana Dunes State Park or the myriad lakes around here.
Dr. Van Putten performs male breast reduction surgery to correct enlarged breasts. In the procedure, excess skin, fat, and glandular tissue is removed from the breasts. This returns them to a normal size and returns the patient’s self-esteem with it.
Causes of male breast enlargement
Almost three quarters of all teenage boys suffer from gynecomastia to some degree. In these younger patients, the cause is simple — puberty. Both estrogen and testosterone surge during this time, often resulting in enlarged breasts, along with acne and other common issues. Once puberty ends, so usually does gynecomastia.
In adult men, the causes aren’t so clear-cut. The condition usually arises in middle-aged and older men, and, like teens, this is a time of shifting hormones. It is also thought that various medications can cause gynecomastia: antibiotics, anti-anxiety drugs, steroids, heartburn treatment drugs, tricyclic antidepressants, and AIDS treatment drugs. Heavy drinking and regular use of marijuana can also trigger breast development.
Ideal candidates for Gynecomastia
Most men with gynecomastia have a firm, rubbery mass underneath the nipple area. The area is roughly two inches in diameter and is sensitive to the touch. This is sometimes called a breast bud.
Men whose breast growth is the result of weight gain are not candidates for reduction surgery. These patients need to first lose weight to see if their enlarged breasts return to normal. Heavy drinkers and marijuana users are not candidates.
What to expect during Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Once Dr. Van Putten has confirmed you have gynecomastia, you’ll discuss the surgery. The procedure is straightforward and is performed as an outpatient procedure. Small incisions are made either in the armpit or around the areola to eliminate any visible scarring. Dr. Van Putten performs male breast reduction surgery without a half moon incision around the nipple/areola which is a traditional procedure. Instead, it is done through small liposuction incision not located on the areola. Dr. Van Putten then removes glandular tissue, excess skin, and excess fat. Liposuction may be included to remove fat pockets; it may be the primary method for the procedure.
Recovery from male breast reduction surgery is not difficult. The incisions are relatively small. There will be some swelling and discomfort, but this is short lived. Patients will wear a compression garment to help the chest adhere to its new contour and to minimize swelling. There is often some loss of sensation in the treated areas after gynecomastia surgery, but this is almost always only temporary.
When can I resume exercise?
Normal activities can be resumed in about one week, and this includes exercise. However, any exercise that specifically targets or involves the chest will need to wait for a month or so. Dr. Van Putten will discuss these timeframes with you.
Schedule a consultation
For more information on gynecomastia (male breast reduction surgery), or would like to schedule a consultation, call (219) 464-7546 today! Dr. Van Putten serves Valparaiso, Indiana and surrounding areas.