The scientific term, gynecomastia, is used for enlarged male breasts. This condition is one that can create a feminine chest due to abnormally growing breast tissue. Many times, gynecomastia is related to an unknown hormonal issue. It may also be caused by certain medications, steroids, obesity, or it can be hereditary. Men with this condition typically feel anxious and worried, especially in situations where the upper body and chest are seen, such as at the beach or pool or at the gym. St. Petersburg, FL plastic surgeon Dr. John J. O'Brien Jr. performs male breast reduction surgery for men who suffer from gynecomastia. This surgical procedure does have a high success rate. It is considered one of the more common cosmetic procedures for men at St. Petersburg Center for Plastic Surgery.
"Body Lift 2015, 45 Year Old Male - Saint Petersburg, FL - I recently just passed my six week mark post op from a lower body lift, and chest lipo. This was a big step for me, first time for any surgery! Just a little history, I had lost over 110 pounds, from weighing 305 lbs to 195 lbs on the day of surgery. I had been exercising, running, eating right but could not lose that extra skin, I had hit 14% body fat. I met with Dr. John O'Brien, Jr. in..."- S. / RealSelf / Aug 04, 2015
Ideal Candidates for Gynecomastia
Male breast reduction surgery is reserved for men who have enlarged breasts that cannot be reduced through a healthy lifestyle or exercise and diet. If you feel anxiety or are bothered by the appearance of your chest (but physically healthy), you could possibly benefit from gynecomastia surgery by Dr. O'Brien at St. Petersburg Center for Plastic Surgery. Teenagers may also attain positive results from gynecomastia treatment; however, a secondary procedure may be warranted later as an adult if abnormal breast tissue continues to form. In your initial consultation with Dr. O'Brien, treatment considerations will be given, including the possibility of undergoing surgery to correct the condition.
Surgical Technique for Gynecomastia
Liposuction is often utilized during surgery for gynecomastia. With the patient safely under general anesthesia, liposuction reduces excess pockets of fat from the internal chest region. Afterward, any skin showing laxity will be removed to produce a more tightened look, and then the areola and nipple will be surgically reshaped and placed into a proper position. For most men, this method requires an incision close to where the glandular tissue collects. After the pockets of fat and excess skin have been removed, Dr. O'Brien will pull and tighten the remaining skin.
What To Expect from a Gynecomastia
Following your gynecomastia surgery, the chest will be secured with a compression bandage to help reduce bruising and swelling. For complex cases where a reconstructive method was used, a small tube for draining may be placed to help with fluid. The outcomes following male breast reduction surgery are almost immediately noticeable and most men are extremely satisfied with the cosmetic enhancement. Any incisions made during treatment take several weeks to heal and any scars left behind are barely seen. With your new, masculine-appearing chest, you may get permission from Dr. O'Brien to engage in exercise and weight training, which will complement the end results.
Frequently Asked Questions for Gynecomastia
How much does male breast reduction cost?
Excessive male breast tissue (gynecomastia) is a medical problem that is best handled by an experienced surgeon. For this reason, Dr. O'Brien suggests you focus on how to get your best results rather than costs. To make male breast reduction surgery fit your budget, St. Petersburg Center for Plastic Surgery takes several payment methods and we can also help you find low-interest financing. While surgery for gynecomastia is usually not covered by insurance, it's worth contacting your insurer to check.
What causes gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia develops in men when there is an imbalance in the hormones. Typically, gynecomastia is connected to the use of androgens and anabolic steroids. It may also be the result of using illegal drugs, including marijuana or heroin. Gynecomastia might also be triggered by some medical conditions (hyperthyroidism, hypogonadism, and tumors) or some medications (highly active antiretroviral therapy for AIDS, chemotherapy, and anti-anxiety medications).
How can I tell if I have gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia occurs in men when there is an overgrowth of breast tissue in the chest, which can cause pain, swelling, and tenderness. Some patients might have pseudogynecomastia (false gynecomastia), so Dr. O'Brien suggests patients lose weight by following an exercise plan and healthy diet before considering surgery. If you have excess breast tissue when you are at a healthy weight, Dr. O'Brien will perform a physical exam and order diagnostic tests. This might include a mammogram, blood tests, or a biopsy to look for other causes like an infection or the breast tissue (mastitis) or cancer.
Can gynecomastia be treated with exercise or pills?
Male breast reduction surgery is the most effective treatment for gynecomastia. Currently, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) hasn't approved any medications for the treatment of gynecomastia. Although they aren't approved for gynecomastia, a few breast cancer medications (Raloxifene or Tamoxifen) might give you minimal improvements. Upper body weight training to increase the pectoral muscles will not reduce the excess breast tissue and could even make the breasts look bigger.
Will this fix puffy or pointy nipples?
Puffy or pointy nipples may be caused by glandular gynecomastia. If you are concerned about this, be sure to tell Dr. O'Brien at your consultation. He will personalize your surgical plan to select the best incision pattern and technique to improve your nipples. Oversized areolas may also be corrected in surgery for gynecomastia. It is crucial to be open with Dr. O'Brien about all your concerns and wants during your initial consultation, so he can make sure you get the best results.
Restore your Masculine Chest
If you are frustrated with the side effects of male breast enlargement (gynecomastia), we invite you to get in touch with our office and schedule a private consult with Dr. O'Brien to learn about our male breast reduction procedure at St. Petersburg Center for Plastic Surgery. Once you've had treatment for male breast enlargement (gynecomastia), you won't have to keep hiding your chest when you go to the gym and beach. We have worked with many St. Petersburg, FL men and have enjoyed helping them reclaim their confidence.