Do Men Have Special Gynecomastia Surgery?
Men can develop a condition referred to as gynecomastia, better known as “man boobs.” This is the benign (non-cancerous) enlargement of breast tissue in males. Gynecomastia can occur either unilaterally (on one side) or bilaterally (on both sides) of the chest causing swollen breast tissue or breast tenderness. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) this condition is quite common and accounts for more than 65% of all male breast disorders.
Gynecomastia can be caused by obesity (excess body weight), abnormal hormone balance, onset of puberty, the presence of tumors, smoking marijuana, drinking alcohol, and from various medical conditions. About 10-25% of most cases are estimated to be the results of taking certain medications. This type is referred to as non-physiologic gynecomastia. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, as many as 65% of 14-year-old boys have enlarged breasts. Most cases of adolescent gynecomastia will resolve within six months to two years. Senile gynecomastia is typically found in men between the ages of 60-80 years of age. This is caused by the declining testosterone levels that occur with the normal aging process. Testosterone is a sex hormone released into the testicles of men giving them their “manly” characteristics. Approximately 25% of gynecomastia cases have unknown causes.
A condition called pseudogynecomastia or lipomastia may resolve with diet or exercise. In certain cases there is an appearance of fat on the chests of men and boys. This type looks like the typical gynecomastia and is usually composed of adipose (fatty) tissue instead of glandular tissue. Glandular tissue secrete substances from the body, such as milk glands. Exercises such as incline bench-press and push-ups can reduce chest fat and build pectoral muscles.
Men with gynecomastia often refuse to remove their shirts in public or hide their condition under baggy sweatshirts to avoid embarrassment. Shame, humiliation, decreased self-esteem along with insecurity are emotions often experienced by men with “man boobs.” Unfortunately, there is no exercise or nutritional program that can resolve this condition. There are surgical techniques plastic surgeons can use to remove this excessive breast tissue. Ask Dr Zacharia from Sydney any questions about plastic surgery.
Male Breast Reduction Surgery is intended for healthy adult males with emotional stability. The best candidates for this procedure are men at their ideal weight with firm skin and good elasticity. Men that are overweight or obese will be discouraged from having the procedure until an attempt is made to lose weight. It must be determined by your doctor that the reason for your gynecomastia is not due to an underlying condition that may cause you to have the tendency for the breast tissue to grow back.
Male breast reduction surgery is typically about a two or three hour procedure performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Sedation means that you will be asleep during the procedure. Depending upon the amount of tissue that needs to be removed will determine if only liposuction is required. The plastic surgeon may have to use a scalpel to remove excessive tissue, fat, glandular tissue, and skin. The procedure that may be performed could include subcutaneous mastectomy, liposuction-assisted mastectomy, laser-assisted liposuction, and laser-lipolysis without liposuction. This will most likely be done by creating an incision (cut) around the areola (nipple) or in the axillary (underarm) region. Liposuction involves “vacuuming the fatty tissue” out through a small hollow tube (cannula). However, if there is a lot of “glandular” tissue to be removed, a mastectomy will be performed. This procedure involves cutting around the nipple and removing the underlying breast tissue.Recovery time will be similar to that of a woman having breast reduction surgery. You will be following the same precautions and will need to use a compression garment after surgery to reduce swelling. Most of the side effects will subside within one to two weeks. Work can be resumed at this time, however there will be a stipulation that strenuous activities and lifting are to be avoided.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, this procedure costs between $2,500-$6,000. Where you have the surgery performed will determine the final cost. There is a possibility that male breast reduction surgery will be covered by your health care provider if the development is caused by an underlying medical condition. Many insurance companies may deny coverage for gynecomastia treatment or male breast reduction on the basis that it is a cosmetic procedure.
There has been a rise in the prevalence of gynecomastia in men in recent years. The increase in cases could be linked to the use of anabolic steroids (often used by body-builders), exposure to xenestrogens (artificially produced hormones) present in cosmetic products, pesticides and the increase of use of industrial chemicals.
Gynecomastia, in most cases, is not physically harmful. However, it may be an indicator of a more serious underlying condition, such as testicular cancer (cancer of the testicles.) Consult with your primary physician and see if you are a suitable candidate for breast reduction surgery.