Treating Gynecomastia

Treating Gynecomastia
Medically reviewed by:
Sean S. Younai, MD
Encino, CA

By Leeann Morrissey © 2008
PlasticSurgery.com Staff Writer

In a society where images leave lasting impressions, life for males who do not fit the idealized picture of fit and firm bodies is often difficult. Therefore if men with rock hard abs and a muscular chest are considered highly attractive, those who have a less-than perfect physique may feel uncomfortable with their bodies. Confidence can especially be low for men who have a condition known as gynecomastia, which is a Greek term for “female-like breasts.” According to gynecomastia.org, “Gynecomastia can be emotionally devastating. Feelings of shame, embarrassment and humiliation are common.”

“Gynecomastia affects an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men…”
While it is not often discussed, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) calculates that, “Gynecomastia affects an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men.” Because breasts are considered effeminate, the condition is considered taboo and often hidden by those suffer from it.

So what causes a man to have these so-called female-like breasts?
Many agree that there is probably a strong correlation between gynecomastia and obesity, for which weight loss can be effective but not necessarily curative.

Other possible causes include:
Gynecomastia

- Certain drug use, such as steroids
- Puberty
- Genetic disorders
- Tumors

When the patient suffers from gynecomastia and isn’t overweight, male breast reduction can be used to remove fat and/or glandular tissue. In some cases, excess skin can also be removed. The result is a flatter, firmer, and better-contoured chest.

During about a one-and-a-half hour surgery, which is generally performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia, excess glandular tissue will be cut out with a scalpel, and fatty tissue will be removed through liposuction for optimal results.
“Because breasts are considered effeminate, the condition is considered taboo and often hidden by those suffer from it. ”

After surgery, one can expect to have bruising, swelling, and discomfort, which will fade with time. To help reduce swelling, a compression garment will need to be worn. “It may be three months or more before the final results of your surgery are apparent,” states the ASPS. They also add, “It will take about a month before you’re back to all of your normal activities.” However, the scars are permanent, and can be extensive.

As with any surgical procedure, there are possible risks. A qualified plastic surgeon can discuss those risks with you during an initial consultation. At this time you can also discuss your health care provider’s role in the surgery. Frequently, insurance companies don’t cover the procedural cost because gynecomastia treatment is generally considered cosmetic surgery.

Using the tools that can be found here, on PlasticSurgery.com,you have the chance find a plastic surgeon who specializes in the procedure you want. Our goal is to provide you with the resources that can assist you in making the best possible decisions regarding your body. In addition to searching for a doctor by name, region, or procedure; our Google ™ Maps surgeon finder is also a useful tool in allowing you to gather names of male breast reduction specialists closest to you.
…gynecomastia treatment is generally considered cosmetic surgery.

“This was a very informative and comprehensive review of a taboo subject -”male breasts.” According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS), gynecomastia surgery is the 5th most prevalent plastic surgery procedure among men. While plastic surgeons often come across young men with complaints of enlarged male breasts, they rarely get questions from the senior citizens who have gynecomastia. Contrary to the popular knowledge, the incidence of gynecomastia rises with age. This is because that the levels of the male hormone (testosterone) decline with aging; resulting in male breast development during the senior years. Unfortunately, seniors have traditionally been very reluctant to seek treatment because of the negative connotations associated with an older man getting cosmetic surgery. The surgical treatment of gynecomastia has evolved dramatically over the recent years.”

- S. Sean Younai, M.D., F.A.C.S.

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