Not Only for Women: Should You See a Plastic Surgeon for Male Breast Reduction?

Not Only for Women: Should You See a Plastic Surgeon for Male Breast Reduction?

by Yenny (SU)

It is true that we live in a culture and society where appearance matters, and youth and beauty are prized, not just with women, but for men too. Contrary to what you might be thinking, plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures are not just for women. Research by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has shown that over the years, there's been a huge boom is men's aesthetic surgery. And for some men who experience larger or uneven breast tissue, plastic surgery can help provide a toned and acceptable physique.

When you think about breast surgery, whether it be breast implants, breast lift, breast augmentation, breast reduction or breast reconstruction, we generally think about the female anatomy, because men typically don’t have breasts that protrude naturally. 

But, did you know that men actually do have breasts? The breast tissue overlies their pectoral muscles on the chest, and is generally less developed than a woman’s. Men don’t have mammary glands, meaning they don’t have the ability to produce milk the way that women do. However, in some men, they can develop enough breast tissue that it looks similar to female breasts, from a condition called gynecomastia.

What Exactly is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a common condition where a male’s breast tissue is over-developed or enlarged on one or both breasts. Gynecomastia is most common among adolescent boys, as well as men who are 50-70 years old. However, this condition can develop at any age, whether due to the aging process, weight gain, obesity, medications, genetics, or hormonal changes.

Most men with Gynecomastia are embarrassed by their condition, which can cause emotional and psychological distress, which often hinders their confidence and self-esteem. Men with this condition often deal with their body insecurities by hiding themselves, and avoiding activities where they have to be shirtless, such as swimming. Having gynecomastia can also cause intimacy issues with current and potential relationships.

As mentioned before, the aging process, weight gain (obesity), medications, and hormonal changes can all cause a man’s breast tissue to enlarge. Fortunately, plastic surgery can remove the excess fatty tissue, restoring a more masculine look that will make you feel like yourself again. So, there is no need to feel embarrassed about enlarged male breasts anymore.

Gynecomastia Surgery

As surgery is available for this condition, men often want to shape and reduce the size of their protruding male breasts, or “moobs”, as some people call it. Therefore, plastic surgery is done to get rid of the enlarged breast tissue, restoring their pectoral muscles to have a flattering, masculine chest appearance.

Some experts say that men resort to cosmetic surgery due to possibly feeling pressure from the media and society’s intense value on beauty, which is something that women have endured for years. Even if that’s the case, it’s not a negative trait to pursue cosmetic/plastic surgery options if it is warranted. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of male breast reduction procedures for those with gynecomastia grew by 35 percent from 2000 to 2015.

These statistics have shown that gynecomastia surgery, or male breast reduction surgery, is on the rise. The surgery is fast becoming one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures. Even though it can be fixed, many people feel concerned about how they developed gynecomastia in the first place. It appears that everything from our lifestyles, our eating habits, hormones, aging, medications, and even marijuana use can all play some part in the development of enlarged male breasts. If men lose tone in their chest area, a plastic surgeon can help.

Surgery for gynecomastia, or male breast reduction, is called a mammoplasty. This can help to restore a man’s confidence and self-esteem. The procedure reduces breast size while flattening and enhancing the chest’s pectoral muscles. The good news is that gynecomastia signs rarely return after breast surgery.

This procedure is performed under local anesthesia, and may involve liposuction, and removal of glandular tissue. After the mammoplasty procedure, patients will be asked to wear a tight spandex-like garment for several weeks to help support the breast tissue while it heals. Depending on the patient’s case, and extent of glandular tissue that was removed, there also may be drains attached for several days. Patients will also be restricted from physical activity and need to rest for a period of time following surgery.

Good candidates for gynecomastia surgery are men who have excessive breast tissue. You will be examined in a consultation with your plastic surgeon, who will advise you on next steps, and if this procedure is right for you. Plastic surgeons generally recommend waiting until your body or breast tissue has fully developed, and stopped growing, before you decide to get male breast reduction surgery. Getting the surgery when everything is fully developed will allow the surgeon to fully remove the glandular tissue, instead of having to do multiple revisions, making the result successful, with no complications.

Gynecomastia does not have to be a problem anymore. To learn more about this condition, and if you may be a candidate for male breast reduction surgery, consult with the plastic surgeons of Atlantic Center for Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery at (954) 983-1899, or request an appointment online.