What is gynecomastia?

It’s believed that around half of all men suffer from gynecomastia; most never do anything about it or even suspect it of being a “condition.” But having enlarged breasts can really impact a man’s self-esteem. Gynecomastia, a word of Greek origin meaning “woman-like breasts,” can affect one or both breasts. The condition is common and well understood in teenage boys but is somewhat of a mystery in adult men.Three quarters of all teenage boys have gynecomastia to some degree. It’s a direct result of puberty, where estrogen and testosterone levels can be off the charts, leading to enlarged breasts, along with acne and other teenage issues. Luckily for many teenagers, once puberty ends so does their gynecomastia. Sometimes though, young men have their gynecomastia stay through adulthood. In other adults, breast enlargement arises in middle-aged and older men. This is a time of shifting hormones, too, and that is thought to play a role. In other cases, medications have links to gynecomastia: steroids, antibiotics, anti-anxiety drugs, heartburn treatment drugs, tricyclic antidepressants, and AIDS treatment drugs. Steroids, in particular, are linked to enlarged breast development in men due to their hormonal makeup. Heavy drinking and marijuana use are also thought to be triggers.

Who would be a good candidate for male breast reduction?

The question of whether surgery can fix a patient’s condition involves ruling some things out. If a man’s enlarged breasts are due to weight gain, the first step is to lose the weight and see if the condition persists.

How long does male breast reduction surgery take?

These procedures usually take between 1.5 to 2 hours for Dr. Lowenstein.

What will recovery be like?

These are not complicated or difficult procedures, and recovery is not difficult. The incisions are small and heal relatively easily. You will have some swelling and discomfort, but this passes pretty quickly. We put patients in a compression garment to minimize swelling and to help the chest adhere to its new contour. You may have some loss of sensation in the treated areas after your reduction surgery, but this is usually short-lived. Most of our patients from Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and all over the Los Angeles area can return to their normal activities after around two weeks. This includes most forms of exercise, with the exception of any exercise that specifically targets or involves the chest. Those sorts of exercise will need to wait for a month or so. Dr. Lowenstein will discuss timelines with you during your consultation.

Is male breast reduction surgery permanent?

Patients wonder if this surgery will need repeating later on. True gynecomastia, versus enlarged breasts due to weight gain or other lifestyle factors, is caused mainly by excess glandular tissue. This causes the protrusion of the nipple-areola complex. In male breast reduction surgery, Dr. Lowenstein removes the majority of the mammary gland, leaving enough to support the nipple areola. With this tissue gone, the chances of recurrence are very low. However, if the gynecomastia was due to the use of steroids, marijuana, or other medications, it is possible for a patient’s breasts to become enlarged again if usage is continued. Also, a sizable increase in weight can allow fat to accumulate in the breasts, although this isn’t true gynecomastia. If you want to maintain your new chest contours, keeping to a healthy weight, and moderating your alcohol or marijuana use will be necessary. Steroid use would fully need to cease, as enlarged breasts are a direct side effect.

What are the risks involved with gynecomastia surgery?

This is a low-risk procedure. This is even more the case with a board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Lowenstein. It is surgery, so there are the usual risks of excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, infection, and the like, but these are rare because this procedure involves small incisions. The main risk is some loss of nipple sensation, but this is usually a temporary change and feeling returns as the affected tissues recover. For More Information On Gynecomastia, Contact Us Today

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