According to the National Institutes of Health, almost 70% of men in the United States experience the development of unwanted male breast tissue known as gynecomastia.
What causes gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is caused by a decrease in testosterone in men or boys, as compared to estrogen. The hormone imbalance can be caused by conditions that either limit or reduce the effects of testosterone, reduce it, or conditions that increase the level of estrogen.
Many think that estrogen is a hormone that only females have, but men also produce estrogen, only usually in small amounts. Estrogen levels that are imbalanced with testosterone and too high can be the cause of gynecomastia.
A number of health conditions can also be the cause of gynecomastia, as well as the use of certain medications, herbal products, recreational drugs, and alcohol.
Types of Gynecomastia
1. Adult Gynecomastia
Adult gynecomastia is the most common form. The National Institutes of Health statistics show that around 65% of men experience gynecomastia between the ages of 27 and 92. Adult gynecomastia develops at this age as a result of hormonal imbalances but also because of certain medical conditions, genetics, the use of some medications, and weight gain.
2. Adolescent Gynecomastia
Between 50 – 60% of teenage and pre-teen boys develop unwanted male breast tissue due to the hormonal fluctuations of puberty when estrogen levels are high. This type of gynecomastia is also often hereditary. Typically, adolescent male hormone levels become more balanced over time, and this can resolve itself as most men develop a more masculine appearance in their early 20s.
3. Fatty Gynecomastia
Also known as pseudo-gynecomastia, fatty gynecomastia is caused by excess fat. Because the excess tissue is fat tissue, as opposed to other types of tissue, the recommended treatment is weight loss. However, as this is an area of the body that does not respond particularly well to weight loss, oftentimes weight loss isn’t enough, and cosmetic treatments may be needed.
4. Asymmetric or Unilateral Gynecomastia
When one or both of the breasts are of different sizes, it’s referred to as asymmetric or unilateral gynecomastia. Liposuction is a common treatment for this type to achieve a more symmetrical appearance.
5. Severe Gynecomastia
Severe gynecomastia typically refers to and affects men of an older age who have lost skin elasticity, and who may have been overweight or obese in their life. The combination of weight loss and the loss of skin elasticity leaves some men with severely enlarged breasts.
Many men are now undergoing a simple male breast reduction liposuction procedure to help remove unwanted fat in the breast area. Dr. Johnson can help treat gynecomastia by removing unwanted fat from the chest through a combination of the use of Tickle/Vibro Liposuction with SmartLipo Laser Liposuction. This combination allows for the removal of the fat while tightening the skin around the breast area. This treatment also has skin-tightening benefits that leave you with a more masculine appearance.
Typically, a male breast reduction procedure to treat gynecomastia takes about 45 minutes to one hour to perform. The beauty of using technology-assisted liposuction is that it’s done while you are awake and the downtime is minimal. Most of our patients go to work the next day.
Who is a good candidate for male breast reduction?
Any male in good health and looking to reduce the size of their breasts is a good candidate for male reduction liposuction. If you have any pre-existing health concerns, are older in age, or taking multiple daily medications, your consultation will be important to determine if you are an appropriate candidate. A pre-operative consultation is mandatory for all surgical procedures.
Male Breast Reduction Recovery
Patients will have minor swelling, bruising, and soreness but those with jobs not requiring heavy lifting can return to work immediately. Swelling and bruising tend to last about two weeks, and it’s important to wear a compression garment vest for about two weeks. The more you wear the garment vest, the faster your swelling will go down.
Living with Gynecomastia
Living with gynecomastia, or unwanted male breast tissue can make many men feel embarrassed and isolated. It’s not something many men want to discuss, either. However, nearly 70% of men experience gynecomastia in their lifetime. Unwanted male breast tissue does not mean a lifetime of dealing with it or never taking your shirt off, as there are treatment options available.
Contact Innovations Medical for Male Breast Reduction
If you’re looking to get rid of unwanted male breast tissue, Innovations Medical is here for you. Our skilled professionals help you decide which treatment is best for you – keeping you informed and confident in the next steps. We’ve been helping our patients look and feel their best since 2005, and even our most advanced procedures are often minimally invasive.