An estimated 65 percent of men who are middle-aged and older suffer from this condition. Similarly, an estimated 70 percent of boys in puberty also suffer from it. Though it is not painful, gynecomastia can often cause a very different kind of suffering: embarrassment. That’s because gynecomastia – defined as enlargement of the male breast tissue – can make sufferers feel as though they have a feminine body, something most men don’t want.
The good news is that for young men with gynecomastia, the condition usually goes away on its own after puberty. Unfortunately, this isn’t true for older men. Although sometimes the condition goes away with weight loss, that isn’t always the case. But before you resign yourself to a life of wearing T-shirts at the beach and feeling insecure about your body at the gym, there’s good news for older men, too.
Gynecomastia surgery (or mammoplasty) can make a significant impact in reducing the size of male breasts. Here’s what you need to know about gynecomastia and male breast-reduction surgery.
What Causes Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is usually caused by a hormonal imbalance; that’s why it usually clears up in teenage boys without any need for intervention. Once their hormones balance, the breast tissue goes back to normal. In older men, however, it’s not so simple. That’s because as we age, our hormones can become depleted, making it difficult for them to rebound on their own. In some cases, weight loss or hormone therapy can help reduce the size of male breasts, but in others it simply may not be enough.
Mammoplasty is the only permanent procedure designed to reduce the size of the male breast. It is done by creating an incision around the nipple and removing excess tissue and fat within the male breast. The nipple is then reattached. This reduces the appearance of scarring on the breast post operation. Mammoplasty is an outpatient procedure done under local anesthesia. Recovery from this procedure is generally well tolerated.
Recovering from a mammoplasty is not as scary as it may seem. Depending on your body, you may be asked to wear a compression garment after surgery to minimize swelling and help with healing. Most men who undergo mammoplasty feel well enough to return to work within several days of their procedure. Further restrictions on physical activity should be expected until healing is complete. You may also experience a loss in physical sensation in the breasts following mammoplasty, but this sensation should return within a few months.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chau to discuss whether you would benefit from a mammoplasty, please call his office at 248-799-2880.