Overdeveloped breast tissue (gynecomastia) is a fairly common disease in men. At the same time, men often assume that they need to learn to live with it or eliminate it by developing chest muscles.
A healthy diet and exercise that includes strengthening the breast muscles can help if the enlargement is due to excess weight and/or fat deposits in the breasts, so-called pseudo- or false gynecomastia. Unfortunately, these persistent fat deposits often persist, despite great efforts.
True gynecomastia is not related to your weight and losing weight and building muscle will not reduce the appearance of enlarged male breasts. Genetics, age, and hormonal changes trigger this form of gynecomastia, which can cause one or both breasts to enlarge.
Although neither condition is usually considered medically serious or life-threatening, it can hurt a man’s self-confidence and sense of well-being. Cosmetic surgery can help here.
Gynecomastia can develop at any age, which is associated with an imbalance in the level of testosterone and estrogen.
Testosterone controls male traits, such as muscle mass and body hair, while estrogen controls female traits, including breast growth. Although you may think of estrogen as exclusively a female hormone, the male body also produces estrogen in small amounts. When there is too much estrogen or too little testosterone, a man may begin to develop breast tissue.
Certain prescription medications or excessive use of alcohol and other substances can also cause gynecomastia. And sometimes it is related to the main disease, for example, with an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism).
To find out the cause of gynecomastia and get treatment for the underlying problem, you need to see your doctor and undergo a series of diagnostic tests. However, even eliminating the cause of the disease will not always change the appearance of excessively developed male breasts.
False or pseudo-gynecomastia occurs due to fatty deposits in the breast area that mimic the appearance of female breasts. Fat pockets in the chest area are often resistant to the most rigorous diet and training.
Even men with ideal weight can experience this condition. Sagging or stretched skin that occurs after significant weight loss or is a natural part of the aging process can also manifest as pseudo gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia often lends itself well to liposuction. This method is especially suitable for the treatment of pseudo-gynecomastia. Using small incisions made on either side of the breast or in the armpit, the doctor inserts a small tube-shaped device (cannula) that removes excess fat and glandular tissue and creates a new contour that looks natural to the patient’s body shape. Incisions can be located along the edge of the areola or in the armpit – it depends on the needs of the patient and the technique used in each specific case.
Recovery after liposuction for gynecomastia is relatively quick. You may need to wear a compression garment for several weeks to minimize swelling and support the stitches. Vigorous exercise is not recommended for about 3 weeks, but you can usually return to work and other daily activities after a few days.
More severe cases of gynecomastia are best treated with surgical removal of the glandular breast tissue. This surgery is also recommended if you have stretched or sagging skin around your breasts that can be tightened and reshaped during the procedure. In some cases, liposuction is used along with surgical removal to achieve optimal results.
Tissue removal allows for the removal of a larger amount of glandular tissue and/or skin that cannot be successfully removed with liposuction alone. The location and length of the incisions depend on the amount of surgery required but are usually performed along the edge of the areola (periareolar incision) or in the natural folds of the breast. A qualified and experienced surgeon will make sure that the scars formed after the incisions are as inconspicuous as possible.
The rehabilitation process is similar to liposuction but is often accompanied by pain and swelling. The patient usually feels ready to return to work within 1 week of surgery and can return to exercise within the first couple of weeks.