Gynecomastia: We Need to Talk About It
Your sense of self-esteem does not begin and end with your appearance. Still, one inevitably affects the other. As a plastic surgeon who has spent many years helping patients address cosmetic concerns, Dr. Buchanan understands the relationship between appearance and self-confidence. He has seen the emotional toll that concerns like gynecomastia have on a person. This condition, which involves male breast enlargement, leads some men to alter their appearance using compression garments, to wear very loose clothing, or to retreat from social situations. Gynecomastia can affect every area of life by reducing self-confidence. It doesn’t have to. Here, we discuss how to correct this concern.
It is important to understand what gynecomastia is and what it isn’t. Many people think that a man gets enlarged breast tissue because he is overweight. Obesity can be one cause of male breast enlargement. However, in many cases, this is what we call pseudo gynecomastia. It’s just excess weight. When a man has pseudo gynecomastia and he loses weight, his chest returns to normal contours. True gynecomastia is more about body chemicals than about weight. It may be triggered by a certain medication (some anti-depressants are associated with this condition). It may relate to a man’s genetics or may occur as a man’s hormones change and his estrogen level increases beyond its normal range.
Men in the latter group hoping to resolve gynecomastia with weight loss and muscle training may be disappointed with their results. Men who take over-the-counter supplements in hopes of minimizing breast size may not only be disappointed but may also experience unnecessary side effects or worsen the problem. For true resolution, it helps to see a plastic surgeon.
Male breast enlargement is treatable. A plastic surgeon devises a treatment plan after performing a thorough examination of the breast tissue. Treatment may involve liposuction to remove excess fatty tissue and sculpt the chest. It may require the removal of the breast gland or even skin tightening, depending on the severity of the laxity. Each of these techniques can be performed using a local anesthetic, minimizing the risks of treatment.