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Gynecomastia Surgery Gynecomastia appears as a lump of fatty tissue under the nipple

Gynecomastia can affect many men and is fairly common to treat.

Gynecomastia Surgery Gynecomastia Surgery

Gynecomastia Surgery

Gynecomastia is a condition that makes breast tissue swell in boys and men. It can happen when the balance of two hormones in your body is thrown off. If you have enlarged breasts because of fat deposits, you have a different condition called "pseudogynecomastia."

Males make a hormone called testosterone, which guides their sexual growth during puberty. But males also make some estrogen -- the hormone that steers sexual growth in girls.

When a young adult is going through puberty, or when an older man's body makes less testosterone, the balance of the two hormones changes.

Sometimes when that happens, a higher percentage of estrogen causes male breast tissue to swell. About half of adolescent boys and as many as two-thirds of men older than 50 will have this to some degree.

When the tissue becomes prominent enough to cause self-esteem or cosmetic concerns, we would recommend considering surgical treatment.

Gynecomastia Symptoms

Gynecomastia Surgery

Your first sign of gynecomastia may be a lump of fatty tissue under the nipple. Sometimes this lump is tender or sore.

This might make you worry that you have breast cancer, which does occur in a small number of men.

Gynecomastia is not necessarily a sign of cancer, but its prudent to evaluate the area thoroughly to rule it out.

Swelling of the breasts may happen unevenly, with one becoming larger than the other. You may also have breast tenderness.

Once these concerns have been ruled out, we would recommend a full cosmetic consultation to discuss the best methods to remove this extra breast tissue.

Gynecomastia Surgery

Gynecomastia Causes

In addition to body changes such as puberty and aging, some things that can cause gynecomastia are:

  • Injury or diseases that affect the testicles, which make testosterone
  • Thyroid problems, since hormones from that gland control growth and sexual development
  • Some cancers, including tumors of the lungs, pituitary gland, or adrenal glands
  • Obesity, which can result in more estrogen
  • Illegal drugs, including anabolic steroids, marijuana, and heroin
  • Kidney failure (when they can no longer clean and filter your blood)
  • Liver disease


Does exercise correct gynecomastia?

Exercise can reduce excess areas of fat on the chest; however, it has no effect on the dense glandular tissue caused by gynecomastia. Some men are dismayed to find that no matter how hard or often they exercise, their breasts do not get smaller. Surgical excision of the breast lump or nodule is the most effective treatment to remove this area.

How is gynecomastia treated?

The only way to reverse gynecomastia is through male breast reduction surgery. During the operation, Dr. Priti Patel uses a combination of liposuction and excision techniques to remove fat and glandular tissue. Excess skin is removed and the remaining skin is tightened over the chest. The nipple-areolar complex can be reduced and relocated higher on the breast, if needed.

How much time does it take to recover from male breast reduction surgery?

Recovery varies by patient and the scope of their procedure. Most patients return to work and socializing after about a week. Light exercise can be resumed two weeks after surgery. Full strenuous activities can be continued four to six weeks after surgery.

Can breast tissue grow back after surgery?

In most cases, the results of gynecomastia surgery are long-term. However, a few factors can lead to recurrence of this condition. We encourage weight loss prior to surgery and continued weight management after the surgery for ideal results. Elements such as weight gain, steroid or drug use and hormone fluctuations may lead increased breast tissue. Dr. Priti Patel can provide more information about maintaining the results of surgery in a consultation.

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