The scientific term, gynecomastia, is used for enlarged male breasts and comes from the Greek term for “women-like breasts.” This condition is one that can result in a feminine chest due to the abnormal growth of breast tissue, and although it is rarely discussed, it can be a common problem that men face. Many times, gynecomastia is related to an unknown hormonal condition. It may also be caused by certain medications, steroids, major weight gain or loss, or it can be hereditary. Men with this condition generally feel anxious and worried, more so in situations where the chest area is shown, such as at the beach, pool, or at the gym. Dr. Ryan Couvillion, a plastic surgeon in Houston, TX, performs cosmetic breast treatment for men who suffer from gynecomastia. It is one of the more common cosmetic surgeries for men at Luminary Plastic Surgery.
Gynecomastia Ideal Candidates
Gynecomastia surgery is reserved for men with visible excess breast tissue that cannot be corrected through diet and exercise. If you feel anxiety or are bothered by the look of your chest (but at a good weight), you could possibly benefit from this surgery by Dr. Couvillion. Male teens may also attain positive results from gynecomastia treatment; however, a future procedure may be necessary later as an adult if new breast tissue continues to grow. In your initial consultation with us, treatment considerations will be presented, including the likelihood of having surgery to correct the condition.
Gynecomastia Surgical Technique
The surgical approach depends on the cause and size of the gynecomastia. For patients with small amounts of fat, liposuction is often utilized during gynecomastia surgery. Performed under general anesthesia, liposuction removes excess fat from the chest and may be used as the only treatment in some patients. For most men, the technique of choice requires an incision near the nipple, where the glandular tissue resides. For other patients with larger amounts of tissue, the extra tissue is removed surgically, skin is tightened and the nipple may need to be repositioned. Dr. Couvillion will personalize your treatment and determine which technique is right for you.
What To Expect with Gynecomastia
After your gynecomastia surgery, the chest will be wrapped securely with a compression bandage to help reduce swelling. For complex cases where a more invasive technique was used, a small drainage tube may be inserted to help with fluid. The outcomes following gynecomastia treatment can almost immediately be seen, and most men are extremely pleased with the cosmetic enhancement. Incisions made during this procedure take a few weeks to heal and any scars left behind vary based on which surgical approach is used. With your new masculine-appearing chest, you usually must wait for about 6 weeks to get clearance from Dr. Couvillion to continue exercise and weight training, which will assist in complementing the final outcome.
Gynecomastia Frequently Asked Questions
How much does male breast reduction cost?
Excessive male breast tissue (gynecomastia) is a medical problem that is best handled by an experienced surgeon. For this reason, Dr. Couvillion suggests that you focus on how to get your best results rather than costs. To help make male breast reduction surgery fit your budget, Luminary Plastic Surgery accepts several payment methods. We can also help you locate low-interest medical financing. While surgery for gynecomastia is typically not covered by health insurance, it's worth contacting your insurer to check as every company has different criteria for coverage.
What causes gynecomastia?
Glandular gynecomastia develops in men when there is an imbalance of hormones. Sometimes, gynecomastia is connected to the long-term use of androgens and anabolic steroids. Gynecomastia might also be triggered by some medical conditions (for example, hyperthyroidism, hypogonadism, and tumors), as well as some medications, such as highly active antiretroviral therapy for AIDS, chemotherapy, and some anti-anxiety medications. Some patients with fatty gynecomastia seem to gain more weight in this area, which is usually due to genetics.
How can I tell if I have gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia occurs in men when there is an overgrowth of breast tissue in the chest, which can cause pain, swelling, and tenderness. Dr. Couvillion suggests patients to try to lose weight by following an exercise plan and a healthy diet before considering surgery. If you still have excess breast tissue when you are at a healthy weight, Dr. Couvillion will perform a physical exam and order diagnostic tests. This might include a mammogram, blood tests, or a biopsy to look for other causes, like an infection of the breast tissue (mastitis) or cancer.
Can gynecomastia be treated with exercise or pills?
This depends on the cause of the gynecomastia. Fatty gynecomastia can respond to weight loss. For glandular gynecomastia, male breast reduction surgery is the most effective treatment. Currently, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) hasn't approved any medications for the treatment of gynecomastia. Upper body weight training to increase the pectoral muscles will not reduce the excess breast tissue and could even make the breasts look bigger.
Will this fix puffy or pointy nipples?
Glandular gynecomastia can cause puffy or pointy nipples. If you are concerned about this, be sure to tell Dr. Couvillion at your consultation. He will personalize your surgical plan to select the best incision pattern and technique to improve your nipples. Oversized areolas may also be corrected in surgery for gynecomastia. It is crucial to be open and honest with Dr. Couvillion about all your concerns and wants during your initial consultation so he can make sure you are happy with your results.
Restore your Masculine Chest
If you are frustrated with the effects of male breast enlargement (gynecomastia), we invite you to contact our office and schedule a consultation with Dr. Couvillion to learn about our male breast reduction procedure at Luminary Plastic Surgery. Once you've had treatment for gynecomastia, you won't have to keep hiding your chest when you go to the gym and beach. We have helped many men in the Houston area and have enjoyed helping them regain their self-confidence. Keep in mind that the results of the procedure are significant, and with realistic expectations, the chances are high that you will be very satisfied with your new look.
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