Gynecomastia, ie, male breasts, can be an annoying, embarrassing condition for men. It is commonly found in men at all stages of life, with up to 25% of men having some enlargement of their breasts. Usually, there is no cause and it is easily reversed with liposuction.
Gynecomastia can often be seen at puberty, but may go away spontaneously. If it doesn’t, a medical evaluation of the teenager is in order. Usually, no hormonal imbalance is found, and in these cases of benign breast enlargement, surgery may provide a solution.
In addition to weight gain, various changes that occur as men age may contribute to breast enlargement. For example, the use of certain medications can cause the breasts to enlarge, such as anabolic steroids given to body builders. Prostate medications, some antidepressants, and alcoholism can also contribute to gynecomastia.
If you have a unilateral breast enlargement, nipple discharge, a firm nodule, or breast pain, a medical evaluation is important as there can be an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. Breast cancer is uncommon in men, but does occur; 1% of all breast cancers occur in men.
For most cases of common benign male breast enlargement, liposuction provides a simple, almost scarless treatment. A small incision at the junction of the areola and chest skin allows the plastic surgeon to get rid of the excess fat and breast tissue, thus flattening the appearance of the chest. Men do not usually need to have external incisions to remove excess skin, since the chest skin shrinks and flattens out when the breast is reduced. However, in some cases, the skin might not have enough elasticity to shrink, in which case some external scars may be visible, until they mostly fade away. After surgery, a vest is worn for a few weeks, and return to work and the gym is rapid.
When seeking help for this condition, make sure to go to a board-certified plastic surgeon with experience in treating gynecomastia. Male breasts are easily taken care of and do not need to be a source of embarrassment to you anymore!