Gynecomastia , also known as male breast enlargement, or “man boobs”, is a physical condition where the breast of a male has become enlarged for any of a number of reasons. It is common in older, overweight men, body builders who take anabolic steroids, and teenagers. It also occurs in individuals with certain health conditions, including liver, kidney, and thyroid disease, Klinefelters, and individuals with hormonally active tumors. Man boobs can occur on both sides, or the enlargement can be just one breast.
Medical assessment of patients who have man boobs is important, especially if an underlying condition is not obvious. Patients should be evaluated to rule out breast cancer, particularly if only one side is enlarged. Breast cancer in men is rare, but does happen, at a rate of about 2000 cases every year in the US.
The tissue that causes man boobs can be one of two types, glandular breast tissue, and fat. Treatment for the cosmetic impact of breast enlargement depends on which type of tissue a patient has. Some fat tissue over the pectoral muscles is necessary, or concave areas will form on the surface of the chest. However, liposuction sculpting methods are quite effective in removing fat tissue, and the current methods are precise. Dr. Pollard employs ultrasonic liposuction to remove the fat and give excellent results. This works best for individuals who are close to their target weight loss goals, as fat can be redeposited in these areas as weight is lost and gained again. Liposuction involves making a tiny incision, and introducing a tube known as a cannula into the fat layer that the surgeon wants to reduce. Various methods are used to liquify the fat, which is then removed via suction through the cannula. This leaves small areas of reduced fat density, and the surrounding fat edges into the space. This means that the fat changes shape during recovery and afterward, and the results of remodeling with liposuction aren’t fully realized until weeks or even months afterward.
Patients with overgrown glandular breast tissue need excision, which really just means that an incision is made, usually around the areola, and the tissue is removed through the hole, and the areola is stitched back together. This requires larger cuts than liposuction, which involves tiny incisions to accommodate the size of the cannula.
Men do not have to live with the self consciousness and negative self esteem that can result from man boobs. Individuals who want to get the problem corrected should contact Dr. Pollard at Pollard Plastic Surgery for a consultation regarding man boobs.
It is not uncommon for patients to need both fat and glandular tissue removed to correct their man boobs. It occasionally occurs that the desired result is not achieved with liposuction and the surgeon decides to excise glandular tissue. However, recover from both excision and liposuction is relatively short, and the areola incision is nearly invisible, so this shift or addition of procedures during surgery is usually not a major problem.