Don’t Be Such A Boob! -What is Gynecomastia and Can It Be Treated?

Taken literally, gynecomastia means the feminine appearance of the breast. That sounds like an oxymoron, except when it comes to men who want their chests to look masculine, with their pec muscles being the stars of the show. For those patients, having a breast shape show through their clothing can be awkward and very uncomfortable, not to mention their experience at the beach. And while this condition is becoming more common, the good news is that there is something you can do about it. There is a wide range of ways in which gynecomastia can present, and an equally wide range of treatment options for it. 

Gynecomastia can happen at pretty much any age in men. Babies often have some measure of it because of the female hormones they get from their mothers. Teenagers can get it from the hormonal spikes of puberty, and older men can get it from hormonal changes linked to aging. But a very big cause of gynecomastia is drugs, both pharmaceutical and recreational. In fact the list of medications that causes this condition is so long at this point, that it is virtually impossible to memorize.

At first glance, gynecomastia often looks like it is a fat problem. While all breasts are a combination of fat and gland. The ratios differ between people. In some cases, the extra breast is mostly fat. In others, it is firm glandular tissue that can swell and even hurt. Then there is the matter of the skin, which itself can be managed in different ways for different patients.

In cases where the extra breast is fat, liposuction alone can do the job. For glandular tissue, removal through direct excision is usually needed. And when the skin is too loose to accommodate these changes, then it may need to be removed as well. Depending on whether and  how much skin is removed, the procedure might result in a few tiny scars or several long ones, making the scar pattern very variable. This is very similar to excess axillary tissue in that way.

No matter how upsetting gynecomastia may be for some patients, it is widely considered a cosmetic condition, which means that it is usually not covered by insurance. But in most cases, it can be treated relatively simply and quickly, with little downtime and good results. The other good news is that the results usually last, making this surgery very high reward in the long-term. All in all, along with belly liposuction, gynecomastia treatment is the second part of a complete manly makeover, and it is a gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

A man with gynecomastia

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