Gynecomastia or Male Breast Reduction – Six Facts You May Not Have Known

Posted October 1, 2013 by Paul M. Parker, M.D., FACS

Gynecomastia is a common male issue that can be effectively addressed through male breast reduction surgery. There are many misconceptions about the condition and how surgery can deal with it. It is important that men know what’s true and what’s not. Here’s a look at six facts you may not have known:

  1. Gynecomastia is a relatively common condition. Gynecomastia, the benign enlargement of male glandular breast tissue, is a common occurrence during puberty, with a reported incidence of up to 65 percent in adolescents. This adolescent gynecomastia may spontaneously resolve 1 to 2 years after onset (typically at 14 to 16 years of age) and therefore, initially, the treatment is “sympathetic reassurance” with observation. In approximately 8 percent of patients, gynecomastia will persist into adulthood.The psychosocial impact of gynecomastia on patients is often significant, resulting in lowered self-esteem and body image. Each year more and more males are opting to undergo surgical correction of their gynecomastia.
  2. A man can outgrow his enlarged breasts. This is true, but only if he is still in puberty. Young men may experience phases during puberty in which fat cells collect in targeted areas of the body, including the chest. It is possible that a young man may pass through the phase and lose that shape.
  3. Surgery is a not a substitute for those who don’t have time for exercise. Men who struggle with gynecomastia may be overweight or in good physical condition. Some men do have undesirable chest contours after having lost a significant amount of weight, and male breast reduction can help them get a more attractive, defined shape. Other candidates have never struggled with weight problems yet still have excess fat tissue in the chest area that can also be fixed with corrective surgery. Gynecomastia is a medical condition that cannot be treated by exercise and diet alone.
  4. Only one breast may be affected by the condition. It’s not uncommon for men to have one side of the chest that has a more feminine, contoured appearance than the other.
  5. Surgery always involves an incision around the areola. At the Parker Center for Plastic Surgery, Dr. Paul M Parker utilizes a minimally invasive surgical technique to remove excess breast tissue in his patients with gynecomastia. Typically, Dr. Parker will use a tiny incision hidden in the armpit to shape and contour the breast. He will only make an incision around the areola in patients with significant excess skin in order to tighten the skin appropriately. Fortunately, this is only necessary for a relatively small percentage of patients.
  6. Recovery from male breast reduction surgery is easy. Though recovery is different for every patient, it is generally regarded as being much easier than what patients expect. Following the procedure, many patients report feeling like they’ve just completed a fairly intense upper body workout but without much pain.

For more information on gynecomastia, breast reduction procedures, or any other plastic surgery procedure, contact the Parker Center for Plastic surgery at (201) 967-1212. To view African-American Gynecomastia Surgery before and after photos, visit our gallery.

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