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Posted October 15, 2015 in Gynecomastia Surgery, Male Plastic Surgery Procedures

Gynecomastia, or enlarged male breasts, is a fairly common condition most often caused by a hormone imbalance. In fact, over 50 percent of males are born with some amount of breast tissue due to the increased amount of estrogen in their bodies at the time of birth. This almost always subsides within a couple of weeks. Gynecomastia also becomes more common in teenage boys during puberty, and in males ages 50 to 80 as hormones fluctuate.

Since gynecomastia can affect men at almost any age and can revert to normal over time, many men do not know if gynecomastia surgery is the right option for them.

Follow these simple steps to help you determine if gynecomastia surgery is something you should consider:

1. Identify whether or not you have gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is the growth of breast tissue in males caused by a hormone imbalance, while pseudogynecomastia is simply excess fat accumulation in male breasts. Gynecomastia surgery can be performed in either case, but when excess fat alone is the cause, the first attempt of correction should be weight loss.

To determine if you have excess breast tissue or fat in your breasts, place your thumb and index finger on opposite sides of one breast. Slowly draw your thumb and index finger together along the nipple line as if you are pinching your skin. If you have gynecomastia, you will be able to feel a rubbery layer of tissue around and beneath the areola.You may also experience tenderness. If you identify breast tissue, see your doctor to determine the cause.

2. Determine the cause of your gynecomastia

Your doctor can help determine if there is a preventable phenomenon causing gynecomastia and provide you with a nonsurgical treatment plan to reverse it.

Gynecomastia can be caused by:

  • Hormone Imbalance: This often occurs as a result of puberty and typically resolves by itself within a couple of years.
  • Weight Gain: Gynecomastia is common in men who are overweight.
  • Drugs or Steroids: Certain drugs or steroids that influence hormone production. The breasts will typically return to their normal state after discontinued use.
  • Hyperthyroidism, Kidney Failure, Liver Failure, or Malnutrition: These causes are far less common than naturally induced hormone fluctuation.

3. Consider how gynecomastia affects your quality of life

If you are experiencing significant pain and tenderness or severe embarrassment as a result of your appearance, gynecomastia surgery may be the best option. Some teenage boys are so affected by their appearance that waiting an extended period of time to see if their breasts return to normal is not the best option for them psychologically. Older men may also be plagued by how their body has changed over time.

The procedure is typically not extensive, depending on how much fat or tissue must be removed. In many cases, liposuction alone can be performed to restore a natural look. If skin or excess glandular tissue must also be removed, a small incision around the areola is made, and liposuction along with tissue excision is performed for the most effective aesthetic results.

The decision to pursue gynecomastia surgery can be a difficult one. Dr. Morales is happy to discuss your options with you and answer any questions you may have during a consultation. To schedule your appointment, please call (214) 827-8407 or fill out our online contact form today.