Many men find it upsetting when they develop extra breast tissue. It can affect their confidence and their body image. It can also be especially frustrating when these men have tried exercise and dieting but find themselves unable to improve their condition. East Bay Aesthetic Surgery of Pleasanton and Danville, CA is pleased to offer gynecomastia reduction to help our patients reclaim their confidence.
How Can You Fix Gynecomastia?
Around half of adult men in the USA may at some point develop gynecomastia. This condition can range in severity, and mild cases may not cause enough visual change to be upsetting. However, some cases can be very pronounced.
Most cases of male breast enlargement are benign. In those cases, breast reduction surgery designed for men can be an extremely effective solution. Once we determine whether you’re a good candidate, we can set up a meeting and work together to develop a treatment plan with you.
A good candidate is someone who is negatively affected by their extra breast tissue. They may find this extra tissue resistant to diet, exercise, or other lifestyle changes.
It may also be a good idea to rule out underlying medical conditions that can contribute to excessive tissue development. Sometimes treating underlying conditions can help improve or resolve the excessive tissue. Once we go over all these factors, chances are you could be a good candidate.
Meeting with us is ultimately the best way to know if you’re a candidate for male breast reduction surgery. We encourage you to write down any and all questions you have so we can go over all of them with you. Some questions you may be expected to answer may include whether you have any medical conditions or drug allergies, what medications and supplements you’re taking, your past surgeries, and questions about alcohol or recreational drug use.
We may take notes on your medical history and any pre-existing conditions as we evaluate your health. During an examination, we may also take measurements and talk to you about your expectations and goals. Diagnostic tests can be run to help us understand the cause behind your enlarged breast tissue. Finally, we will leave you with instructions and information to prepare you for surgery.
What Are the Benefits of Treatment?
Most patients who seek out this treatment want a flatter chest. Removing extra tissue can help us sculpt a more desirable chest shape. This can improve both mental and physical comfort.
On a daily basis, this condition can make men feel self-conscious about how their shirts fit them. It may make them feel like they have to cover up more thoroughly than they’d like to. When it comes to enjoying time at a pool or the beach, this condition can make men hesitate to take their shirts off.
This condition can affect a person’s body image. Correcting it can be a simple way to achieve a more masculine shape, which can improve how a patient feels about their body.
What Causes This Condition?
A hormonal imbalance or change is one of the most common causes of gynecomastia. It can develop at any age.
For instance, it’s very common for newborn babies to have some excess tissue in their chest due to estrogen exposure in the womb. This extra tissue usually only lasts a few weeks before it starts to dissipate. On the other hand, hormonal shifts later on in life can lead to more stubborn breast tissue.
Puberty can cause some serious hormonal changes, which can lead to temporary or lasting breast tissue enlargement. How long it takes for hormone levels to even out can depend on the individual. For some, it takes about six months, but it could also take several years.
If a patient is going through puberty, it may be a good idea to wait until their hormone fluctuations settle down before they seek out treatment. It’s possible that patients who develop enlarged breast tissue during puberty could find the condition improves on its own once their hormone levels regulate.
Patients with lower levels of testosterone may be more susceptible to developing excess breast tissue. This could be an age-related issue, as men over 50 could notice breast tissue development when their natural testosterone levels decrease.
A higher body fat percentage could partly cause higher estrogen levels, and higher levels of estrogen could lead to even more fat deposits developing in areas like the chest.
There are many factors that can contribute to this condition, including some medications. If you’re concerned that a medication you’re taking could be contributing to excess breast tissue, don’t stop it right away. It’s important to seek out professional advice to help you navigate any changes to your medication.
In addition to medication, the following list are other possible contributors to male breast enlargement:
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Some herbal supplements
There are some factors that you may have little control over, especially genetic factors. You may also not be able to correct hormonal imbalances on your own. That said, there are some steps that can be helpful when it comes to preventing or improving the condition. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of these steps. Reducing alcohol intake could also help some patients.
If you have already taken all the steps you can to improve your condition and haven’t seen the results you’d like, it may be time to consider surgery.
How Does It Look?
Unilateral Versus Bilateral
This condition can affect one or both sides of the chest. Unilateral presentation involves just one side and may be more likely to affect the left side of the chest. Unilateral presentation can also be used to describe gynecomastia that is present for both sides but is more pronounced on one side. This asymmetrical presentation can be particularly frustrating and harder for the patient to cover up.
Bilateral presentation affects both sides equally. In either case, surgical correction can be used to improve the appearance of the chest. This condition can cause enlarged or swollen areolas or more noticeable breast tissue development. Some patients notice tenderness in the area, while others do not.
Ruling Out Infection
If you have noticed a sudden inflammation in the chest, especially if the area is red and sore, it’s a good idea to check for an infection. An infection may also cause you to feel feverish or chilled.
It’s important not to ignore any sudden changes to your body. Before you seek out treatment for the cosmetic aspect of your condition, make sure your body isn’t indicating a more serious issue. While infection in this area isn’t common, knowing about the symptoms can be helpful as you rule any issues out.
Ruling Out Cancer
Women are often encouraged to seek out regular breast exams and to educate themselves on the signs of breast cancer. While breast cancer is more common in women, men can develop breast cancer too. With that in mind, everyone needs to know what the signs can be, regardless of their gender.
Gynecomastia is usually benign, but since breast cancer can cause tissue enlargement, it may need to be ruled out in patients with abnormal unilateral breast tissue development. Patients over 60 years old are more prone to developing breast cancer. Other factors such as genetic predisposition, close relatives who have developed breast cancer, or obesity can also increase your risk levels.
Breast Cancer Signs
One common sign of breast cancer is the presence of a firm mass that may feel like it’s trapped in the surrounding tissue. In contrast, benign tissue development is often soft, not hard. In addition, breast cancer can cause changes in the color or texture of the surrounding skin, enlarged lymph nodes in the nearest armpit, expelled fluid from the nipple, or ulcers.
If you have any signs that make you wonder about breast cancer, getting checked up to rule it out is always a good idea. Once you’re in the clear, you can move forward with cosmetic improvements. Again, it’s important to note that while it’s always a good idea to be mindful of your health, most patients with gynecomastia do not have any troubling signs accompanying their symptoms. Most patients simply have enlarged tissue that they want to correct.
We offer a wide selection of cosmetic treatments for people of any gender. We combine our knowledge, experience, and cutting-edge technology to help each of our patients find the right fit for their aesthetic goals. Contact us at East Bay Aesthetic Surgery of Pleasanton and Danville, CA, today to set up a consultation and ask us any remaining questions you have.