Enlarged male breast tissue can be a source of low self-esteem and discomfort for many males. Although the medical risk associated with enlarged male breast tissue is relatively low, this can still be a condition that can negatively affect many men. Learn more about this procedure before your gynecomastia consultation with Dr. Eric Bachelor at East Bay Aesthetic Surgery in Pleasanton, CA.
What Happens if Gynecomastia Is Left Untreated?
When left untreated, gynecomastia can have a few negative side effects. For example, the earliest stages of this condition are characterized by moderately enlarged breast tissue and fatty deposits on the chest. Over time, this can cause sensitivity on the chest and mild to severe discomfort when touched or during movement. If left untreated, this discomfort can grow and enlarged breast tissue can continue to expand.
Minimal Risk of Male Breast Cancer
Although the vast majority of men who have gynecomastia will not have any medical complications from untreated gynecomastia, there is a small population of men who may be at a heightened risk of developing male breast cancer. When you are scheduled for a consultation with Dr. Eric Bachelor, you will go over your unique risks for developing breast cancer to assess whether treating enlarged male breast tissue is appropriate.
What Causes This Condition?
Broadly speaking, there are several common causes of this condition. In particular, hormone imbalances caused by puberty and low testosterone in older men are the primary causes of developing enlarged male breast tissue. However, medications, hypothyroidism, malnutrition, and recreational drug use are also associated with enlarged male breast tissue.
It’s important to understand the cause of this condition so that you can seek the appropriate treatment. In general, physicians will recommend a more conservative approach to correct enlarged male breast tissue, such as allowing puberty to pass or incorporating more regular exercise into your lifestyle practices.
How Long Does This Condition Last?
For many men, this condition is temporary. Some men who experience this condition because of recreational drug use or herbal supplements may only experience enlarged male breast tissue for six months, or until the activity that caused the enlargement has ended. For other men, including boys who are going through puberty, this condition may last for two to three years.
Can This Condition Go Away By Itself?
Males going through puberty can rest easier knowing that enlarged male breast tissue typically goes away after puberty has ended. Once testosterone levels in the body have settled, enlarged breast tissue typically shrinks back to normal size, and tenderness or sensitivity fades. Discontinuing certain medications or treating the underlying medical causes for the condition can also naturally reduce the size of enlarged male breast tissue.
What Can You Do To Reduce Male Breast Size?
Instead of waiting for enlarged male breast tissue to go away naturally, there may be some lifestyle changes you can make to reduce male breast size. Adopting these lifestyle practices will benefit your general health and also improve other aspects of your physique, such as reducing the size of love handles or unwanted fatty deposits in other areas of the body. The best methods to reduce male breast size include:
Exercise burns excess calories in the body that may contribute to enlarged breasts in males. When you exercise regularly and focus on cardiovascular activities, you can greatly reduce the amount of fatty deposits in your body and breasts. Exercising for at least three hours each week is usually adequate for most adults to manage a healthy body weight.
In addition to cardiovascular exercise, it may also be a good idea for men to focus on chest exercises or activities that engage the pectoral muscles. By strengthening muscle tissue in the chest, fat deposits in breast tissue will also shrink. Exercises such as weightlifting, planks, swimming, and more all engage the muscles of the chest.
Your diet may also have a significant impact on your weight and breast size. In particular, if your current diet is high in fat, salt, sugar, and empty carbohydrates, you may find it easier to gain weight and fatty deposits.
However, when you alter your diet to include more whole grains, fiber, and fresh fruits and vegetables, you will notice a shift in your body composition. It’s also a good idea to increase protein intake, especially if you are trying to drop body weight to reduce the size of male breast tissue.
It may also be necessary to revise the medications you are currently taking. For example, steroids, antidepressants, heart medications, cancer treatments, antianxiety medications, AIDS treatments, and anti-androgen medications are all known to increase the size of male breast tissue. If possible, you may want to discontinue taking certain medications or lower your dosages. Do not change the medications you’re taking without discussing them with your doctor first.
Apart from revising the medication you may already be taking, your physician may explore the idea of using estrogen receptor modulator medication to reduce enlarged male breast tissue. This medication works by blocking estrogen in breast cells, which can prevent the growth of breast tissue. Although typically prescribed for women during breast cancer treatment, this medication is sometimes prescribed short-term for younger men with excessive breast tenderness.
Male Breast Reduction
If all other methods to reduce the size of male breast tissue have failed, you may also want to consider surgical male breast reduction. Typically, physicians consider a surgical reduction of male breast tissue to be the last resort.
This is because a surgical reduction of breast tissue is invasive and requires the use of general anesthesia, so patients must be in very good health to be eligible for the procedure. This method is also not recommended for young men going through puberty.
How Does Male Breast Reduction Work?
A male breast reduction works by removing excess fatty tissue and skin from the chest to sculpt the chest into a more masculine form. Liposuction will remove fatty deposits, while excision will remove excess skin. Usually, this procedure can be completed on an outpatient basis and will only take a few hours.
To prepare for this procedure, you will need to ensure that you are healthy enough to withstand general anesthesia. You may need to complete certain labs and exams or take reference photos of your chest before your surgery. You should also temporarily stop taking blood thinning medications or herbal supplements for at least one to two weeks before your procedure.
After your procedure, you will generally need to rest for several days. In addition to taking time off work, your activities will exclude any lifting, strenuous exercise, excessive sweating, and hot showers for a few days. As part of your aftercare instructions, you will also be directed to wear a compression garment for a couple of weeks to encourage faster healing.
Because the overall shape of your chest will change immediately after surgery, your results will be visible relatively quick. However, your activities will still be restricted since you will not be fully healed for several weeks. Usually, your optimal results will require three to six months to develop. This is about as long as it will take for incisions to heal and fade fully.
The results of male breast reduction should be long-lasting, particularly if you have this procedure as an adult. The longevity of your results may also depend on how well you can maintain healthier lifestyle practices that reduce the risk of developing enlarged breast tissue in the future.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Most men who have enlarged breast tissue are potential candidates for male breast reduction. In particular, if your chest tissue is tender, swollen, or very sensitive, you may be a prime candidate.
A consultation will verify that you are healthy enough for this procedure. The best candidates for surgical male breast reduction include men who have tried other methods of reducing enlarged male breast tissue without success, and men whose breast tissue is fully developed.
Reduce Enlarged Male Breast Tissue
Enlarged male breast tissue is typically caused by a hormonal imbalance, which can lead to sensitivity of the chest that can be uncomfortable. In addition to discomfort, many men suffer from low self-esteem due to enlarged tissue on the chest. If you think male breast reduction surgery is an ideal solution for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Eric Bachelor at East Bay Aesthetic Surgery in Pleasanton, CA today.