Male Breast Reduction at Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C.
Performed at our Atlanta, Alpharetta, Cumming and Newnan, GA locations.
Gynecomastia, the medical term for enlarged or excess breast tissue in males, is a common problem among men of all age groups. It is characterized by an excess of fat and/or breast glandular tissue in the chest area. This excess can be attributed to a variety of factors including: heredity, hormone imbalance, or excess weight. Not only can gynecomastia cause men to be dissatisfied with their physical appearance, but it can lead to bigger problems like lack of confidence, embarrassment, and even discomfort during certain physical activities.
There is a common misconception that gynecomastia only affects men who are overweight, when in fact, it occurs in men of all age groups, all body shapes, and all weight ranges. Even athletes who are in top physical and muscular shape can suffer from this condition, and may require male breast reduction surgery.
Because of the embarrassing nature of the problem, there are many men who are not aware of the options available to them to correct gynecomastia. In fact, male breast reduction is a fairly simple procedure. The plastic surgeon removes the excess fat and glandular tissue from the area through liposuction and surgical excision; then, lifts and tightens the remaining tissue to create a more masculine chest contour.
Often, enlarged breasts in males correlate with enlarged areolas in males – or an enlarged dark area around the nipple. Thus, male breast reduction surgery is commonly performed in conjunction with nipple revision or nipple reduction surgery. Male nipple revision surgery resizes and reshapes the nipples to become more proportionate to the chest size.
What causes Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia can affect men of all ages, and the underlying causes can often vary a great deal from one patient to the next. In newborns, gynecomastia is usually caused by estrogen from the mother. Breast buds in newborns tend to go away gradually by 6 months of age, but may last longer in some infants. In pre-adolescent boys, gynecomastia may potentially be caused by an estrogen-producing tumor, but breast buds are also commonly caused by natural hormonal fluctuations, and so many boys do experience a degree of gynecomastia during early and middle puberty. In these cases, breast buds may last up to two years but tend to go away within six to twelve months. In adult males, gynecomastia is most frequently the result of another, often more serious, health conditions, such as cirrhosis of the liver, an overactive thyroid, or other hormone-related concerns. Various drugs, as well as the use of certain prescription medications, may also cause gynecomastia. Correctly diagnosing the underlying causes is a vital first step to determining the appropriate treatment for the condition.
How is Gynecomastia diagnosed and treated?
In most cases, gynecomastia can be diagnosed from a physical exam and a detailed medical history. However, if the breast lump is unusually large, one-sided, tender, or hard and fixed, a biopsy may be necessary in order to rule out other potential problems. Gynecomastia in babies and teens will normally go away on its own, so the condition may be observed for some time before a determination is made as to whether treatment is warranted. If a patient’s gynecomastia is caused by medicine or underlying disease, stopping the medicine or treating the disease will often cure the gynecomastia, and if it is caused by a lack of testosterone and increase in estrogen, hormonal treatment may be prescribed. Only after the underlying cause has been determined and other treatments have proven ineffective is a surgical male breast reduction procedure considered.
At what age can surgery to treat Gynecomastia be done? Is there a lower or upper age limit for the surgery?
Because gynecomastia can affect men of all ages for many different reasons, there is no right or wrong age for surgery to be performed. In some cases, particularly those of younger patients, the condition is temporary and eventually resolves itself. Moreover, some doctors do believe that there may be a possibility of recurrence if surgery is performed at too young an age. In general, male breast reduction surgery is considered if gynecomastia has been present for two or more years and is stable and has not increased in size. However, every patient is unique, and the decision to operate is based not only on the individual causes of the patient’s gynecomastia but also on the maturity of the patient, his capability of understanding the surgery, his ability to cope with the post-op pain, and his ability to follow the post-op care regimen. While there is no definitive upper age limit for surgery to correct gynecomastia, older patients should understand that, in some rare cases, the skin may not completely re-tighten after the surgery, as some skin elasticity may have been lost due to the natural process of aging.
Consultations are available at our offices in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Cumming / Forsyth, Newnan, and Northside / Sandy Springs, Georgia. The following doctors perform Male Breast Reduction Surgery at Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. Click on a doctor to learn more about their practice and to view Before & After gynecomastia surgery photographs.