- Infancy from circulating maternal estrogen
- During the hormone surge of puberty
- During andropause when older.
The first two situations are normally temporary but may continue longer. Other causes for this may be ingesting hormones such as testosterone and other anabolic steroids, alcohol, drugs, and some systemic conditions. Most individuals who have this condition tend to feel self-conscious, particularly in situations where their chest and upper body are exposed. This means that they feel embarrassed while at the pool, the beach, or even in the gym. Luckily, plastic surgeons can alleviate gynecomastia through a male breast reduction procedure. During surgery, the surgeon will focus on removing excess breast tissue, fat, and possibly skin in order to achieve a well-contoured, masculine chest. Most men who receive this cosmetic surgical procedure enjoy increased levels of self-confidence and improved quality of life.
Male breast reduction surgery is the second most popular male plastic surgery procedure after liposuction. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that in 2019, more than 24,123 men received this treatment. Realpatientratings.com reports male breast reduction satisfaction rates at over 90%. It is important for gynecomastia patients to work with a highly skilled surgeon in order to get the best possible outcome from this procedure.
Is this Procedure for me?
Male breast reduction is a plastic surgery procedure to correct gynecomastia (overdevelopment of male breast tissue). This procedure can include excision, liposuction, or a combination of these two techniques in order to create a more masculine chest contour. You may be a good candidate for gynecomastia surgery if:
- You are in excellent physical and emotional health
- You have gynecomastia that does not respond to alternative medical treatments
- You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too large or feminine looking
- You have stabilized breast development
- You do not have obesity and you are close to your ideal weight
- You comprehend and understand the risks and rewards of this treatment
Benefits of Male Breast Reduction
Gynecomastia tends to impact men on a much more than cosmetic level. Having enlarged, feminine-looking breast tissue can be socially stigmatizing, physically uncomfortable, and even psychologically damaging. By undergoing male breast reduction, most patients enjoy multiple life-improving benefits:
- Increase self-esteem and confidence – Body insecurities caused by gynecomastia can lead to low self-esteem and even depression. In cases where lifestyle changes such as exercise and diet are not helping, surgery may be the only option to address gynecomastia. This procedure creates a flatter, firmer, and more aesthetic chest contour that will provide an instant boost to the patient’s sense of self-esteem and self-confidence. Many individuals who receive this treatment are able to wear better fitting clothing, stay shirtless at the pool or beach, and not shy away from social situations due to low self-esteem.
- Enjoy a masculine contour – Many men who have gynecomastia do not take the fact that their chest appears to assume a female form lightly. Often, gynecomastia patients feel that their chest shape and body form may not be ideally compatible with their gender. Male breast reduction surgery gets rid of the excess fatty tissue in order to reveal a firmer and better-sculpted physique.
- Ease physical activity – Having enlarged male breasts can make certain physical activities such as running and jumping uncomfortable. In fact, many women can naturally relate to this, but women can choose from a wide range of special athletic bras to hold their breasts down while preventing uncomfortable movement during exercising. Undergoing gynecomastia surgery increases the patient’s comfort levels during physical activity, and thus motivates them to stay fit so they can maintain a firmer and stronger figure.
- Enhance posture – Gynecomastia can have a substantial impact on your posture, causing disfigurement of the upper spine. Over time, this could lead to chronic spinal pain and even a permanent hump. Furthermore, poor posture compromises your core strength and leads to a withdrawn appearance. Male breast reduction corrects gynecomastia and gives the patient a smaller chest that allows them to stand straighter and taller while exuding approachability and confidence.
- Free the mind – Many men who are concerned about the appearance of their body find that their mind floods itself with negative thoughts. This may lead to intense levels of anxiety as you undergo your daily life. You may be concerned about what to wear, how to conceal the enlarged appearance of your breasts, and whether anyone has noticed your feminine-looking chest. During gynecomastia surgery, Dr. Tessler works to address all your concerns so you can free your mind and enjoy a higher quality of life. The vast majority of plastic surgeon’s gynecomastia surgery patients experience a fulfilling emotional relief after undergoing this treatment.
Regardless of what concerns you have about gynecomastia, Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin are committed to alleviating your worries. The surgeon will create a highly customized treatment plan to suit your needs. Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin bring keen professionalism and commitment to results and safety to the operating table.
Causes of Gynecomastia
Medical experts agree that gynecomastia may be caused by:
The hormones testosterone and estrogen determine sex characteristics in both men and women. Estrogen is responsible for female traits such as breast development. On the other hand, testosterone is responsible for male traits such as body hair and muscle mass. In normal male development, the female hormone estrogen is produced albeit in small quantities. If the levels of this hormone are too high or imbalanced with testosterone, this can lead to gynecomastia.
Hormone-related gynecomastia commonly manifests in 3 groups of males:
- Infant baby boys – Gynecomastia typically affects infant males because the hormone estrogen is passed from the mother to the baby boy through the placenta. In fact, more than half of male infants are born with enlarged breasts due to this. The good news though is that the swollen breast tissue disappears within 3 weeks after birth so there is no need for medical intervention.
- Adolescent males – Hormone levels tend to vary during puberty. If there is an ambulance, increased levels of estrogen can lead to overgrowth of breast tissue. This is the reason why many teenage boys have a degree of breast development. Adolescent gynecomastia tends to clear naturally as the hormone levels balance out.
- Older males – As men get older, less testosterone is produced. More so, there is more body fat and this can lead to increased levels of estrogen. These changes lead to excess breast tissue and affect 1 out of every 4 men within the ages of 50 to 69.
Obesity is among the most common causes of male breast enlargement. Gaining a lot of excess weight leads to increased levels of estrogen, and even excess fat that contributes to gynecomastia. If you have male breast enlargement as a result of obesity, Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin may recommend that you try exercising and diet as a way to improve the condition before opting for surgery.
Certain medications have been known to cause gynecomastia. These include:
- Anabolic steroids that may be provided by doctors to address certain conditions.
- Anti-androgens that are used in the treatment of prostate cancer, enlarged prostate, and other conditions.
- Some anti-anxiety medication and antidepressants.
- Some ulcer medication, cancer treatments, and stomach-emptying medications
- DHT Blockers for hair loss, such as Finasteride
Certain drugs and health conditions
Various drugs have been known to contribute to overgrowth of male breast tissue. These include marijuana, amphetamines, heroin, and methadone. Certain health conditions (particularly those that affect hormonal balance) can lead to gynecomastia. These include tumor, hypogonadism, hyperthyroidism, and malnutrition.
Male Breast Reduction Procedure
Male breast reduction is considered to be an outpatient procedure performed at Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin’s in-office operating room, and qualified healthcare facilities. The surgeon’s anesthesiologist will administer local or general anesthesia to ensure the patient’s comfort and safety throughout the procedure. The surgeon will then create a minimal incision and use it to remove excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin as needed. The nipple may also be repositioned and the areola reduced to suit the patient’s requirements. Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin integrates liposuction into the treatment to remove excess fatty tissue. Once the treatment is complete, the surgeon will close the incision sites and bandage the treatment area.
Recovery after Male Breast Reduction
Immediately after the surgery, you will be observed for a while before you are allowed to go home for recovery. Your treatment area will be covered in bandages and a special compression garment to control the swelling and support your new chest contour. Redness and swelling can be expected in the treatment area, but usually subsides over time. You will be provided with compression garments that should be worn for one month after surgery. The surgeon will provide pain medication to improve your comfort level, as well as antibiotics to prevent an infection. You should avoid lifting your arms or making any vigorous shoulder movements over the first few days in recovery. Most of Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin’s male breast reduction patients are able to return to work within 2 weeks. It is important that you attend all scheduled postoperative visits and strictly adhere to the surgeon’s recovery instructions in order to ensure a speedy recovery after gynecomastia surgery.
The cost of male breast reduction varies greatly from one patient to another depending on the extensiveness of the treatment. On average, most of Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin’s gynecomastia patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert, and nearby areas can expect to pay between $6,500 and $8,000 for this treatment. In cases where only liposuction is needed to alleviate the condition, then the cost will be on the lower side. But in situations where additional nipple repositioning and skin tightening is necessary, the cost can go up to $11,000. Male breast reduction is considered to be an elective cosmetic procedure. For this reason, most health insurers do not pay for this procedure. During your initial gynecomastia consultation at Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin’s office, the surgeon’s team will provide an initial cost estimate so you can make arrangements for financing.
Dr. Tessler’s Credentials
Oren Tessler, MD, is a board-certified plastic surgeon serving the Phoenix area. Dr. Tessler is highly proficient in multiple plastic surgery techniques, including breast procedures, body contouring, and maxillofacial surgery. Dr. Tessler earned his MD – MBA at McGill University. His plastic and reconstructive surgical training was concluded at McGill University followed by his fellowship training at Harvard University, both of which are the best and top ranked medical programs throughout the U.S. and Canada. He was appointed as an assistant and associate professor of Plastic Surgery at Louisiana State University and Tulane University. Dr. Tessler has also served as Director of Plastic Surgery at University Medical Center, as well as contributed research and trained dozens of upcoming plastic surgeons. Dr. Tessler’s passion lies in restoring form and function while improving the quality of life of his patients. He brings a friendly and personalized approach to plastic surgery while working with highly qualified anesthesiologists and other support staff who strive to deliver the best male breast reduction Phoenix, AZ has to offer.