Your Gynecomastia Questions Answered
Submitted by Dr. Joyesh Raj on Wed 08/19/2020 - 09:00
Are you thinking about improving the appearance of enlarged breasts with male breast reduction surgery? If so, you probably have some questions about the surgery, and Dr. Raj is here to help. Here, he shares some of the common questions gynecomastia patients ask before deciding to undergo surgery.
I go to the gym regularly and eat a healthy diet. Yet I can’t seem to tone up my chest. It looks swollen and kind of feminine, even though the rest of my body is in good shape. Why is that?
Enlarged or swollen male breasts are caused by an excess of fatty tissue, glandular tissue or a combination of both. If you are in good shape and your breasts are disproportionately larger than the rest of your body, you may be storing excess glandular tissue on your chest. Unfortunately, you cannot diet or exercise away glandular tissue. No matter how much weight you lose, your breasts will probably not get smaller.
Someone told me that gynecomastia is caused by taking steroids. Is that true?
It can be. Gynecomastia is caused by an imbalance in testosterone and estrogen. Testosterone is responsible for traditionally masculine traits like muscle mass, and estrogen is responsible for female traits like breast growth. Although males produce a small amount of estrogen and women produce a small amount of testosterone, male estrogen levels that are too high can lead to gynecomastia. This can occur due to certain health conditions, medications, street drugs and, yes, anabolic steroids to improve athletic performance.
I heard that liposuction gets rid of gynecomastia. Is that true?
Liposuction alone can only treat cases of gynecomastia caused by excessive fatty breast tissue. Glandular tissue must be surgically excised.
I really want to have surgery but I am only 16. Am I a candidate?
Normally we recommend candidates be at least 18 years at the time of surgery. The reason for that is sometimes hormonal fluctuations present during adolescence resolve on their own after a few years. It is best to come in for an evaluation to discuss your options in more detail.
I want my chest to look more masculine but I am worried about undergoing surgery. Will I be in a lot of pain after the procedure?
No. Most patients report minimal pain after surgery. Prescription or over-the-counter pain medication is recommended to manage post-operative discomfort.
I am anxious to resume work, exercise and my social life after gynecomastia surgery. How quickly can I go back to the office and gym?
Most patients resume work and socializing within a few days of surgery. Depending on your recovery, you may be able to resume light exercise shortly after surgery, as long as you avoid heavy lifting and other forms of strenuous exercise for four to six weeks.
I really want a flatter, muscular chest but I am concerned about potential scarring from surgery.
We do our best to minimize scarring in the natural creases and transitions of the skin. Depending on the specific surgical approach taken, sometimes we can perform the procedure through incisions around the edge of the areola. If we must remove a lot of tissue, incisions may be needed in the crease underneath the breast.
For more information about gynecomastia, please contact Dr. Raj today.