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Your Treatment Options for Gynecomastia

As a man, living with gynecomastia (enlarged breasts) may make you feel isolated and embarrassed. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. In fact, an estimated 65% of adult men ages 27-92 develop gynecomastia. While the causes can vary, the treatment options are effective for all men.

Our board-certified cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon Frederick H. Watkins, MD, knows the emotional and physical toll this condition can take, and he has dedicated his career to helping men just like you find freedom from gynecomastia

Getting to the bottom of gynecomastia

Gynecomastia refers to the overdevelopment of male breasts. In addition to feeling self-conscious, gynecomastia can take a toll on your physical health, too. Carrying the extra weight can result in aches and pains, especially in your back. 

You might wonder how a man could develop breasts. Aren’t those exclusive to females? 

The answer lies within your chemical and biological makeup. Even though your chest can’t perform the same functions as a female’s, you still have small amounts of breast tissue and glands. 

What’s more, both men and women have the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. While men have significantly higher levels of testosterone, they still produce very small amounts of estrogen. 

If your estrogen production ramps up and throws your hormones out of balance, you may start to form breasts. 

Newborn boys have an abnormal amount of estrogen from their mothers and might have enlarged breasts during the first few weeks after birth. Adolescent boys going through puberty can see violent swings in their hormones and breast enlargement as a result. The problem, however, is most common in adult men.

A natural fluctuation in hormones is mainly to blame for gynecomastia, but there are a few other risk factors that can increase your chances of developing enlarged breasts, including:

Leaving your gynecomastia untreated might not cause any serious health conditions, but it may do significant damage to your self-esteem. That’s why we encourage you to seek out our expert surgeon. Whatever is at the core of your gynecomastia, Dr. Watkins has a solution. 

Treating gynecomastia

Treatment begins with an evaluation. Dr. Watkins will conduct a thorough review of your medical history, discuss your goals, and assess your ability to withstand breast reduction.

Candidates for male breast reduction surgery are typically in good health physically and emotionally, aren’t smokers, and aren’t overweight. 

Depending on the cause of your gynecomastia, the treatment usually falls into one of two categories. . 

Liposuction

This is the best treatment if your gynecomastia is caused by an excess buildup of fatty tissue. During the procedure, Dr. Watkins creates a very small incision and then suctions out the excess fat with a thin, hollow tube called a cannula. 

Surgical excision

Enlarged breasts caused by excess glandular tissue likely needs surgical excision. This surgery requires a few more incisions to give Dr. Watkins access to your breast tissue. With this surgery, he removes unnecessary tissue, repositions your areola and nipples if necessary, and gets rid of any excess skin to complete your breast reduction. 

Recovery from surgery can take a couple of weeks. You’ll feel the most sore and tender within the first few days, but Dr. Watkins can prescribe pain medication to make you more comfortable. 

You’ll also be required to wear a compression garment for a few weeks to protect your sutures and control swelling. 

Results are often permanent. You can ensure your results last by making lifestyle adjustments, such as maintaining a healthy weight and stopping any medications or habits (drugs of abuse) that may be contributing to the gynecomastia. Talk to Dr. Watkins about how to make these necessary modifications. 

If you’re sick of living under the emotional and physical weight of gynecomastia, it’s time to look into getting a breast reduction. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with the practice of Frederick H. Watkins, MD, today. Zoom consults are available.

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