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Plastic Surgery is Not Just for Women

A man in swim shorts floating in a pool

Gynecomastia:

A condition in which an enlargement of breast tissue occurs in males.

Men make up 13% of all cosmetic procedures. The top surgical procedures for men are nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, liposuction, gynecomastia, and hair restoration according to plasticsurgery.org . The number of minimally invasive procedures like BOTOX® and fillers and skin resurfacing make up 17% of all non-surgical procedures in 2018. With the job market becoming more competitive, and first impression being as important as it is, some men feel that to be more competitive, they need to look their best.

Gynecomastia is a condition in which an enlargement of breast tissue occurs in males. It can occur at any stage of a man’s life; the cause and recommended treatment may differ depending on age. In adolescent males, between 50 to 60% suffer from gynecomastia. For younger males, the symptoms are generally caused by higher-than normal levels of estrogen in the body due to puberty. By the 20s the chest typically naturally flattens out and contours but that is not always the case. Gynecomastia is even more prevalent among adult men . Roughly 65% of men between the ages of 27 and 92 experience some degree of gynecomastia. The symptoms may be the same as adolescents, but the causes are different.

Causes for Gynecomastia in adult men:

  • Certain medicals conditions including thyroid problems
  • Cancer of the pituitary gland
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Use of recreational drugs including marijuana and steroid use

At any age, having “man boobies” causes much embarrassment. When dealing with enlarged breast tissue, it is common for men to avoid sports activities or the outdoors and to wear more t-shirts and adopt a slouching posture to camouflage their enlarged chest. As you can imagine, this can have a big impact on a man’s self-esteem and confidence as he becomes the butt of jokes. So, what can be done?

First, he and his parents (if he is a minor) should talk with his family physician to ensure that this is merely a developmental issue – not the side effect of a more serious condition, tumor or secondary to drug use. Usually this can be accomplished through a physical examination and some standard labs. If this results in normal findings, the next step should be a consultation with a plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon can then determine how much excess breast tissue exists and the role that excess weight may be playing.

Being overweight alone does not always result in development of male breasts, but certainly being overweight can be a major contributing factor. Excess fat is more than just a filler. It acts as a hormonal organ and produces excess estrogen. Slimming down is much more than having clothes fit better, it becomes a way to optimize health. You should be at your ideal weight before undergoing any surgery to ensure optimum results and healing. Even what a young man eats will affect his health. There is some thought that growth hormones fed to chicken and cows have hormonal effects on young people. Soy is the #1 consumed oil in America and found in most processed foods. Soy is a phyto-estrogen or a plant based estrogen and is known to suppress a person’s thyroid. So, you have to ask yourself, “is what I am eating having a hormonal effect on my body?”

If the physical exam is found normal and weight has been evaluated, then surgical options are discussed. Sometimes the treatment of gynecomastia involves only lipocontouring with a small incision. The larger the breast-like deformity, the more surgery is required. If necessary, male breast reduction surgery is performed removing glandular tissue, fat and skin resulting in a clatter, more masculine chest contour. Treating gynecomastia can help men of all ages. It reveals the best version of themselves, they feel better, more confident, resulting in higher self-esteem.

Gynecomastia surgery is one of many plastic surgeries that men have. Like women, men are interested in optimizing their appearance to better match their internal attitude. This means men invest in BOTOX®, facial rejuvenation surgery, skincare, body contouring surgery (especially after massive weight loss), and other noninvasive rejuvenation treatments. Men account for 30% of plastic surgery or nonsurgical rejuvenation procedures in the United States. Current plastic surgery now offers services that appeal to a man’s desire to have definitive results with minimal downtime. Who wouldn’t want that?

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