What is gynecomastia?
Some men have enlarged breasts, and they assume it’s simply a few too many extra pounds so they don’t do anything about their problem other than maybe not taking off their shirt in many social situations. They actually could have a condition known as gynecomastia.
The term gynecomastia has Greek origins and means “woman-like breasts.” The condition can affect one or both breasts, and it is not rare — it’s thought that up to one half of men have the condition. The problem is that most never do anything about it, or even know they have a problem. Again, they just assume they have a few extra pounds, and their larger breasts are part of it.
Gynecomastia is even more common in teenage boys, affecting three out of four. For them, their enlarged breasts are due to the high levels of estrogen and testosterone coursing through their bodies with puberty. But like acne, in most cases their enlarged breasts will pass with the end of puberty.
What causes gynecomastia?
True gynecomastia is usually caused by hormone fluctuations. That’s obviously the case with teens who have the condition during puberty. In adults, the causes aren’t as clear cut. Adult gynecomastia usually occurs in middle age and above. As during puberty, this is a time of fluctuating hormones. Beyond hormones, certain medications are linked to enlarged breasts.
Here’s a list of causes and risk factors for a man developing gynecomastia:
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Heartburn treatment drugs
- Anti-anxiety drugs
- AIDS treatment drugs
- Elevated estrogen levels
- Heavy drinking
- Frequent marijuana usage
- Weight gain
What are the benefits of having male breast reduction surgery?
Having enlarged breasts can be tough on a man’s self-confidence. He may unconsciously avoid situations where it could be necessary to take off his shirt, such as turning down a water-skiing invitation to Oologah Lake. This surgery with Dr. Schiesel can remove the stigma and allow a man to take off his shirt at the pool on a hot Tulsa day without a second thought.
Plus, this is a simple, straightforward procedure that doesn’t require much recovery.
Who is an ideal candidate for gynecomastia surgery?
In some cases, a man’s enlarged breasts can be simply the result of weight gain. So, Dr. Schiesel may first have the patient lose some weight to see if the condition persists.
Heavy drinkers and marijuana users also aren’t candidates for surgery, as their breast enlargement could be tied to their lifestyle choices. The same is true for steroid use.
Dr. Schiesel can diagnose when true gynecomastia is to blame. She will feel for a firm, rubbery mass underneath the nipple area. The size of this mass is usually less than two inches in diameter. It will often be sensitive to applied pressure. Before opting for surgery, Dr. Schiesel will likely have your primary care doctor try medication that can reduce the amount of estrogen your body is producing. It is important that the patient still have good elasticity in his chest skin, so that it can tighten down over his slimmer contour after surgery.
What will my recovery be like after male breast reduction surgery?
These are not involved surgeries, and they don’t involve a difficult recovery. The incisions made by Dr. Schiesel are small. There will be some swelling and discomfort, but this is short lived. Patients will wear a compression garment to help the chest adhere to its new contour and to minimize swelling. There is often some loss of sensation in the treated areas after gynecomastia surgery, but this is almost always only temporary.
What are the risks involved with gynecomastia surgery?
This is surgery, so it entails all of the risks inherent with any surgery: reaction to anesthesia, excessive bleeding, infection, poor wound healing, and the like. Thanks to Dr. Schiesel’s board-certified plastic surgery training, experience, and expertise, those issues are quite rare. The main risk involved with this procedure is the loss of sensation in the nipple area, but this is usually only a temporary phenomenon.
Does insurance cover male breast reduction surgery?
If your condition is due to true gynecomastia, insurance may cover it. This can vary with different carriers, however. We work with both your doctor and your insurance company to verify the presence of excess glandular tissue and the need for surgery.
Will my gynecomastia return after surgery?
In most cases of reduction surgery, where Dr. Schiesel removes a majority of the breast gland, this also removes the chances of the condition returning.
However, if the gynecomastia was due to the use of steroids, marijuana, or other medications, it is possible for a patient’s breasts to become enlarged again if usage is continued. Also, a sizeable increase in weight can allow fat to accumulate in the breasts, although this isn’t true gynecomastia.
Schedule Your Free Gynecomastia Consultation Today
If you live in Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Owasso, Jenks or other area in Oklahoma and want to learn more about male breast reduction, please contact South Tulsa Plastic Surgery today by calling 918-518-5144 or completing the form on this page. We look forward to meeting you!