Enlarged male breasts, also known as gynecomastia, is very common.
And one that can be quite embarrassing for many men.
This is true whether the breast size is a “C” cup or more or if it is essentially imperceptible except to the affected individual.
Fortunately, the surgical treatment of gynecomastia – male breast reduction – is very effective and is associated with a very high satisfaction rate.
The specific technique to be employed would depend on the nature of the gynecomastia – whether it is due to glandular tissue alone, fat, a combination of the two or even a combination of these along with excess, lax skin. Treatment would involve direct excision of breast tissue if the cause is just glandular tissue, liposuction of fat if the reason for the enlargement is fat or a combination of the two if both fat and glandular tissue are contributing factors to the gynecomastia.
In far less common situations, usually associated with massive weight loss, skin excision would need to be performed in addition to fat and glandular tissue removal. By necessity, this approach entails far more extensive incisions.
The need for a skin tightening procedure in the treatment of gynecomastia is affected and determined by a few factors. These include:
• Skin elasticity
• Extent of the enlargement
• Presence of drooping of the breasts
Let’s look at each one of these issues.
Skin elasticity is the ability of the skin to tighten up after being stretched out. Imagine a rubber band being pulled and stretched out. When you release the force, it returns to its original size – due to its elasticity. If there were little or no elasticity, the rubber band would remain stretched out and not shrink back to its original size.
For gynecomastia, it is the same situation except the stretching out is due to fat and/or breast tissue and the “release” is a consequence of their removal.
Elasticity is greatest at a very young age and then decreases over time. It is also affected by genetics, sun exposure, massive weight loss and even smoking.
Extent of Enlargement
The degree of the enlargement can impact the extent to which the skin will tighten – independent of other factors. With minor to moderate gynecomastia, the skin will be more likely to tighten without anything else needing to be done. With marked gynecomastia, this is less likely to be the case, especially if skin elasticity is already decreased. When there is also drooping present, a skin tightening procedure would definitely be indicated. (See photos below)
If the breasts are drooping, it means that there is excess, stretched out skin with decreased elasticity. Removing a relatively small amount of tissue in the treatment of gynecomastia can result in some tightening of the tissues. However, whether this will lead to an acceptable result is not always predictable and, of course, depends on the preferences of the individual.
The prospects are poorer for acceptable tightening when the extent of the gynecomastia is substantial in a male already experiencing breast drooping. In these situations, a skin tightening procedure would likely be needed in order to obtain more conforming, desirable results. (See photos below).
Seeking Answers and Treatment of Your Gynecomastia
The absolute best way for you to pursue treatment of your male breast enlargement is to seek a consultation with a reputable Plastic Surgeon who commonly treats gynecomastia and is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
You can actually find one right here at the Arizona Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery: me – Steven Turkeltaub, MD.
Scheduling Your Consultation
If you are seeking answers regarding your gynecomastia and would like to schedule a complimentary consultation, please feel free to contact us at the Arizona Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. You can reach us either by calling (480) 451-3000 or contacting us online.
Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona