My chest is growing, not from bench pressing! Hoping one of the doctors can answer whether male breast enlargement is reversible or is plastic surgery the only answer.
Male Breast Reduction Exercise
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Gynecomastia and the need for an expert consultation
There are too many unansered questions: age weight, height, severity, family history, medical problems and more. It means that if you look for answers you should consult an experienced board certified plastic/gynecomastia surgeons. For some help you can go to wikipedia/gynecomastia
Gynecomastia or Male Breast Enlargement
Gynecomastia, or male breast enlargement, is an increasingly common reason that male patients schedule consultation in our practice. Gynecomastia may occur on one or both sides of the chest, may be localized primarily behind the nipple and areola or involve the entire pectoral area, and may arise in the teen years or in retirement years. As the manifestations of gynecomastia vary significantly from patient to patient, the surgical treatment must be carefully individualized.
Some enlargement of male breast tissue commonly occurs during puberty, and the incidence of noticeable (transient) pubertal breast enlargement has been reported to be as high as 60%. For most males this hormone-related breast enlargement is temporary, but for a few individuals the breast tissue proliferation will persist and in some cases even continue.
For the majority of patients with gynecomastia, no clear causative factor can be identified. However, because this phenomenon may be associated with endocrine (hormone) disorders, testicular tumors, and the use of some medications/drugs, a careful medical evaluation is an absolute necessity prior to surgical treatment.
Over the past two to three years, I have evaluated and treated a number of male patients who developed gynecomastia after using 'prohormone' and steroid supplements as part of a bodybuilding regimen. These agents are known to increase estrogen activity in some individuals, which may stimulate the proliferation of breast tissue and result in visible breast enlargement. The breast enlargement generally persists after the cessation of supplement use, requiring surgical treatment.
Patient evaluation, treatment planning and surgical management are carried out with complete discretion in my practice. Some gynecomastia breast surgery patients have related that prior to scheduling an appointment, they were concerned about 'feeling awkward' while sitting in a plastic surgeon's waiting room before their consultation. Because my office is a medical spa offering a variety of services, including laser treatments and massage, no client in our office can ever be presumed to be a surgical patient. Discuss privacy concerns with a plastic surgeon practice prior to scheduling a consultation.
Male Breast Reduction
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First and Foremost, Get a good examination
While the majority of gynecomastia is an isolated issue, there are some cases in which gynecomastia is a sign of another underlying issue (testicular issues, hormone imbalance, or even side effects of medication or drugs). You need to first be checked out by either a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, or even a good Internist who knows what to look for.
Assuming there are no other medical issues to be addressed, it is unlikely that true gynecomastia (presence of breast tissue, not just fat) that has been present for a year or more will just go away on its own. There are multiple good options for surgical correction that can give you the results you're looking for. The key is to find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area, sit down and chat with him or her and get a sense of their plan for your procedure.
Get a check-up with your doctor first
Gynecomastia is more common that you would think. Sometimes a cause can be found such as a medication side-effect, drug (marijuana) side-effect, or a hormonal imbalance. You should go to your family physician to make sure that there is not a medical cause to your problem.
After that however, the discussion is on how to correct the problem. As you have probably found out, it is very hard to fix with exercise alone. Most men with moderate size gynecomastia can be helped with liposuction through very small incisions (1/2 cm).
If there is persistent breast tissue or firm tissue, then a small incision around the areola can be used to excise or cut out the tissue. This is a common operation and you do not have to be embarrassed to go to a plastic surgeon to seek advice. The surgery is quick and the results can help you physically and mentally.
See a physician to identify the cause of your gynecomastia
Gynecomastia can be due to several different causes. It can be transient in the young, due to medications, due to recreational drug use, or a hormonal imbalance. You should see a physician in order to be appropriately evaluated.
If your gynecomastia is secondary to a medication side effect, then switching medications may lead to a complete resolution of your problem, i.e. no surgery. Once you figure out why you're developing breast enlargement, then you can start to worry about the treatment.
In general, the smaller your breasts, the smaller the surgery needed to remove the breast tissue. It can range from a small excision, liposuction, ultrasound assisted liposuction, or a larger operation. See your physician to identify the cause of your gynecomastia first.
Exercise or plastic surgery for male breast reduction
Your answer really depends upon whether or not there is a reversible cause.
Gynecomastia refers to the growth of glandular breast tissue. This is not fat or muscle. It is common with some medications and recreational drugs like marijuana. It can also be a relatively normal phase of development in some men between the ages of 14-20. In these patients time may be associated with spontaneous regression.
Surgery can be helpful when other measures have not been successful.
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The Treatment for Enlarged Male Breast Depends on the Underlying Cause
If you are older, i.e. in your 20's or older with gynecomastia, it is much less likely that it will resolve on its own.
If you are overweight and have "pseudo-gynecomastia", which is a fatty enlargement of the male breast, you may have significant improvement with weight loss.
There are various medications that affect the sex hormones, and there have been cases of gynecomastia where a significant decrease in the volume of the breast tissue has occurred with the use of the drugs. However, none of these drugs has been shown to produce a consistent and complete reversal of gynecomastia. Because breast tissue is a mixture of glandular, fatty and fibrous tissue, even if the glandular tissue (which is affected by these medicines) goes away, the remaining soft tissue generally remains.
There are some products that claim to make gynecomastia “melt away”, but these are marketed as “fat burners”, and therefore the breast glandular and fibrous tissue are not affected. Although there are a lot of testimonials touting success with these types of “supplements”, quite a few of those are sponsored by the company selling the supplement.
For true gynecomastia, liposuction and possible direct excision are the mainstays of treatment. With "pseudo-gynecomastia", liposuction is usually the main treatment if weight loss does not result in complete resolution of the enlarged breast.
I hope this answer helps. Good luck!
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.