Male breasts: New technique treats Gynecomastia with next day recovery and no scars
May 15, 2013 | Dr. Jeffrey Ditesheim Nothing is more traumatic for a guy than looking in the mirror and seeing breasts. It feels alien and you think, “What is happening to my body?” The common reaction is to hope that it will go away but, for many guys, the breasts have been there for some time. Eventually, many men in this situation will refuse to be at the pool or go into a locker room. When a man eventually goes to the doctor, too often he may be told that “it’s normal and you will outgrow it.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. The breasts don’t go away without help. The problem is that even most doctors just don’t know what to do. Will Working Out Make the Breasts Go Away?
A man may wear two t-shirts and loose shirts and avoid the locker room, pool and beach. In the meantime, he hits the gym, hoping that bench pressing will bulk up the chest muscles and give a more masculine look. Unfortunately, building up the muscles just make the breasts look bigger or more prominent.
What Causes Gynecomastia?
Every man has some small amount of breast tissue right under the nipple. This is normal. If that breast tissue gets stimulated, breasts result. While a hormone imbalance can cause breast tissue to grow, this is extremely rare. Having breasts has nothing to do with a man’s masculinity and definitely is not a symptom of “low-t!” Taking steroids (anabolic) can also stimulate breast tissue growth. This is how guys get “bitch tits” (pardon the locker room slang). Marijuana and some other drugs have also been linked to Gynecomastia. For almost all the guys I see and treat, there is no clear cause or explanation for this condition. It just happens. But it does not get better without plastic surgery.
“My Nipples Stick Out.”
Normally, the nipple lies in the plane of the chest muscle. For many teens and guys who are very thin and muscular, the breast tissue right under the nipple can make the nipple stick out. This is really a problem in a t-shirt where every definition shows. For other men, there is fatty tissue around the nipple in addition to the breast tissue. This can make the chest have too much roundness, like a real breast. Worse, sometimes the breast has been there for so long or you have lost weight and the breast hangs from too much skin. No matter the type of problem, how long it has been there, or how extreme it may be, men do not have to live with breasts. Gynecomastia can be treated.
Now, a Quick Recovery is Possible
Once a man knows that the breasts can be treated, the next logical question involves recovery time. Conventional techniques that cut out the breast tissue leave a scar, require a drain and have more chance of bleeding and swelling. Most patients can plan on a week recovery and no gym for at least 4-6 weeks with these procedures.
Relax, there is another solution that can get you back to work the next day, often without pain medicine and back to the gym in a week. Aquashape is a new type of liposuction procedure that uses a water jet to remove the breast and fatty tissue. This requires only a small skin slit in the armpit but leaves no visible scar on the chest. Because all the normal structures of the chest are preserved, there is less healing, less swelling and less pain. A drain is not needed. Even when there is a very small amount of hard breast tissue right under the nipple that cannot be removed with the liposuction tube, a tiny skin slit is made on the border of the areola and even in this case, the scar is almost invisible.
Like all plastic surgery, it is important to be an informed consumer and to get the best care. Poorly done, this procedure could leave a sucken-in nipple, irregularities in the skin or an unnaturally flat chest. Men with breasts are all unhappy, but they are not all the same. Before any procedure, know what you need, where the scars will be and whether it will take more than one procedure to achieve the desired result. You always want to be treated by a board-certified plastic surgeon, preferably with experience in gynecomastia or treating male breasts. The procedure lasts about 90 minutes and does require some light anesthesia. Cost starts at $5000 (including all costs, anesthesia, operating room and surgical fees, all pre and post-op care).
Consultation: Take the First Step
If you or a man in your life is dealing with gynecomastia and is ready to find a solution, the first step is to schedule a private consultation. This initial meeting gives you the opportunity to get to know the doctor and the staff who will care for you. A plan for helping you to achieve your goals will be designed based on your anatomy. The degree of complexity, the recovery and the exact cost will be discussed. All your questions will be answered so that you can make the right decisions for you.