Is it possible to confuse the pectoralis for glandular tissue? (Photo)

When I self examine, I feel what I believe to be glandular tissue. Is it possible that what I am actually feeling it's my pec? Essentially, is it possible to squeeze the pec muscle between my fingers? I do plan to see a professional, but, I would like to know as I an still in the process of losing weight.

Doctor Answers 9


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The excess tissue in your chest is glandular tissue and fat.  The pectoralis muscle is right next to your ribcage and cannot be responsible for the appearance shown in your photographs.

Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Is it possible to confuse the pectoralis for glandular tissue?

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Thank you for your photograph and questions, and congratulations on your continuing weight loss.  Your picture does demonstrate gynecomastia, which is the development of male breast tissue.  The breast tissue has caused excess skin to develop and sag, but this is not your pec muscle.  Though you can grab your pec muscle out to the side of your chest, just above the area of gynecomastia, the majority of the pec is attached to your rib cage allowing you to feel it but not really squeeze it between your fingers.  Hope that his helps.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews


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Yes it is possible to feel the pectoralis muscle as separate from the gland. From the photo it looks like you have gynecomastia.

Feeling one's pectoralis muscle

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Sorry, your pec muscle is stretcched tightly against your rib cage.  You cannot grasp it between your fingers.

Your photo reveals significant gynecomastia, which is always a combination of fat and gland tissue.

Reccomment losing as much weight as possible, exercising, and then a consultation with an expert in gynecomastia surgery.

Good luck!

Elliot W. Jacobs, MD, FACS
New York City

Breast tissue vs muscle

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That really does look like glandular tissue. Congratulations, you've managed to get a picture that really does document the issue. Most people don't do that. It is possible to feel the pectoralis muscle, but that  would be on the side over by your underarm. The muscle doesn't hang into the skin at all.

Tracy E. McCall, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

​Consult with a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon to Determine

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According to official statistics, 36% of adult young men and 57% of older #adult men in the United States have this medical condition in one of the four grades. About 200,000 to 3 million cases of #gynecomastia are being reported every single year. So if you have #breast #enlargement and you feel you're an exception, please understand that 1 in 3 young adult #men and 1 in 2 older adult men are just like you and have breast enlargement. 

There are three types of surgical treatment options available that treat gynecomastia. Your board-certified plastic surgeon will recommend the type best suited for you. The most important decision to be made before performing any surgical procedure is determining whether you are an ideal candidate. Weight, and more specifically body mass index (BMI), need to be considered when deciding.
Consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon is highly suggested in order to determine if you are a surgery candidate and what treatments are best for you.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews


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Your photo illustrates gynecomastia.  It is unlikely that you can feel your muscle through the glandular tissue and fat.  Your best bet is to see a board certified plastic surgeon for an evaluation.  More on gynecomastia in the attached video.

Tim Neavin, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Gynecomastia Evaluation

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Hi 4knowst,
Thanks for the post and photo. What you are feeling is excess breast and fatty tissue. Based on your photo you have gynecomastia. Once you feel you have reached your goal weight seek out a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in gynecomastia surgery.

Dr. Dadvand

Babak Dadvand, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Feeling the pec muscle

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If you put your hand on your hip ;and push down hard your peck will flex and become firm. Pinch your fingers of the other hand over the tissue you believe to be your pec and test it that way. It's a simple test. If that tissue you are pinching gets firm, it's your pec. If the tissue remains soft, it is NOT your pec.

All the best,

Talmage Raine MD FACS

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

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.