Male Breast Reduction Exercise

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.

Doctor Answers 37

Gynecomastia or Male Breast Enlargement

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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.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Male Breast Reduction

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A physical examination by a board certified plastic surgeon will usually reveal to you whether you will require surgery or not. There is no proven excersise that will correct this deformity. This is a common procedure in males. Surgery is usually required for improvement. Best of luck to you.

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Get a check-up with your doctor first

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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.

Good Luck.

See a physician to identify the cause of your gynecomastia

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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.

Edward S. Lee, MD
Englewood Plastic Surgeon

Exercise or plastic surgery for male breast reduction

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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.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

How to Address Male Breast Enlargement

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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. 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. 

Several common factors can cause gynecomastia including excessive levels of #estrogen, natural #hormone changes, use of recreational drugs or alcohol, medications and their associated side effects, and, various health conditions. Also, there are different types of #gynecomastia.

The most common and reliable method to correct gynecomastia, is surgery.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.

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

Male Breast Reduction

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If you have noticed enlargement in your chest area and are not going through puberty there may be underlying factors that may be causing this problem. I would recommend seeing an endocrinologist or your primary care doctor to rule out any imbalances in your hormones and make sure you are not taking any medications or substances such as steroids, marijuana or certain exercise supplements than can increase tissue development in the male chest. If one of these is the cause of your problems then if you stop the medication or adjust your hormone levels it is possible that gynecomastia will resolve on its own. If it does not go away then surgery may be a good option for you. I would start with seeing your primary care doctor and go from there.

Robert Cohen, MD
Santa Monica Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

The Treatment for Enlarged Male Breast Depends on the Underlying Cause

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The answer to your question really depends on the cause of your chest/breast enlargement.  The majority of cases of gynecomastia in young adolescents will resolve on their own without any particular treatment. 

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!

Male Breast Reduction

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In order to answer your questions I would need more information:

1) How old are you, how much do you weigh, and when did you notice your breast enlargement
2) Are you taking any supplements or medications?
3) Do you have any medical conditions?
4) Photos


Dr. Dadvand

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


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Without an exam it is impossible to give you the best advice.  However, it may be gynecomastia and the causes range from genetics to medications to steroids, etc.  Gynecomastia sometimes subsides, other times it doesn't.  When it doesn't surgical excision of the gland is a safe procedure with permanent results.

Tim Neavin, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

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.