How do I know for sure if I have gynecomastia? Also does insurance cover the surgery? (photos)

I am not necessarily a heavyset person. I'm a 6'1, 305 pound college lineman. I have a muscular body with fat on top of it and i'm trying to get rid of this because its embarrassing and hurting my confidence and self-esteem. I am just trying to figure out if I have gyno or not.

Doctor Answers 13


 A definite yes, and this will not be easy easy type to treat. As you have already heard this will require some form of mastopexy with significant skin removal and possibly a free nipple graft. sorry to be the first one to tell you but there will definitely be some type of scars on the front of the chest. Even with that it seems to still be worth while. Find a good board certified plastic surgeon and you should do well

Paramus Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

About Gynecomastia Surgery and Insurance Coverage

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.

Typically, gynecomastia surgery is not always covered by many insurance or healthcare programs. If it is, it can take some time to acquire approval as criteria can be restrictive. If approved, it's possible to be reimbursed by the insurance company after the surgery. Nevertheless, most plastic surgery offices offer convenient finance plans that allow patients to pay a low monthly payment. 

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons the average #cost of #gynecomastia surgery can vary widely. #Surgery quotes should include the procedure itself, operating room facilities, anesthesia fees, surgeon’s fees, medical tests, post-surgery garments, prescription medication and other related costs.  Costs will also vary with geographic location. Estimated costs can be found here on, or

It is imperative you select a plastic surgeon who is #board-certified and has a great deal of experience with male breast #reduction. Plastic surgeons who have specialized in breast surgery and cosmetic surgery are suitable to perform your procedure. Aside from checking board-certification, it is suggested that you look at before and after photos of the surgeons actual patients, and read patient reviews. Gathering all of this information will help you make a well-informed decision.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Gynecomastia condition

It does appear you have gynecomastia. This may be caused by a combination of excess fat, breast tissue and loose skin. It can be corrected but usually it's not covered by insurance because it's considered an aesthetic issue.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Insurance and BA

From your description it seems as if you are a good candidate for breast reduction. Unfortunately, each insurance company has their own criteria. Large breasts (macromastia) or breast hypertrophy can occur in a variety of conditions (family trait, post pregnancy, excessive adolescent growth). In general when the excessive breast size causes functional problems, insurance will generally pay for the operation if more than 400 – 500 grams are removed from each breast dependent on your individual insurance company requirements. These problems may include neck pain, back or shoulder pain, hygiene difficulty, and breast pain. Other problems which are less likely to be covered by insurance include skin irritation, skeletal deformity, breathing problems, psychological/emotional problems, and interference with normal daily activities. Pre-authorization by the insurance company is required prior to surgery, and the process takes approximately one month. Each insurance policy has different guidelines and exclusions.
This procedure is commonly covered by insurance through insurance criteria are becoming more and more restrictive. Although we do not accept insurance, our staff will assist you in obtaining pre-authorization so that you can attempt to be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses

Your chest

Insurance covers surgery (to some extent - sometimes) when there are rashes involved under the breasts.  In your case, you may have rashes.  Your breasts are composed of fat and glandular tissue.  Regardless if it is pseudo or real gynecomastia, the surgery is the same.

Tim Neavin, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews


Enlargement of the male breast to excess is usually labeled as gynecomastia. True gynecomastia is excess breast tissue. An enlargement of the breast may involve breast tissue, fatty tissue and skin in various amounts of excess.

Your picture reveals excess skin and some combination of the other two elements. Most likely this would not be covered by insurance, since it is mostly an appearance issue.

There will be some scars much like mastopexy scars on both breasts.

Wishing you all the best,

Talmage Raine MD FACS

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

How do I know for sure if I have gynecomastia? Also does insurance cover the surgery?

You most definitely have gynecomastia. Anytime a male has breasts in excess of what is typical for a male, this is gynecomastia. I cannot answer your question as to whether this would be covered by insurance. You have to seek a plastic surgeon and have his insurance clerk contact your insurance company.

I expect that you will need more of a procedure than the typical patient with gynecomastia because of the size of your breasts. You should seek a plastic surgeon and have a personal interview and examination to make this determination.

I can understand how your self-confidence would suffer, and eliminating this problem should be very fulfilling for you. Good luck on your quest to eliminate your gynecomastia and put this issue behind you.

Svere gynecomastia

How should I choose a surgeon?
Selecting a surgeon is as important a choice as the decision to undergo surgery. Choose carefully only a board certified PLASTIC SURGEON. The decision is yours. What follows is some advice to assist in making your selection.
1. Experience matters. Choosing a surgeon who has performed over one thousand gynecomastia cases increases the likelihood that they have seen a case similar to yours in the past. Selecting a surgeon whose practice is focused on gynecomastia exclusively is also an indicator of experience.
2. Results matter. The more before-and-after pictures a surgeon displays, the better. Pay attention not just to the number of pictures, but whether the surgeon is confident enough to show multiple angles of the same patient.
3. Gynecomastia surgery Reviews matter. Have patients reviewed your surgeon? Did those patients undergo the surgery you are considering?
4. Expertise matters. Is your surgeon recognized by the profession as an authority in the field? Are they certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery? Have they authored books or medical journal articles regarding your surgery?
We hope these guidelines are of assistance when you are selecting your surgeon. When undergoing surgery, it is very important to be realistic about your expectations. Past results are not a guarantee of future results. Also, revision surgery tends to be significantly more difficult than initial surgery.

Mordcai Blau, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

How do I know for sure if I have gynecomastia? Also does insurance cover the surgery?

Thank you for the question and pictures. You definitely have breast hypertrophy and would benefit from breast reduction surgery for the reasons you mention. I would suggesting you seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience helping patients achieved the type of outcomes you will be pleased with. You may find the attached link, demonstrating a similar case, helpful to you as you learn more. Best wishes.


I appreciate your concern, but physical exam would be helpful. However, your photo demonstrates significant Gynecomastia which is usually treated by liposuction, gland excision and skin tightening. There will be scars, but worth the trade off. Insurance may or may not cover it, depends on your policy. Check out the link below to an article I wrote about Gynecomastia, as you may find it helpful. Seek out a board certified plastic surgeon in your area, good luck!

Robert M. Tornambe, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 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.