Can I reduce Gynecomastia with exercise? Is this even true Gynecomastia? (photos)

I have had moobs since I can remember. In recent years, I have steadily lost weight and I'm 20 lbs from my goal of 175. Current stats: 6ft, 195 lbs, ~18% Body fat. I went to the doctor and he recommended surgical excision and Smartlipo. I need a second opinion on whether my breast tissue is due to fat, excess glandular tissue or both. If it is fat, can I just ramp up my cardio to get rid of it? I only want to go under the knife if it is absolutely necessary. I can provide more photos, if needed.

Doctor Answers 11

Gynecomastia . . . will exercise help?

At 18% body fat, you are already in good physical condition. Based on your photos, and my experience with similar patients, I expect that ramping up your cardio to achieve a further reduction in body fat will only lead to a slight improvement. The photos demonstrate a disproportionate fullness covering the lower portion of the pec major muscle which leads me to believe that you do have 'true' gynecomastia. If that's the case, then the tissue is not fat, but rather a fibrous tissue that will persist despite any further weight loss. A treatment plan that combines surgical excision and liposuction seems quite reasonable.

Richmond Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Exercise can help but in most cases it doesn't fully cure gynecomastia

See if for some reason you feel surgery isn’t right for you, you may wish to consider non-surgical options. For example, a good diet and sufficient exercise will also be helpful in lowering your overall body fat percentage.

So a clean diet and a good workout routine will be helpful but it may not always be enough, surgery may still be required to remove the glandular element.

Jayanthy Ravindran, MS, DNB, MRCS
India Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Can I reduce Gynecomastia with exercise? Is this even true Gynecomastia? (photos)

Exercise will not improve your condition. Seek a plastic surgeon who performs many of these procedures, has great reviews and photos, and is an expert in this field.

Ron Hazani, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills General Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 293 reviews

True Gynecomastia

Thanks for your good question.  Sorry to say but exercise does not help gynecomastia.  You seem like you would be a good candidate for both liposuction and excision of the excess fibrous breast tissue.  This should give you a pleasing result that will resolve what you won't be able to with exercise.  Best of luck.

Anna I. Wooten, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Can I reduce gynecomastia with exercise?

Thank you for your question.  The gland needs to be removed and does not change with diet or exercise.  Typically excision of the gland and liposuction will give a nice result.  An in person consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon can give you recommendations for the best treatment for you.  Best of luck to you!

Chad Robbins, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Can you reduce gynecomastia without surgery?

Healthy male patients with excess breast tissue or unwanted breast development who have no underlying breast disease.Men who desire improved physical and aesthetic appearance should have realistic expectations based on their condition and the procedure performed. You should meet with a board certified plastic surgeon to be able to get a formal diagnosis and to be able to decide on a course of treatment if necessary.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Can I reduce Gynecomastia with exercise? Is this even true Gynecomastia?

Thank you for the question and pictures. Accurate diagnosis would necessitate physical examination. It IS important to differentiate  as uncomfortable as gynecomastia ( excess breast tissue) from lipomastia ( otherwise known as pseudo-gynecomastia or excess adipose tissue of chest wall). Treatment will differ depending on diagnosis. 

Generally speaking, liposuction surgery alone is useful to treat lipomastia (an enlarged chest secondary to adipose tissue); rarely does it suffices as the only modality of treatment when it comes to treating true gynecomastia. Most patients with gynecomastia benefit from direct excision of glandular tissue plus/minus peripheral liposuction surgery.

My best suggestion: get to where you want to be through healthy diet/exercise, if you are not already there.  Then, if you remain concerned about the appearance of the chest wall, seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience achieving the types of outcomes you will be pleased with. You may find the attached link helpful to you as you learn more. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Can I reduce Gynecomastia with exercise?

The simple answer is no: exercise will not make gynaecomastia disappear. The glandular element will always remain. From your photos , there is a slight fullness inferiorly, but hard to say if this is true gyanecomastia. Visit a board certified plastic surgeon and get them to examine you and give you an opinion. Good going with 18% body fat, well done!

Mo Akhavani, MD, FRCS(Plast)
London Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Exercise does not improve true gynecomastia

Exercise does not improve true gynecomastia,there are many body builders that suffer from it in spite of being in great shape

Mordcai Blau, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 76 reviews


this is always a tricky type question to answer. The first part is pretty simple. Get down to your goal weight and give it some time at that new number and see how things end up. If it's still an issue the only answer we know will be surgery. This can all be done through a tiny incision inside your armpit with no visible scar on the front of your chest. make sure you're speaking to a board-certified plastic surgeon that does this operation regularly. Hope this helps.

Sherwood Baxt, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 25 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.