Is this fat or tissue? (Photo)

I'd like to know whether the tissue on my chest is fat or something else? I'm a male who lost 120 lbs and when trying to get my skin tightened I was told that whatever is causing the sagging of my chest is not fat, but permanently expanded tissue. Because of this it can't be lipo'd and would have to be removed with large incisions. What kind of tissue is this? I had always assumed it was fat till now because of how it felt and how it would move down to my sides if I lie down on my back.

Doctor Answers 8

What is Gynecomastia?

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The male #breast is composed of glandular tissue and fatty tissue. An excess in either type of tissue can cause the chest to take on the look of gynecomastia. Gynecomastia can affect #men of all different body types. There are different types of #gynecomastia.

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.
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.
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. 

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Fat or Tissue?

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Thank you for your question.

It is difficult to determine without an assessment. I'd recommend booking a follow-up appointment with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to discuss your options. 

Take care.


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It is impossible to say for sure without an exam.  It appears you may have some excess skin, and there may also be residual fat and even an element of gynecomastia.  I recommend that you seek consultation in person with an experienced plastic surgeon.

Jeffrey D. Wagner, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews


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Thank you for the question and photos but an examination is really needed and possibly a mammogram to be definitive.  So see some experts in your area who regularly do gynecomastia surgery.

Dr. Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Loose skin

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Without an exam, I can't be sure if there is any fatty tissue or glandular tissue to treat surgically. But I will say that if the skin is really loose, then surgically removing the excess will improve your overall look, but you will have noticeable incisions.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Redundant skin after weight loss

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First off, Congratulations on your weight loss! While physical exam is optimal, it appears that you mostly have redundant skin left after your significant weight loss. This is quite common, and it requires excision of redundant skin to tighten the chest region. Be sure to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon, as experience and expertise is needed to obtain an optimal result. Good Luck!

Robert M. Tornambe, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews


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Congratulations on your weight loss!  One of the side effects of losing weight is skin laxity, which seems to be the case with you.  Things like chronic weight loss/weight gain cycles, rapid weight loss, genetics and nutrition affect one's overall skin quality and increase the risk of skin laxity.  You would most likely require a skin excision which would leave you with scars.  Liposuction only treats excess fatty tissue and requires the overlying skin to contract.  In your case, this is unlikely to happen and would only increase your skin laxity.  

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Is this fat or tissue?

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  Congratulations on your significant weight loss; you should be very proud of this accomplishment! Based on  your history and photographs,  I think that you are dealing with redundancy of skin as well as residual adipose tissue. Liposuction surgery alone will likely leave you with significant skin contour irregularities and/or excess skin especially when you lean over (as in the photograph).

My best suggestion: seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience achieving the types of outcomes, starting at the same "starting point", that you will be pleased with. You may find the attached link, helpful to you as you learn more. Best wishes.

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.