What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a condition that affects men and boys that makes breast tissue swell. It can occur when the balance of two hormones in the body is disrupted. It can also occur due to fat deposits in the breasts, called pseudogynecomastia.

A boy’s body makes a hormone called testosterone, which helps to guide their sexual growth during puberty. Boys also make some estrogen, which is the sex hormone in girls. When a boy goes through puberty, or when an older man’s body begins to make less testosterone, the balance of the two hormones change. Sometimes when this happens, a higher amount of estrogen causes male breast tissue to swell.

In addition to body changes such as aging or puberty, other things that can cause gynecomastia include:

  • Obesity.
  • Thyroid problems.
  • Injury or diseases that affect the testicles.
  • Illegal drugs.
  • Liver disease.
  • Some cancers.
  • Certain medications such as anti-androgens or anti-anxiety drugs.
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Who is a Good Candidate for Gynecomastia Procedure?

The goal of gynecomastia surgery is to reduce the breast size in men who are embarrassed or self-conscious of their overly large breasts. Men who wish to improve their overall body proportions, who are reluctant to remove their shirt to swim or participate in sports, or experience low confidence due to their breasts can often benefit from gynecomastia surgery. A consultation with one of our plastic surgeons is needed to determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure.

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Gynecomastia Treatment Techniques

Liposuction Technique

When gynecomastia is caused by excess fatty tissue, liposuction may be used. During this procedure, a cannula, or a thin hollow tube, is inserted through several small incisions. The cannula is moved back and forth skillfully to loosen any excess fat, which is then removed using vacuum suction. There are a number of liposuction techniques that can be used, and the most appropriate for your case will be decided upon prior to your procedure.

Excision Technique

This option is used when glandular breast tissue or excess skin is the cause of gynecomastia. Excision may also be needed if the areola will need to be reduced or the nipple repositioned for a more natural contour. Incision patterns will vary depending on the desired results.

Gynecomastia Procedure Process

There are two main techniques that can be used during gynecomastia surgery, including the liposuction technique and the incision technique. Sometimes, these two techniques can also be combined to achieve the desired results.


Recovery Process

Gynecomastia Procedure Recovery

4-6 Weeks

Following gynecomastia surgery, you may be asked to wear a compression garment to help support your breasts during recovery. Vigorous movements should be avoided during the first few days, and you should not lift your arms up vertically. Overall, recovery time will depend on the severity of the condition and the complexity of the procedure. It is very important that you follow all recovery instructions provided by your plastic surgeon to ensure the best possible results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can guys develop breasts?

Men can develop breast tissue due to a condition known as gynecomastia. This condition is typically caused by a hormonal imbalance, genetics, or side effects from various medications.

Can gynecomastia grow back after surgery?

Once breast tissue is removed through gynecomastia surgery, it will not return. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help prevent the appearance of male breasts from recurring.

Can thyroid problems cause gynecomastia?

Thyroid problems can cause gynecomastia. Your primary care doctor or plastic surgeon may recommend that you treat your thyroid condition before pursuing gynecomastia surgery.

Can you get rid of gynecomastia without surgery?

Some patients may have the appearance of gynecomastia due to excess fat alone, which can be resolved through weight loss. Men who have developed true breast tissue or \u201cgynecomastia\u201d require surgery to remove the excess breast tissue.

Do you lose weight after breast reduction?

A male breast reduction is not a weight loss surgery. However, some patients may find that after they undergo gynecomastia surgery, their body image improves, and they begin exercising more and feel more confident in public. These positive changes in diet and exercise patterns help contribute to weight loss.

Does a breast reduction make you look thinner?

A breast reduction often results in a thinner, more athletic, or leaner chest appearance.

Does gynecomastia go away with weight loss?

True gynecomastia will not go away with weight loss, as these men have development of breast tissue and not simply fat. Some men who are overweight find they have excess fatty deposits in their breasts, which can make them look like they have breast tissue, this is known as \u201cpseudogynecomastia\u201d. Patients with pseudogynecomastia will often find that the appearance of breasts does go away with weight loss.

Does gynecomastia surgery leave scars?

Gynecomastia surgery will leave scars. However, these scars should be minimal and well concealed within the natural contours of the body.

How do I know if I have gynecomastia?

If you are a male and see an increase in your breast size, notice tenderness or pain around the breast tissue, or have more sensitivity in your nipples, you may have gynecomastia.

Silvia Kurtovic, MD & Raman Mahabir, MD

Board Certified Plastic Surgeons

At Tucson Plastic Surgery, we have a patient-centric approach that sets us apart from the rest. We take the time to really get to know you and your aesthetic goals during one-on-one conversations which help us to fully understand your motivations.

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