If you have ever heard the term ‘man boobs’ you have almost certainly heard it in the derogatory sense. This is because excess breast tissue is considered to be an unattractive and unmanly feature. Nevertheless, the development of excess breast tissue in men is a fairly common occurrence. Known as gynecomastia, in many cases the problem resolves itself in time. However, for other men this additional soft tissue gives them a shape that makes them feel embarrassed, self-conscious and even ashamed. Many men with gynecomastia find themselves refusing to be seen without a shirt, with some even opting for certain styles of clothes so that they can downplay the curves on their chest.
Fortunately, if you are suffering from surplus breast tissue you don’t need to live with the effects forever. An increasing number of men are opting for cosmetic surgery to remove the unwanted fat and help them achieve the smoother, toned and masculine chest that they deserve.
Causes of gynecomastia
While breast tissue development is a normal process in women, a man’s chest is supposed to remain fairly flat. Unfortunately, a small number of men experience unprecedented tissue growth in this area of their body, creating a curvier silhouette that is not all that dissimilar to that of a pair of small, female breasts.
Exactly what causes gynecomastia can vary between patients. In many cases, it occurs as a result of fluctuations in hormone levels. This can happen both during puberty and in the senior years when a man’s natural production of testosterone slows. Men can also be affected by estrogen, a typically female hormone that causes weight gain and also stimulates the growth of breast tissue. Since weight gain is a common issue when we get older, it is little surprise that ageing men are more likely to experience gynecomastia.
Side effects from medication are another well-reported reason why males might suffer from excess breast tissue. Some of the medications that have breast tissue growth listed as a potential side effect including those used to treat high blood pressure, stomach ulcers and even heartburn. If you are suffering from gynecomastia and believe that your medication could be to blame, you could speak to our doctor to find out if there are alternative drugs available that do not have this side effect. In some cases, it may not be possible to take an alternative and if this is a problem for you, our doctor may recommend that you consider gynecomastia surgery as a viable treatment option.
What does gynecomastia surgery involve?
Gynecomastia surgery is fairly simple and straightforward procedure and involves temporarily detaching the nipple and areola from the chest so that the underlying fat can be removed. This is done using liposuction, a process that sees saline injected into the breast tissue to help break it up, before attaching a long, thin metal cannular to a vacuum so that the excess fat can be sucked out. The cannula is worked back and forth under the skin to break up and suck out all of the surplus fat cells, leaving you with a smoother, tighter chest that looks more masculine and more attractive.
Gynecomastia surgery can be performed using a general anesthetic or a combination of regular pain relief and sedation.
Risks associated with gynecomastia surgery?
As with all cosmetic surgeries, there is some degree of risk associated with gynecomastia treatment. Common gynecomastia surgery risks include:
- Reactions to the material used in the surgery, such as glues and dressings
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Blood clots
- Excessive bleeding
- Changes in sensation in the nipples and/or breasts
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Poor healing of the wounds
There is also a degree of risk that you might not be completely happy with the results of your surgery. Some men may be left with a chest that is asymmetrical in size or unusual in shape, causing them to feel just as dissatisfied with their appearance as they were before undergoing gynecomastia surgery.
Fortunately, when you do your research and choose an experienced and accredited cosmetic surgeon, you can feel reassured that your gynecomastia procedure will be performed with your safety in mind. This will help to reduce the natural risks associated with the surgery and ensure that you receive the best care possible as you undergo your treatment.
If you would like more information about the safety and risks associated with gynecomastia surgery, our experienced and knowledgeable team would be happy to share their expertise. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch by contacting our offices.