Men can develop excess skin, fat, and breast tissue on their chests. This condition, known as “Gynecomastia,” is characterized by the development of excess glandular tissue in the male chest resulting in the appearance of fuller breasts. The feminine-looking curvature can develop due to a hormonal imbalance. Men can also develop gynecomastia as a result of changes in weight or the use of certain medications.
Men with extra breast tissue can feel self-conscious of their appearance, which can be especially noticeable on thinner frames. Unfortunately, changes in diet and exercise are not able to improve the condition, which can affect one or both breasts in men. The good news is there are surgical treatments available that can help men with excess fatty or glandular tissue in the chest achieve a flatter, more toned and masculine-looking chest.
Dr. Amy Simon (formerly Dr. Ortega) in Melbourne, FL specializes in male breast reduction or gynecomastia surgery, a very common, safe and effective treatment for this medical condition.
What causes gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia has numerous causes, including:
- Illness – liver disease, kidney failure, drugs and alcohol
- Medications – chemotherapy, testicular cancer radiation therapy, dialysis, steroids, other drugs
- An imbalance of the hormones testosterone and estrogen
Patients with pseudogynecomastia, or extra fatty breast tissue due to being overweight, may reduce the size of the breasts through routine weight loss measures. In cases of morbid obesity that may require weight loss intervention like surgery, the skin may have been stretched beyond its capacity to return to normal. In such cases, a male breast lift procedure may be most beneficial to restore the look of a masculine chest.
Surgical intervention has proven to be the best way to address the effects of gynecomastia, enabling patients to take action to change their appearance and increase their confidence. Dr. Amy Simon performs gynecomastia surgery, or male breast reduction, for patients in Melbourne, Orlando and the Central Florida area.
Gynecomastia Surgery Consultation
The only permanent treatment for gynecomastia is male breast reduction surgery. Dr. Simon will meet with you for a consultation before the procedure, giving you the chance to discuss your aesthetic goals and what results you can expect from the procedure. Dr. Simon is an experienced male breast reduction and gynecomastia surgery specialist who can help you to better understand your options for treatment, what your recovery will be like, and the outcome that is attainable for you.
During the consultation, Dr. Simon will conduct an examination of the breast area and will also discuss your previous medical history, including any medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins you are currently taking. Dr. Simon will walk you through the day of the procedure, detailing what the operation entails and what you can expect during the recovery process.
Candidates for Gynecomastia Surgery
The best candidates for male breast reduction surgery are men who suffer from gynecomastia but are in otherwise good health with realistic expectations. For men whose enlarged breasts are caused by excess fatty tissue, other approaches may be recommended, including diet and exercise, or liposuction surgery. Gynecomastia may occur in one or both, and some common symptoms can include:
- Excess volume in the chest
- Overdevelopment of glandular tissue
Preparing for Gynecomastia Surgery
Once approved for the procedure and scheduled to undergo a male breast reduction, patients should take steps to prepare for their surgery. Dr. Simon will request a full medical evaluation by the patient’s primary care physician, which will include bloodwork. Dr. Simon may request that gynecomastia patients discontinue certain medications prior to their surgery date. Some vitamins, herbal supplements, and aspirin or other blood thinners can increase bleeding and should not be taken during a timeframe set by the doctor. Other medications may need to be temporarily discontinued or dosage-adjusted. Lastly, patients must stop smoking for a period of time. Each of these measures ensures a safer surgical experience and more control over the healing process.
The Gynecomastia Procedure in Melbourne
There are two common techniques used to treat gynecomastia, including liposuction and excision.
Liposuction – Liposuction is typically performed in patients who have excess fatty tissue in their chest and no excess skin. During the procedure, a hollow tube known as a cannula is guided under the skin through a small incision, and used by the surgeon to manipulate and break up the fat before suctioning it out. Dr. Simon will assess the size of the breast, condition of the fatty tissue, and the quality of the skin before deciding whether to use liposuction. When used, the patient is placed under anesthesia for the procedure and is able to be out of the surgery center and in the comfort of his own home on the same day. In some cases, only liposuction is necessary because the tissue that makes up the bulk volume of the breast consists of fat.
Excision – Excision is a technique used for patients whose enlarged breast is caused by excess glandular tissue, or that which contains many of the components women need to produce milk. Some males may form this tissue, which eventually goes away. Others develop glandular breast tissue that remains and leads to a feminized chest. During the removal procedure, excess glandular breast tissue and skin are removed, or excised from the chest. A drooping nipple or enlarged areola can also be improved during this process. For this procedure, patients are placed under a comfortable sleep through general anesthesia, and are able to return home on the day of the surgery.
In some cases, liposuction and excision techniques will be combined to achieve optimal results. During your consultation, Dr. Simon can provide an expert assessment of the best treatment plan for you.
Recovery times depend on the type of male breast reduction procedure employed by Dr. Simon. For a liposuction treatment, recovery usually takes just a few days. A compression garment may be worn to protect the dressing and support the new shape, but patients will find they are able to be quite active even in the days following the procedure. There will be certain restrictions to protect the sutures and the area of fat removal. Most patients can return to their usual activities, including exercise, about six weeks following liposuction.
Excision may require a more dedicated recovery time. Once home, patients will be able to be up and about, but home rest is needed for the first few days following the surgery. Patients are generally approved to return to work or school after about a week, but those in physically demanding jobs or activities will not be able to return fully to their normal schedule until about six weeks later.
Why Choose Clevens Face and Body Specialists for Your Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia) procedure?
Dr. Amy Simon is a board certified plastic surgeon who completed two fellowships, including specific training in breast surgery – her specialty area. She is well-known by her patients as a compassionate plastic surgeon with great bedside manner, who really listens to their needs and makes them feel at ease throughout the process. With two decades of professional experience, Dr. Simon’s exceptional surgical skills and advanced training have earned her a reputation as one of the premier plastic surgeons in the country.
Gynecomastia Surgery FAQs
Is gynecomastia treatment without surgery possible?
Gynecomastia affects more than half of teenage boys by age 14, but in some instances, it resolves on its own without any kind of medical intervention.
Gynecomastia can occur for a number of reasons, including the use of certain medications. In some cases, identifying and treating the underlying condition can help improve the gynecomastia. An enlarged breast caused by excess fatty tissue can often be improved with lifestyle changes, such as proper diet and exercise. For many men, however, male breast surgery has proven to be the most successful method for delivering remarkable changes and long-lasting results.
How long will it take for me to see the results?
You may see the first signs of improvement immediately after your gynecomastia surgery. However, most patients begin to see their new shape after all swelling is resolved. A patient’s appearance will continue to improve until the area has completely healed, while wearing the prescribed compression garment and refraining from taking certain medications. In cases where drainage is expected, surgical drains remove some of the fluid build-up over the days following surgery.
Does a male breast reduction offer long-lasting results?
In most cases, the results of gynecomastia surgery are permanent. Fat and glandular tissues are removed from the chest to eliminate the appearance of breasts. When the underlying causes of breast growth are not addressed by an experienced physician, especially one who specializes in the patient’s medical condition that has caused an enlarged chest, there is a chance the tissue may grow back. Often, addressing gynecomastia requires two or more doctors and a multidisciplinary approach to treat not just the symptoms, but also causes of gynecomastia.
I am overweight. Can I still have the male breast reduction surgery?
For best results, patients should have already reached a sustainable goal weight before undergoing surgery. Pseudogynecomastia is a condition where a man has excess fatty tissue that can look like breasts due to being overweight. Weight loss may be the solution.
Does insurance cover surgery for gynecomastia?
Generally speaking, insurance companies view male breast reduction surgery as an elective procedure, not medically necessary, and therefore will not supplement the cost of the surgery. In cases where male breast growth is due to a medical condition, insurance will typically provide treatment funds for medications or procedures that may inadvertently reduce the breast size.
Can smoking marijuana cause “man boobs?”
While not definitive, it is suspected that marijuana use can cause breast growth in men. Because the drug remains illegal at the federal level, there have not been enough studies performed to lead to correlate the two conclusively. As more states approve the use of marijuana both medically and recreationally, there should be more studies performed in the future. For now, it remains possible that marijuana use in men can increase the size of the breasts, though this does not appear to be true for females.
About Dr. Simon of Clevens Face and Body Specialists
The Clevens practice offers an all-inclusive setting where patients can visit with doctors who specialize in either facial plastic surgery or body contouring procedures. While some doctors address all patient cosmetic needs, expertise in one type of surgery is an important distinction in skilled practitioners. While Dr. Clevens performs facial plastic surgery procedures, Dr. Simon specializes in treatments to enhance different areas of the body.
Dr. Simon has more than two decades of experience in her craft. She earned her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch, and went on to train in two fellowships, one of which focused on aesthetic reconstructive and breast surgery. The doctor also completed a five-year residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery. Through her years of training and on-the-job experience, Dr. Simon became passionate about elective surgeries of the body. She has become one of the most prominent go-to surgeons for breast procedures for men and women.
Dr. Simon has earned numerous accolades and industry awards for her exemplary work.
To learn more about gynecomastia surgery, call 321.727.3223 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Amy Simon.