What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a medical term to describe enlarged breasts in men. You may be surprised to know that all men have breast tissue. It is the same type of breast tissue that women have, but in much smaller amounts. With gynecomastia, the breast tissue tends to grow too much and is typically located right under the nipple/areola. Often times with gynecomastia this tissue mass will dramatically enlarge. It’s common for the male breast to become fatty and even sag, resulting in an unhealthy, misshapen, more feminine looking breast.
After treating many patients with best the gynecomastia surgery in Los Angeles, we find most of our patients have already tried weight loss programs and tried working out to help solve this issue. Men who experience this type of change in the breast can feel embarrassed and become very self-conscious about their chest and will even withdrawal from social and physical activities. They are always hiding their chests, they avoid light colored shirts that show their breasts, and generally even the more fit men are rarely topless in public and avoid the beach. The ideal male breast is well defined and muscular, which is supposed to signify strength and masculinity.
What Causes Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia can be related to many different conditions from hormonal changes, increased estrogen, excessive body fat, a genetic predisposition, but the vast majority of men with gynecomastia are completely normal. Even in these situations, gynecomastia is treatable.
There appears to be certain ages where men are more prone to develop breast tissue, specifically in the teens and after age 50. If you are in your teens, your risk for developing gynecomastia is around 50-60%. This is quite normal as a result of the hormone changes occurring during puberty and the condition often resolves spontaneously, but after the condition remains stable for three years it is unlikely to resolve and the breast tissue must be removed.
In older men, gynecomastia can develop at any age, but becomes more likely in your 50’s and 60’s. Risks are even higher in this age group at approximately 70%! If you are overweight and have enlarged breasts, losing weight can help; this is a condition called pseudogynecomastia, where the breasts aren’t really made of breast tissue but actually are just fat.
Some factors that contribute to gynecomastia are:
Hormone imbalances – Some men just naturally produce more estrogen than normal or has some other hormone out of balance.
Excessive body fat – Increased body fat in men often lies within the breast tissue. This can cause an increase in estrogen which cause the breast tissue to grow due to an increase in blood flow.
Steroid use – Gynecomastia is a common side effect of continued steroid use. Men naturally produce small amounts of estrogen, however when steroids are used estrogen levels rise, which can result in breast enlargement.
Medications – There are some medications that are known to cause hormonal imbalances resulting in increased breast size. Some of these types of medications that cause gynecomastia but are not limited to are: Avadart, Propecia, antidepressants, valium, and several other pro-hormones taken to increase muscle mass.
Drugs – Marijuana and drugs like heroin, and amphetamines, can cause it. So can drinking too much alcohol.
Types of Gynecomastia?
Grade 1 Gynecomastia – Also known as Puffy Nipples. This is where the firm glandular tissue is located exclusively under the nipple/areola area.
Grade 2 Gynecomastia – Where the breast tissue extends over pectoralis muscle. The excess breast tissue located throughout the lower chest with relatively tight skin
Grade 3 Gynecomastia – Breast tissue extending over the chest fold.
Grade 4 Gynecomastia – Breast tissue extending into the armpit area, breast drooping and nipple falling 2 cm or more below the chest fold. There is usually a breast roll present.
Gynecomastia Surgery Overview
Bedford Breast Center’s gynecomastia specialist can effectively treat this condition with a gynecomastia surgery, also known as a male breast reduction. For gynecomastia that is benign, and will not resolve, the treatment is straightforward. Our gynecomastia specialist first makes an incision in an area where it will not show (on the border of the areola, or under the armpit). VASER (an ultrasound wave device) is used to loosen the breast tissue so that it can be removed. Then, liposuction is used to directly remove the tissue. The dense tissue under the nipple sometimes cannot be removed except by direct excision, which then is removed through the areola incision if necessary so no additional scars are made. The result is a smooth, slim, muscle revealing chest. This procedure uses all dissolvable stitches that cannot be seen, and usually you can go back to work within days, depending on how much tissue was removed.
During your gynecomastia surgery, we are focused on treating excess fat, excess breast tissue, and excess skin in the breast area. Here are a few examples of how your gynecomastia surgical procedure might go depending on your gynecomastia grading.
Excess Breast Fat
Excess Fat and Breast Tissue
Excess Fat, Breast Tissue and Skin
After your gynecomastia surgery is complete wearing a tight shirt or vest is necessary for one week, even though the results are obvious immediately, and continue to improve for weeks.
Am I A Candidate For Gynecomastia Surgery?
It is actually quite easy to determine if you are a candidate for male breast reduction (gynecomastia surgery). A good gynecomastia candidate is simply put, any man who feels self-conscious about his breasts. If you are treated by a competent plastic surgeon specializing in gynecomastia surgeries like Dr. Richardson of the Bedford Breast Center, your gynecomastia can be effectively and safely improved and often corrected completely.
Your first step is a consultation with our gynecomastia expert, so please contact our office to schedule an appointment and ask any questions you like. We will provide you the utmost comfort and privacy, giving you the most comprehensive gynecomastia surgery Los Angeles has to offer. Most of our patient wonder why they didn’t do the surgery earlier, and also spent years wasted blaming themselves. Call us at (424) 202-3753 to schedule your gynecomastia surgery consultation today.
Bedford Breast Center Serving Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and the greater Los Angeles areas.