What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia means female-like breasts. It is a condition in which there is an enlargement of the breast in the male patient, it is often seen in men who take steroids for body building. The condition can be corrected by liposuction or liposuction plus surgical removal of breast tissue.
Dr. Barrera performs all aesthetic surgery procedures at his Accredited Ambulatory Surgical Facility (AAAASF).
What Causes Gynecomastia?
Why some men develop enlarged breasts while others do not is still somewhat of a mystery.
But the condition is common in pubescent boys, and the cause is no mystery. It is estimated that up to 70 percent of boys have gynecomastia to some degree. In pubescent boys, the cause is the changing levels of estrogen and testosterone. Teenage gynecomastia typically resolves as hormone levels stabilize.
With adults, causation isn’t clear-cut, although hormones likely play a role. Middle-aged and older men also are experiencing shifts in hormone levels, and that could be triggering gynecomastia. Certain medications can also cause gynecomastia:
- Anti-anxiety drugs
- AIDS treatment drugs
- Heartburn treatment drugs
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Marijuana use
- Heroin use
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Herbal products with tree oil and lavender oil (each contain natural estrogen)
Am I a Candidate for Gynecomastia Correction?
The stigma of having larger than normal breasts can really impact a man’s self-esteem, and reduction surgery can improve self-image. Many cases of gynecomastia show themselves in a firm, rubbery mass directly underneath the nipple area. The area is sensitive to the touch and usually measures around two inches in diameter.
Unlike female reduction surgery, most cases of male breast reduction don’t require the removal of excess skin. Instead, Dr. Barrera usually removes glandular tissue and excess fat.
In cases where the patient is overweight, surgery is usually not an option — the patient needs to lose weight first to see if this reduces his breasts.
What Are the Benefits of Having Gynecomastia Correction Surgery?
When a man has enlarged breasts, the condition can weigh on his self-esteem. A man can find himself turning down invitations to waterskiing trips or beach weekends. Even mowing the yard on a hot summer day means keeping your shirt on.
That’s why these male breast reduction procedures with Dr. Barrera can be nothing short of life-changing for a man who has been struggling with the appearance of his breasts.
These are not difficult procedures, but they can make a big difference in how you see your body. They can be very rewarding.
What Dr. Barrera’s Patients Have To Say
“Dr. Barrera is a knowledgeable plastic surgeon who keeps his patients’ best interests in mind during consultations. The staff is welcoming, and the office is clean and modern. I will continue to see Dr. Barrera in the future.” – S.K.
Male Breast Reduction Before & After Photos
How Long Does Male Breast Reduction Surgery Take?
These are not difficult surgeries. For most male breast reduction procedures, Dr. Barrera needs between 1.5 and 2 hours.
What Type of Anesthesia Is Used for Gynecomastia Correction?
Dr. Barrera performs these outpatient procedures with only IV sedation and local anesthesia. This provides added safety and faster recovery. Most patients are able to go home within an hour from the end of the 1 to 2-hour procedure with minimal discomfort.
What Is Recovery Like After Gynecomastia Correction?
These surgeries with Dr. Barrera don’t involve difficult recovery periods. Immediately after your procedure, we’ll put you in a compression garment to minimize swelling and to help the chest adhere to its new contour. The incisions are small, and they heal relatively quickly. There will be some swelling and discomfort, but this doesn’t last very long. You may have some loss of sensation in the area, but this usually returns.
Is Male Breast Reduction Surgery Permanent?
Patients wonder if this surgery will need repeating later. True gynecomastia, versus enlarged breasts due to weight gain or other lifestyle factors, is caused mainly by excess glandular tissue. This causes the protrusion of the nipple-areola complex. In male breast reduction surgery, Dr. Barrera removes most of the mammary gland, leaving enough to support the nipple-areola. With this tissue gone, the chances of recurrence are very low.
However, if the gynecomastia was due to the use of steroids, marijuana, or other medications, it is possible for a patient’s breasts to become enlarged again if usage is continued. Also, a sizeable increase in weight can allow fat to accumulate in the breasts, although this isn’t true for gynecomastia.
If you want to maintain your new chest contours, keeping to a healthy weight, and moderating your alcohol or marijuana use will be necessary. Steroid use would fully need to cease, as enlarged breasts are a direct side effect.
How Soon After Breast Reduction Surgery Can I Get Back to Normal Activities?
It is unfortunate that more men who suffer from enlarged breasts don’t have surgery to correct the problem because the surgery and recovery don’t impact their life for a long period. After the first week, patients can return to light exercise, such as walking. Strenuous exercise needs to wait for a month or so. But you’ll quickly be able to return to work and regular activities. Any exercise, such as weight training that targets the chest, will likely need to be avoided for up to six weeks.
How Long Before I Can Begin Exercising Again After Male Breast Reduction Surgery?
Normal activities can be resumed in about one week, and this includes exercise. As you would probably assume, any exercise that specifically targets or involves the chest will need to wait for a month or so. Dr. Barrera will discuss these timeframes with you.
What Are the Risks Involved With Gynecomastia Correction?
These are low-risk procedures. This is even more the case with a board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Barrera. It is surgery, so there are the usual risks of excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, infection, and the like, but these are rare because this procedure involves small incisions. The main risk is some loss of nipple sensation, but this is usually a temporary change and the feeling returns as the affected tissues recover.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in having a detailed consultation and evaluation by Dr. Barrera, do not hesitate in contacting our office. Call us at (713) 468-5200 to schedule your consultation at our office in Houston, Texas.