The term “Gynecomastia” has its roots gyneco, meaning feminized and mastia meaning breasts. Gynecomastia is a condition in men in whom the breasts are more prominent. It usually starts during adolescence but may not become apparent until the mid 40’s.
Cause Of Gynecomastia:
The cause of Gynecomastia is usually hormonal. During adolescence there may be a disproportionate ratio of Testosterone and Estrogen thereby allowing the estrogen to have its effect on the breasts, namely enlargement. Often with the hormonal balance corrected, the gynecomastia improves b the early 20’s. This hormonal balance is usually disrupted again in the 40’s when the testosterone is in decline thereby allowing estrogen to assert its effect on the breasts,
While a hormonal imbalance is the most common cause of gynecomastia there may be other causes including: drugs, marijuana, genetic conditions, certain steroids, medical conditions and medication.
In certain cases, blood testing and medical work-up may be necessary.
Types Of Gynecomastia:
The type and degree of Gynecomastia varies. In some cases, the breast mound is minimally enlarged. In others, the mound may be very enlarged and may include breast sagging as well as enlarged areolas.
The correction of gynecomastia depends on the type and severity of the condition.
In mild to moderate cases where most of the breast enlargement is due to fat liposuction alone may be all that is needed. This is performed through a small incision, generally underneath the breast.
If most of the gynecomastia is due to breast tissue, a procedure called “Subcutaneous Mastectomy” is necessary. This involves making an incision in the lower part of the areola at it junction with the skin. This usually leaves a fairly imperceptible scar.
In the event of sagging, a lifting may need to be done. It can usually be performed through a scar involving only the areola, thereby minimizing the scar. Only in very severe cases would additional scarring be needed. In those cases a thorough discussion must be carried out with the patient to make sure that they can accept this trade-off.
In some cases the areola alone is enlarged which gives a feminized look to the breasts even in the absence of enlarged breasts. In theses cases the areola can be reduced using an incision only involving the areola, which again usually leaves a fairly imperceptible scar.
Patients may return as soon as a few days after surgery if the treatment involved only liposuction. If Subcutaneous Mastectomy was performed w and little rubber drains used, one may take a week before returning to work. If the work is physical the timetable would need to be longer. Exercise may be started after about 2 weeks but those involving the chest muscles( “pecs” ) would need at least 4 – 6 weeks before restarting.
Most men with Gynecomastia are embarrassed about their breasts and never show their chest in public. They should be informed that Gynecomastia is a very correctable condition so they can go on with their lives not afraid to take their shirt off.
To schedule an initial consultation for your male breast reduction surgery (Gynecomastia) at Park Plaza Plastic Surgery, contact us at (212) 750-9494. We serve patients in Manhattan and throughout all of New York.
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Dr. George Lefkovits, the owner of Park Plaza Plastic Surgery, is a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology. He has extensive training and over 30 years of experience in performing all kinds of plastic surgery procedures. Dr. Lefkovits attended Georgetown University School of Medicine and State University of New York Downstate Medical College for his degrees.