For many men, it’s a sensitive issue that comes with a lot of ugly nicknames: man boobs, moobs, man-breasts… the list continues, but the names only get more crude from there. My male breast reduction patients have heard them all. And they’ve had enough.
All too often, they have spent their lives trying to cover up with baggy clothes and refusing to take their shirts off in public for fear of embarrassment. They don’t talk about the problem because when they do, most people tell them to work out and get over it. But the truth is, the majority of patients have already tried everything. They’ve tried weight loss, they’ve tried hormonal treatments, they’ve tried herbal remedies, and all they have discovered is that nothing works to get rid of man boobs.
Excessive breast tissue in men is a condition called gynecomastia, and it’s actually more common than you might think. Between 40 and 60 percent of men will encounter an overdevelopment of breast tissue in their lifetime, many of whom end up feeling self-conscious about their appearance. It can be caused by hormonal imbalance, environmental factors, marijuana use, steroid use, or genetic abnormalities. But for the vast majority of cases, it’s what we call idiopathic – we just don’t know the reason. In these cases, men who try to improve their situation by working out and lifting weights actually tend to make it worse because as they build more pectoral muscle, the excessive breast tissue is pushed out further and becomes more prominent or pronounced.
The treatment for gynecomastia depends on the underlying cause for the excess tissue, whether it’s glandular tissue or fatty tissue or a combination of both. For gynecomastia surgery, we use a scalpel to remove glandular tissue and the newest liposuction technique, Power Assisted Liposuction, to remove fat. While the operation looks simple, in reality it’s very technically demanding because the surgeon has to basically go by feel. With a lot of operations you can see the result of what you’re doing and adjust accordingly, but male breast reduction surgery requires a lot of skill and experience to prevent over adjusting the amount of underlying tissue or other irregularities in shape.
The results we see at The Plastic Surgery Clinic tend to be totally natural looking because of our expertise and the revolutionary technique we use. Dr. Ahmad and I have developed an innovative method for gynecomastia surgery where we can perform the operation through a tiny incision on the outside of the chest that leaves a minimal, unobtrusive 3 mm scar – it basically looks like a small mole has been removed.
It’s important for men who are dealing with this condition to know that they’re not alone. We perform approximately 200 to 300 gynecomastia procedures a year and believe me, I’ve seen it all. The best thing I get to see is the confidence my patients regain post-op when they know they’re looking their best.