Male Breast Reduction
Man boobs, male breasts, whatever they are called, they are a source of embarrassment.
David L Martin FRCS Plastic andCosmetic Surgeon
|I want to be able to go to the gym and feel comfortable about taking my shirt off.|
The medical word for male breast enlargement is Gynaecomastia.
What is gynaecomastia and why might it occur?
Men do have the capacity to develop tissue in the region of the nipple, which if excessive, resembles the female breast. Generally the presence of testosterone inhibits the development of this tissue. If a man has the tendency to be excessively overweight then an excess of fat deposits around the breast can also give the appearance of a female breast.
Gynaecomastia is enlargement of male breast tissue, if this tissue is mainly fat it is described as pseudogynaecomastia .
It may be unilateral or bilateral.
It may occur at any age, and for different reasons but the underlying problem is an imbalance of androgens and oestrogens This imbalance, can be caused by certain drugs, lack of testosterone, androgen resistance, following trauma, after viral orchitis, or increased oestrogen levels, which may be the result of tumours which are excreting an excess of oestrogen. The actual cause may be difficult to determine and no cause can be identified in more than half of affected patients.
However, every case requires a careful history to be taken, particularly of medication being used, and a thorough examination. I often recommend an endocrinologist, a doctor who specialises in the body hormones, should be involved in the care of a male patient who develops breast tissue.
In fact, many of the patients who I treat have been referred to me by the endocrinologist who sees them first.
Other patients come to see me, because they are, understandably, embarrassed about their appearance.
- General Anaesthesia
- Liposuction +/- direct excision
- Well placed scar
The object of the surgery is to remove the excess tissue. The skill of the surgery is to get a natural looking chest with no depression. My usual approach is to carry out this procedure under general anaesthetic and to start with liposuction. If the breast tissue is fatty tissue alone, that may be all that is necessary. If there is true breast tissue present this is much more fibrous tissue and will not be removed by liposuction alone.
Under these circumstances, I make an incision along half of the lower edge of the areola which allows me to remove this excess fibrous tissue with a minimum of scarring. The areola is the darker circle of skin that surrounds the nipple and a scar along the edge is much less noticeable and cosmetically acceptable than the other curved scar which is cut below the areola on the chest skin. I never use this scar as it is very noticeable and draws as much attention the chest as the original breast formation!
My objective is to get the chest looking male again and get rid of the female looking breasts.
I now feel I can take my children swimming and not feel embarrassed!
What is involved:
- Time off work
- Exercise and driving
You will need to arrange to come in and see me so we can discuss your individual case when I will tell you what I think we need to do. I may recommend the involvement of an endocrinologist. I will take photographs, discuss the surgery, possible complications, likely outcome and recovery.
This procedure is done under a general anaesthetic and usually involves a one night hospital stay. You should be up and about straight away but you need to understand that it can be uncomfortable for a few days after the operation. You will need to take time off work and how long will depend on the level of activity your job involves, but it will be at least five days. I generally recommend patients take about three weeks to get back into vigorous exercise but you should be driving again in five to seven days.
To book a consultation please contact Janet, my PA, on:
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