Gynecomastia AKA: 'man boobs' or 'moobs'. The number of men seeking treatment for male breast reduction (either gynaecomastia or pseudo-gynaecomastia depending on the type of tissue) is growing in the UK.
All men have some breast tissue and in most men it is unnoticeable. However some can develop these 'moobs’ and this can be incredibly distressing.
Gynecomastia: Am I suitable?
The first thing that needs to be identified is the cause of the gynecomastia. The development can be caused by thick, glandular tissue (true gynaecomastia) or soft fatty tissue (pseudo-gynaecomastia), or a combination of both.
Pseudo-gynaecomastia; more and more men are presenting with pseudo-gynaecomastia and it is usually due to excess weight. Some men might have lost this weight but find the chest a difficult area to shift those final pounds. Also the overlying skin in the nipple area might have been stretched giving a pendulous appearance.
True gynaecomastia; most cases are caused by an oversensitivity of the breast gland to normal hormone levels or some medications.
However, it may sometimes be caused by important underlying medical problems such as testicular tumours. It can also be caused by prostate cancer drugs, the male menopause, alcohol and anabolic steroids, among others. It is crucial to see your GP or a specialist in this area first to ascertain exactly what is causing the problem.
Gynecomastia: What do I have to do to prepare?
Your surgeon will give you instructions to help you prepare for gynecomastia surgery and these may include guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications.
Gynecomastia: What’s the treatment like?
Pseudo-gynaecomastia; it is possible to treat some patients with liposuction alone to remove the fat, particularly where there is not much loose skin. It can be performed either under a local or general anaesthetic and can take about an hour for both sides. See liposuction for more information.
True gynaeomastia; this requires a surgical procedure. Like a breast reduction for women, the incision is usually sited in the lower half of the areola to minimise scarring. The glandular tissue is removed and the incisions closed. The procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic.
Sometimes this procedure has to be combined with liposuction to get the best results. More severe cases might have to undergo a mastectomy.
Gynecomastia: What about after?
Both 'moob' procedures will cause some swelling and discomfort and have similar recovery times. You will probably be able to return to work after a week and any strenuous activities should be avoided for several weeks. Any scarring, which with the liposuction is very minimal, should fade over time.
Gynecomastia: Are there any risks or side effects?
One possible complication is developing a lump or swelling in the breast. This is due a haematona (a collection of blood or fluid) and this might need a further surgical procedure. You may also be left with numbness or asymmetry.
Male Breast Reduction: What will it cost me?
The procedure will cost anything between £3,000 and £5,000, but many men are happy to get rid of the appearance of gynecomastia