A few years ago, the term gynecomastia was virtually unknown. The condition that it describes, however, was easily recognized. Male breast enlargement has been commonly referred to as “man boobs.” Gynecomastia may be slightly more difficult to pronounce but it is much more respectful and accurate terminology. More important than what we call it is what we do about it. Here, we discuss the issue of gynecomastia, what surgery can do, and what the recovery from this procedure looks like.
Why it is Important to Address Gynecomastia
To have enlarged breasts as a man is to live with a problem that is very difficult to hide. Men can develop gynecomastia at any age and to varying degrees. Many young men notice puffiness around the nipples are minor breast enlargement during the teenage years when hormones experience highs and lows. Sometimes, the condition lessens once hormones level out. When this doesn’t happen, a man may live with low self-esteem and a desire to hide his chest with wraps or very loose clothing. In cases of true gynecomastia, exercise, regardless of how excessive, is largely unsuccessful at correcting the problem. To improve self-confidence, more and more men are turning to gynecomastia surgery.
Gynecomastia surgery is a procedure that is customized to each patient. Some cases can improve with liposuction alone. Liposuction is a minor surgery that extracts excess fat cells. This technique is best for subtle breast enlargement with no glandular involvement. Because male breast enlargement often relates to hormones to some degree, it is advantageous to remove both excess fat and the breast gland, which responds to hormone fluctuations. If breast enlargement has been severe or the skin no longer has good elasticity, a lift may also be done. This technique removes the excess skin so the chest contours look smooth, tight, and naturally masculine.
Recovering from Gynecomastia Surgery
Men who are considering gynecomastia surgery often worry about recovery. Even in the most severe cases, recovery typically occurs over six weeks. Many patients can return to work about 10 days after their procedure. By this time prescription pain medication is no longer needed. Mild exercise may resume about 4 weeks after surgery and, by six weeks, patients are ready to resume upper body workouts.
Dr. Salzman has been performing plastic surgery procedures in Louisville, KY since 1992. His training and experience achieve outstanding results for men interested in male breast reduction. To learn more, call 502-425-5200.