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Common Questions about Gynecomastia

Common Gynecomastia Questions

Gynecomastia, or a swelling of the breast tissue in males, can be very difficult to cope with. Many men with excessively large, woman-like breasts feel self-conscious of their appearance and may withdraw from friends, work or the activities that they normally enjoy because of embarrassment or shame.

As trusted Bay Area gynecomastia surgeons, Dr. Samuel Pearl and Dr. Alexander Ereso have helped a number of men enjoy a flatter, firmer chest and enhanced confidence. Below, our doctors answer the most commonly asked questions about gynecomastia and how we can help men affected by it.

What causes gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal irregularities, certain medical conditions, the use of marijuana, use of certain medications (e.g., anti-androgens, AIDS medications, anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications), excessive consumption of alcohol and the use of steroids. Doctors also believe there may be genetic factors to blame for some cases of gynecomastia.

Are there any symptoms of gynecomastia?

Besides a noticeable increase in breast size and fullness, some men with gynecomastia may experience breast tenderness or pain. Skin irritation, chafing and even infection can occur due to excess breast tissue and skin. Less commonly, there may be nipple discharge in one or both breasts.

Can gynecomastia be prevented?

Although there is no definite way to prevent gynecomastia, our gynecomastia surgeons recommend avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, avoiding steroids and illegal drugs and discussing any medications known to cause gynecomastia with a doctor.

How is gynecomastia treated?

There is no non-surgical way to treat gynecomastia or reduce oversized breasts with diet and exercise. Although fat responds to diet and exercise, glandular tissue does not. The only way to flatten an excessively large male chest is with male breast reduction surgery.

During the procedure, excess fat, glandular tissue and skin is removed. Oversized areolas can be reduced if necessary. The remaining skin is tightened over the chest to create a flatter and firmer contour.

Where are the surgical incisions created for male breast reduction?

The incisions for male breast reduction are created around the lower edge of the areola. This location makes the scar very inconspicuous.

Is liposuction used to treat gynecomastia?

Liposuction is usually incorporated into male breast reduction surgery if the patient has an excessive amount of fat. However, liposuction alone will not help someone with gynecomastia, as it cannot eliminate excess glandular tissue or skin.

Am I a good candidate for male breast reduction?

Suitable candidates for male breast reduction are physically and emotionally healthy and stable, with firm, elastic skin that can contract over the smaller breasts. Candidates are asked not to drink in excess, smoke marijuana or use steroid medications.

The best way to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for gynecomastia surgery is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pearl or Dr. Ereso. Please call or email Pearl-Ereso Plastic Surgery Center today to make an appointment.