Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)
Gynecomastia (oversized male breasts) is a very common condition in men and can result in terrible embarrassment. Many men will try to hide it with thick shirts, avoid bare chest activities, and withdraw from public exposure. Gynecomastia is a medical term that comes from the Greek words for “women – like breasts”. It is quite common in men and may affect one or both breasts. Both men and women have breast tissue however it usually is not well developed in men. Though certain drugs and medical problems have been linked with male breast over-development, there is no known cause in the vast majority of cases. The enlargement can be from excess glandular tissue or fat or both. For men with gynecomastia who feel self-conscious about their appearance, breast-reduction surgery can help. The procedure removes fat and or glandular tissue from the breasts, and in extreme cases removes excess skin, resulting in a chest that is flatter, firmer, and better contoured.
In recent years, cosmetic surgeons have developed ways of improving muscle contour with cosmetic implants and “sculpting” techniques. Pectoral implants, which are used to build the chests of men with Poland’s syndrome, also can be used to “bulk out” the existing pectoral muscles of healthy men. These implants are also made of solid silicone. They are placed through an incision in the armpit and placed underneath the pectoralis muscle. Since the implant is solid, it must be placed through a slightly larger incision than that used for placing breast implants through the armpit. Pectoral implants have the same risks associated with any implantable device. Fluid or blood can accumulate around the implant in the first few weeks after surgery and this may require drainage. Sometimes the scar tissue that develops around the implant can become thickened and tighten around the implant resulting in distortion of the shape of the implant. This is known as capsule contracture. If this occurs, additional surgery may be required to remove the scar tissue and place a new implant.