As relevant as terms like gynecomastia may be in the medical field, those who live with this problem aren’t helped by it. You may know gynecomastia better as “man boobs.” Historically, people have gotten a good laugh out of the very idea of a man having breasts. Well, if you are a man living with breast tissue, this is no laughing matter. Gynecomastia may not be a serious risk to general health but it can very much be a risk to optimal emotional wellness.
Why Do Some Men Develop Enlarged Breasts?
Every person has breast tissue. We just never learned that this was common among men. Only women, for the most part, demonstrated “breast tissue.” This is both a muscle mass issue and a hormone issue. Women generally have a higher fat-to-muscle ratio than men. Women also typically have more estrogen than testosterone in their blood. Gynecomastia shows us that this isn’t always true.
Male breasts may be related to weight, but this is relatively uncommon. It is referred to as pseudogynecomastia. True gynecomastia is a physical condition that is often triggered by a hormone imbalance. A man’s estrogen may increase to a point at which it dominates testosterone levels. Genetic factors may be involved. Certain medications may also contribute to this imbalance. And, in some cases, there is no identifiable reason for hormone imbalance. What we do know is that addressing the direct physical problem is much more expeditious in getting results than trying to reduce male breast tissue by balancing hormones.
How Male Breast Reduction Works
Doctors who are trained to perform male breast reduction first conduct a thorough medical history and examination. There are no specific tests or diagnostic imaging that confirm gynecomastia because the signs are quite clear. Depending on the characteristics of enlarged breasts, a plastic surgeon may perform:
- Liposuction, which manually removes fatty deposits from the breast area.
- Removal of the breast gland, which eliminates puffy nipples.
- Breast lift technique to trim excess skin that has stretched with breast enlargement.
Breast reduction is not a procedure we should associate only with women. Men who live with enlarged breasts may suffer tremendously. Reducing breast size restores the shape of the masculine chest, which can then restore the strength of a man’s self-confidence.