Gynecomastia Causes and Options for Male Breast Reduction

Male Breast Reduction - Gynaecomastia

Enlarged male breasts, also known as “man boobs,” is a surprisingly common condition that affects the self-esteem of many men around the globe. Medically known as Gynaecomastia, this can be addressed through surgery. Let;s have a look at Gynecomastia Causes and Surgical Options.

Dr Patrick Briggs blog Gynecomastia Causes
Dr Patrick Briggs Plastic Surgeon

Dr Patrick Briggs, an internationally-trained Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon, offers male breast reduction solutions that can give you the pecs you’ve always wanted. He helps us to get the lowdown on male breast reduction and what it entails.  Dr Patrick Briggs is based in Melbourne at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery.

Gynaecomastia Causes – What You Should Know

Most men have a small amount of breast tissue in their chests. However, some have larger amounts of this tissue, causing them to have more feminine looking breasts. There are cases where the male patient reports having breast sizes as large as C-cup. This is sometimes due to hormonal imbalance, however in most cases there are zero abnormalities seen during clinical examination or on blood tests. Dr Briggs says some of the other causes can include the following:

  • Medications – there are many medications that can cause breast tissue to grow such as those for cancer treatment, AIDS treatment, steroids, anti-anxiety medications, heart medications, antibiotics to name a few.
  • Drugs and/or alcohol
  • Ageing
  • Tumours – can produce hormones that alter the male-female balance
  • Herbal remedies – some herbal products have been associated with gynaecomastia
  • Hyperthyroidism – this can produce too much of the wrong hormone causing excessive tissue to grow.

This is not just a procedure for younger man, in fact Dr Briggs said “This procedure not only benefits males in their youth but also older men. The average age of patients coming to see me for this procedure varies, but a large portion include men in their 50’s and 60’s.”

This condition can cause men to feel a great deal of embarrassment. Often, no diet or exercise can solve the problem. “Many of the men who come to see me with this problem are very self conscious, it is always wonderful to see not only the physical transformation after the procedure but also the mental.” said Dr Briggs.

Male Breast Reduction Options

There are two techniques to perform a gynaecomastia procedure. The first involves cutting a half-moon incision below or around the areola, and cutting out the unwanted tissue.

Alternatively, you may be able to eliminate the excess chest tissue through a Lipoplasty procedure. This second technique results in little to no scarring and involves the surgeon breaking down and the excess tissue using a fine cannula with a sucking action like a vacuum to suck the fat out (very similar to the liposuction procedure you will have heard of often used in the stomach area). It requires only a small wound under the nipple or toward the armpit, which is why there is little to no scarring. This technique is usually used for men with smaller amounts of breast tissue. Those with greater breast tissue will have a better result from the first technique.

Combining with Other Male-Targeted Plastic Surgery Procedures

The number of male patients choosing to undergo plastic surgery has increased dramatically in recent years. Studies show that men and women collectively spend billions of dollars a year on plastic and cosmetic procedures and this includes men.

Dr Briggs offers many surgical and non-surgical procedures for male patients, ranging from male breast reduction to male tummy tuck.

Below are some of the procedures he currently offers to male patients:

  • Tummy Tuck
  • Liposuction
  • Liposculpture
  • Body Contouring
  • non-surgical treatments such as filler and Anti-Wrinkle Injections (wrinkle relaxers).

Dr Briggs Patient Case Study of Male Breast Reduction

Breast reduction is not limited to the females. Many men with “oversized” breast tissue are now having breast reduction procedures to give them a more masculine appearance and contour. Enlarged breast tissue in men is actually not unusual. It is estimated that almost a third of men will have varying degrees of enlarged breast tissue at some stage in their lives. We take a look at the various reasons why it occurs and what the surgery involves to treat the issue, with the help of Dr Patrick Briggs, Plastic Surgeon  in Melbourne at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery who performs male breast reduction and breast contouring through his practice.

Why do some men have enlarged breast tissue and others don’t?

There are various reasons as to why a man might have bigger breast tissue than the man standing next to him. These are:

  • Testicular or male breast cancer
  • Massive weight gain or weight loss
  • An imbalance in hormones – excess amounts of oestrogen (the female hormone that controls breast tissue growth) can cause more breast tissue to grow that is desired. This often happens during puberty when our bodies are in chaos! It can also occur in babies who have received their fair share of their mother’s oestrogen, however in the case of babies this usually disappears and is only temporary
  • Drugs or medications – certain drugs or medications contain ingredients that can have side effects such as increased breast tissue growth (steroids are a typical one, and many of the body building drugs men use can also contribute to increased breast development but other drugs such as antidepressants, antibiotics and cancer medicines can also be at fault)
  • Genetics – not just because the patient’s father had it, but also because of a genetic chromosomal issue where the patient has an extra female chromosome
  • Chronic disease – eg. liver failure has been known to be a cause of gynecomastia
  • Age – as men get older they have a reduction in their testosterone levels which can lead to gynecomastia.

Dr Briggs also says you may not always know the cause of gynecomastia. “All men have some breast tissue. A few, unfortunately, have an excessive amount. Occasionally this is due to a hormone imbalance. In most instances, there are no detectable abnormalities on blood tests or clinical examination.
Whether it’s due to an abnormality or not, this condition causes men a great deal of embarrassment. Many adults and school-going boys forego swimming and sunbathing to avoid taking their shirts off. Often no amount of exercise or diet will solve this problem.”

Regardless of why you have gynecomastia, or enlarged breast tissue, if you are not happy with the size of your chest area, or would like to gain a more masculine and desirable shape and appearance, plastic surgery with a fully qualified and experienced surgeon is a reasonably straightforward procedure. In some cases liposuction may also be used to remove excess fat and create a better contour.

Recovery after the gynecomastia surgery is said to be about a week, and may involve the patient wearing compression garments to reduce swelling, bruising and help with the contouring.

Further Information about Gynecomastia and Male Breast Reduction

More Blogs by Dr Patrick Briggs Melbourne Plastic Surgeon

To Contact Dr Patrick Briggs

If you’d like more information about male breast reduction or any procedures, you can contact Dr Patrick Briggs at his clinic  or check out the blogs