For men, seeing their chest and breast area grow abnormally large can feel pretty uncomfortable. While gynecomastia isn’t a significant health threat, it can bring bothersome issues, from embarrassment to physical pain. Thankfully, much can be done to minimize your symptoms.
At Matthew J. Lynch MD in East Windsor, New Jersey, Dr. Lynch helps men restore normal chest size by performing breast reduction surgery and restructuring their chest according to their preferences.
Take a moment to learn more about gynecomastia, including ways we can help.
Gynecomastia is the technical term for enlarged breasts in men. It can affect one or both sides of your chest to the same or differing degrees and sometimes coincides with a disc-like mass near the nipple. Caused by imbalanced levels of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone, gynecomastia isn’t related to excess weight gain.
While the enlarged tissue can lead you to feel embarrassed or self-conscious, it’s usually not dangerous. And in some cases, it also leads to breast tenderness or pain, as well as discharge. If any of these factors apply to you, treatment can be helpful.
Because gynecomastia is hormonally driven, it often develops during specific life stages, including infancy, puberty, and between ages 50-69. Hyperthyroidism, pituitary gland problems, kidney or liver failure, and taking certain medications can also increase your risk.
What to do about gynecomastia
If you have a newborn child with enlarged breasts due to estrogen absorbed in the womb, they probably won’t need treatment. This tissue typically diminishes within three weeks after birth. Pubescent cases also tend to go away without medical care in six months to two years.
For men with enlarged breast tissue, treatment is usually needed if you wish to do away with the excess. If your symptoms stem from an underlying condition, treating that condition may minimize or completely reverse the issue. You might also need medications to improve your hormone levels.
If you’ve had excess breast tissue for a while, it can become tougher and scar-like and lead to an undesirable aesthetic beyond size, including enlarged nipples and asymmetry. For these reasons many men with the condition benefit from breast-reduction surgery.
The procedure takes 1-2 hours and sometimes involves liposuction to better contour your chest. Dr. Lynch can also resize your areola and reposition your breast tissue for your desired look.
After male breast reduction surgery
Once you’ve had breast reduction surgery, your chest may appear larger than you’re hoping for at first—but don’t worry! Some amount of swelling is normal and will diminish before long.
You’ll wear a compression garment for about 4-6 weeks, which will help control swelling and enhance your healing process. The recovery time before you can return to work is typically 10 days. And within a month, you should be back to your usual daily activities, including rigorous exercise, as long as you follow your recovery instructions.
To learn more about gynecomastia or get the treatment you need, call Matthew Lynch, MD, or request an appointment through our website.