Men love boobs, right? Well, not always. For the roughly 30 to 40 percent of men who suffer from some form of gynecomastia, the boobs are unfortunately on their own chests.
The fatty deposits that accumulate in men’s pectoral area have been jokingly referred to for years as “man boobs.” But for many men and adolescent boys, gynecomastia is anything but funny.
Many teenage boys have suffered so much teasing and emotional torment about their condition that they have resorted to plastic surgery to correct it. This would explain the significant increase in male breast reduction surgeries each year.
The type of gynecomastia most men experience is really pseudogynecomastia, which means their chest area has the appearance of breasts but is really just made up of adipose (regular fat) tissue. Most men simply develop these features from being overweight and having some of the fat store itself in their chests. Often, men who dabbled in bodybuilding and then quit find pseudogynecomastic breasts where their pectoral muscles used to be when the muscle transforms and sags.
Some believe that it is not just overeating, but also what you eat, that determines whether or not you will develop pseudogynecomastia. For example, beer and soy products contain chemicals called phytoestrogens which behave similarly to the estrogen hormone that is produced in the body. This female hormone is responsible for the storage of fat in the chest, hips, belly and thighs. Daily consumption of these products can position a man’s weight gain in places peculiar to his form.
Proper gynecomastia, however, is a bit different. In this case, the male breast is partially or entirely composed of glandular breast tissue. Therefore, weight loss will not help, and surgery may be the only option to remove them. The breast tissue often forms during the developmental years when hormones are going haywire. Because estrogen exists in males as well as females, sometimes its presence in males results in breast formation. Adolescent boys are usually advised to wait it out, because the condition can sort itself out in a matter of a year or two as hormone levels balance out.
Other culprits may include certain medications that contain estrogen, steroids or impaired liver function. A medical assessment must be performed on each patient before going to surgery.
For the unlucky bunch who don’t grow out of it, corrective plastic surgery is always an option. For men who suffer from pseudogynecomastia, simple liposuction is applied to the chest. For men with true gynecomastia, lipsuction is combined with a removal of the breast tissue by incision.
The recovery time is minimal. Bruising and soreness are normal reaction to the surgery. Patients are recommended to stay in bed for the first three or so days. It is quite possible that you will be back on your feet and at work within just a few days – this time with a renewed sense of confidence.