Although oversized breasts are more common for women, men may also suffer from this condition, known as gynecomastia. In fact, enlarged male breasts may be common in infancy, adolescence, and again in men over the age of 50. Estimates range from 60 percent to 90 percent for infants, 50 percent to 60 percent for adolescent boys, and as much as 70 percent for older men.
Given the substantial percentages of adolescent boys and men who have enlarged breast tissue, breast reduction surgery can be a viable option to correct for this problem. While most patients are very satisfied with the results from their procedure, there may be some who do not feel that the first procedure gave them the results they were seeking. This is where Dr. Vincent Marin may be able to help not only correct the initial problem, but also provide patients with the results they wanted from the initial procedure.
Causes of Enlarged Male Breast Tissue
The most common cause of enlarged male breasts, particularly for infants and adolescents, is an overabundance of the female hormone, estrogen, which controls the growth of female sex characteristics, such as breasts. Men naturally have low levels of estrogen in their bodies, but gynecomastia and other hormonal issues can occur when the estrogen levels become too high compared to the male testosterone hormone. In most cases, infant and adolescent gynecomastia will eventually resolve as the ratio of testosterone to estrogen levels finally balances out. Older men may also have enlarged breasts due to this hormone imbalance, particularly if they are overweight.
However, certain prescription medications may also cause enlarged male breasts. These include steroids, anti-androgens for prostate cancer, tricyclic antidepressants, and anxiety medications such as Valium. Some medical conditions, such as hypogonadism, hyperthyroidism, tumors or kidney failure, may lead to gynecomastia as well.
Although some medications (such as tamoxifen) used to treat breast cancer may help with gynecomastia, they are not specifically approved by the FDA for this use. Surgical treatments include liposuction and mastectomy. Liposuction removes fatty deposits in the breast tissue from specifically targeted areas. This is a good option for men who only have a small amount of excess fat in the breast tissue. A skin excision procedure is more involved and removes excess breast tissue. This is done using an endoscope through a series of small incisions around the breast and is far less invasive than a breast reduction for women.
Revisional Surgical Procedures
The most common reason patients come to see Dr. Marin for a revision procedure is either because not enough fat and breast tissue was removed in the first surgery, or the breasts have grown too large again. In both cases, the same procedure will be performed to achieve the desired results. In other cases, fat removal may have been uneven, leading to a dimpled, uneven appearance to the skin. This can be resolved with another liposuction procedure. Finally, in cases where too much tissue or fat was removed, Dr. Marin can either graft tissue from elsewhere or inject fat back into the breasts.
Gynecomastia is not only painful but can cause a great deal of social embarrassment, particularly for adolescent boys. Dr. Marin not only has the surgical skills to help patients achieve the results they desire but also understands just what sensitive problem gynecomastia can be.
*The content in this blog is developed to spread the awareness towards plastic surgery. Our blog is not intended to serve as a replacement for an actual in-office consultation with Dr. Marin. As such, the information within this blog reflects the unique cases of our individual patients.