We tend to look at aging with a sense of dread and recognize that as we age, there are things each of us will face that are unpleasant, yet unavoidable byproducts of getting older. These things vary from person to person and we tend to chalk them up as “inevitables.” While this may be true about many physical and cosmetic problems, it isn’t true across the board.
One of these supposed “inevitables” for men is enlarged breast tissue, often insensitively referred to as “man boobs.” Medically, this condition, known as Gynecomastia, is very common among men, affecting between 40 and 60 percent of the male population. Contrary to popular understanding, it isn’t simply a matter of aging or something indicative of a lack of exercise or physical fitness. Men of all ages struggle with enlarged breast tissue and the subsequent embarrassment, emotional distress, low self-esteem and avoidance of intimacy that often come with it.
Many men reading this right now are facing this and have talked themselves into believing that it’s something with which they have to live with. Although there can be comedic approaches to the issue, for men struggling with excess breast tissue, it’s no laughing matter.
The causes of Gynecomastia can range from a genetic predisposition to it the side effect of a drug, disease, or hormonal change. Understanding the root cause isn’t only important for men struggling with it, it’s also important because it provides a means of treating it effectively through breast reduction surgery uniquely tailored to each individual man with the condition.
I know, what some of you are thinking… “Surgery! Yikes!” Relax. Modern cosmetic medicine is far less scary or complicated than it was in years past. Besides, does the idea of surgery frighten you more then the prospect of continuing to live with enlarged breasts and the subsequent embarrassment that come with them? Male breast reduction is typically a general or local anesthesia liposuction procedure, which may include the removal of excess glandular tissue. On average the surgery lasts approximately two hours and patients will need to wear a special compression garment during recovery to support the new contours of their chest. This recovery period typically lasts about two weeks and the results are permanent, the results of any future weight gain notwithstanding.
Once you’ve owned up to how strongly you feel about freeing yourself from the psychological and emotional burden you are bearing (or NOT bearing in the case of your enlarged breasts), you need to research your options and find a reputable surgeon who can help you. If you live in the NYC area, Dr. Douglas Steinbrech is a top-rated plastic surgeon and expert in the practice of male breast reduction surgery. Visit our Gynecomastia page for more information and to find out if male breast reduction surgery is right for you.