Men across the UK suffer from what is commonly called ‘man boobs’ or ‘moobs’ (Gynaecomastia)
If you are one of these men, do not worry you aren’t alone. 40-60% of men suffer from the condition. The condition can knock your body confidence and your physical well-being. But you don’t need to suffer in silence, as the latest surgical advancements means this excess fat can now be removed by Gynaecomastia surgery or male breast reduction surgery. The surgical operations are becoming increasingly popular with the modern man, due to their relatively quick and minimally invasive nature.
Gynaecomastia – ‘Gyne’ means female and ‘mastia’ means breast i.e. enlarged male breasts. Gynaecomastia is strictly a male disorder, which occurs due to excess breast tissue/glandular tissue growth with or without excess fatty tissue. These enlarged male breasts have a hard lump under the nipple which can also extend outside the borders of the areola depends on how much excess tissue is there. The enlarged breasts are firm, irregular and sometimes even painful to touch. Generally it is treated by surgical gland excision along with liposuction, but in severe cases of gynaecomastia the perfect contour of male chest can be achieved through a combination of fat removal, glandular tissue excision, and skin tightening of the sagged breasts. Cosmetic surgery to treat gynaecomastia is technically called reduction mammaplasty. The surgery is created to help you gain back self confidence, and give you a flatter and firmer chest.
With minimal pain and discomfort and ever reducing recovery periods, it’s easy to see why more people are now turning to fat removal treatments to reveal their true self with the body they deserve.
Causes of Gynaecomastia
There are three primary causes for each type of gynaecomastia.
Excess breast tissue
Excess body fat
Or a combination of all these
Often, the exact cause of a person’s gynaecomastia cannot be identified because the exact cause can range from intake of medications to hormonal changes to genetic predisposition. In fact, this medical condition is common and physiologic for healthy adolescents, to have this problem for 1 to 2 years during puberty.
Some of the known reasons for gynaecomastia may be:
Excess Estrogen- Naturally high level of estrogen or a high ratio of estrogen to testosterone may cause gynaecomastia.
Steroid use- Anabolic steroid use may cause gynaecomastia
Excess weight- It may cause pseudo-gynaecomastia
Medications /supplements- Some medications/supplements are known to cause gynaecomastia
Klinefelter Syndrome- It is a sex chromosomal abnormality in men in which the patient has an extra ‘X’ chromosome resulting in abnormal “XXY” chromosomal combination due to which the male have female like characters which may include gynaecomastia.
Hyperthyroidism- Hyperthyroidism (high level of thyroid hormone in blood) is predominantly found in females but males can also have this medical condition and this is also considered as one of the causes of gynaecomastia.
Ageing- When males get older, the testosterone levels either become dormant or decrease from their earlier levels and this can lead to a dominance of the female hormone estrogen which may cause gynaecomastia.
Types of gynaecomastia:
Gynaecomastia may be of following types:
‘Pure glandular’ gynaecomastia- It is true gynaecomastia in which enlargement of the breast area occurs due to proliferation of fibrous breast tissue/glandular tissue.
‘Mixed’ gynaecomastia- It is the most common form of gynaecomastia in which enlargement of the chest occurs by both excess fibrous breast/glandular tissue and fatty tissue.
Pseudo-gynecomastia- It is false gynaecomastia in which enlargement of the male breast area is due to excess fat only.
Stages of Gynaecomastia:
Gynecomastia is seen in three stages of the life span of an individual and is associated with hormonal changes in the body.
1. Neonatal gynaecomastia: The first stage is during neonatal period (birth to 1 month) when 60-90% of babies develop breast tissue. It is asymptomatic and usually temporary, and generally subsides within three to four weeks.
2. Pubertal gynaecomastia: The second stage being in teenagers or between 10-18 years, when 48% to 64% of all teenagers have some form of breast tissue growth due to hormone imbalance.
3. Senescent gynaecomastia: The third stage being in old age or between 60-80 years. Hormone changes occur in parallel to development of gynaecomastia in all three stages.
Am I a Candidate for Gynecomastia Surgery or Male Breast Reduction:
If you are unhappy and experiencing physical discomfort with the size or appearance of your breasts.
If you are mentally and physically healthy with normal body weight.
If you are feeling embarrassment to take off your shirt at the gym or beaches.
If your breast development has stabilized or you have passed the age of 20. Dr Ashish Dutta always recommends waiting until after puberty before considering surgery, as pubertal gynaecomastia may resolve over time.
If your enlarged breasts do not seem to flatten out despite attempts through diet and/or exercise.
If you are not significantly overweight, but the breast size is disproportionate.
If you have good skin elasticity because successful gynaecomastia surgery involves adequate skin contraction after your excess skin is surgically removed.
If you are not currently taking any medications/supplements known to cause gynaecomastia. Medication induced gynaecomastia can resolve if you substitute these medications or stop using them.
If you are emotionally stable with realistic expectations for cosmetic surgical intervention.
The Gynaecomastia surgery procedure-
Gynaecomastia surgery or male breast reduction surgery can be carried out under intravenous sedation, local or general anaesthesia depending on patient and surgeon preference. The surgery can take 1-2 hours to complete which depends on the method of treatment (e.g. Gland removal and/or Vaser Lipo) and the severity of the condition.
On the basis of stage and degree of severity of the disease these are the following options available at Aesthetic Beauty Centre to treat gynaecomastia:
1. Gynaecomastia surgery with Liposuction technique-
This technique is generally used for the treatment of Pseudo-gynaecomastia where the enlargement is primarily due of excess fatty tissue with or without excess skin. To remove excess fat from your breasts we generally use the minimally invasive VASER liposuction technique in which an ultrasound probe is inserted into your breast tissue to break up and dislodge fat from nearby soft tissue fibres. The fat then becomes liquified and is gently removed by a thin metallic tube called cannula via suction through keyhole incisions. Lastly the tiny incisions are closed.
2. Gynaecomastia surgery by using Excision technique-
This technique is generally used for the treatment of pure glandular gynaecomastia (puffy nipples) where there is primarily an excess of glandular breast tissue with or without excess skin. To remove the excess glandular tissue, firstly your surgeon carefully makes an incision around the edge of the areola (peri-areolar incision) and then excise the excess glandular tissue. Lastly, the incisions are sutured and the treated area is bandaged. Excision also is necessary if the areola needs to be reduced or the nipple repositioning is necessary to achieve a more natural male contour.
3. Combination of liposuction and excision techniques-
This technique is generally used for the treatment of mixed gynaecomastia where there is excess glandular breast tissue along with excess fat, with or without excess skin. To treat this severe gynaecomastia, your surgeon combines the Vaser liposuction technique for stubborn fat removal with tissue excision technique to remove excess glandular tissue to sculpt a new chest contour that looks natural to your body.
Downtime and recovery-
Gynaecomastia surgery typically requires only a couple of hours for recovery. The patient can return home after the surgery, and often resume normal activities after a few days. Exercise, bathing and swimming should be avoided for at least two weeks, any strenuous exercise or lifting for six weeks should be avoided. You can however take shower the next day of surgery. Generally, for best results, we advise at least one week for recovery time after surgery. You should attend a follow-up appointment seven days after the procedure.
You should wear a support garment or an elastic bandage to minimise the swelling and to support your new chest contour as it heals after surgery. Swelling and bruising after a gynaecomastia treatment subsides after a few weeks and there is normally no noticeable scarring after a few months.
Risks and complications-
Potential complications and risks associated with gynaecomastia surgery are initially related to the drugs used, such as an allergic reaction. There are also surgical risks, as with any other surgery.
The common risks include: bruising, pain and temporary swelling.
Rare risks include : numbness, bleeding (haematoma), fluid accumulation (seroma), blood clots, breast contour and shape irregularities, breast asymmetry, loose skin, infection, persistent pain, fatty tissue found in the breast might die (fat necrosis), damage to deeper tissue or cells– such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and lungs – can occur and may be temporary or permanent.
Some of the risks can be reduced by following the recommended aftercare outlined by the surgeon.
More serious risks can be caused by an inexperienced surgeon. Choosing a well qualified and experienced surgeon greatly reduces these risks.
The Gynaecomastia surgery results-
Gynaecomastia surgery or male chest reduction surgery is an effective way to reduce the size of the enlarged breast which creates a flatter, firmer and better-contoured chest.
The final results are usually permanent, but weight gain, hormonal imbalances and the use of certain medications, drugs (including steroids) can cause the problem to recur. So you should avoid these substances and remain at a stable weight in order to maintain your results.
We will also provide you with an elastic garment to wear day and night to achieve the best possible results. Read our Gynaecomastia surgery FAQs here.
At the Aesthetic Beauty Centre, your progress is reviewed on a regular basis through video calling and in-person appointments with your surgeon, Dr. Ashish Dutta. Aesthetic Beauty Centre are able to offer both surgical and non-surgical fat removal treatments. Popular fat removal treatments include: Aqualyx, BodyTite, Laser Lipolysis, Liposculpture, SmartLipo, Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty, Vaser Liposelection and Carboxytherapy.
We have clinics in London, Sunderland and Newcastle. Sunderland is popular for non-surgical treatments such as Botox and fillers, whilst Newcastle centre acts as their principal, fully functional operating centre which undertakes every procedure imaginable from liposuction and face-lifts to hair transplants and breast augmentation. Finally, London is where the revolutionary VASER and body sculpting procedures are practised, under Dr Dutta's watchful eye.
To know about the surgeon, Dr. Ashish Dutta, click here