Addressing Gynecomastia in Austin, TX
Gynecomastia is a common condition affecting many boys and men. The tissues of the breast can swell due to a hormone imbalance, weight gain, genetics, a medical condition, or from taking certain drugs, such anabolic steroids—any of which may prompt a man to seek out male breast reduction. Our surgeons at Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery work with each patient to determine the cause of his breast development and develop an appropriate solution. Dr. Fisher has published a book chapter for plastic surgeons on gynecomastia.
Approximately 30 to 40 percent of teenage boys develop some degree of "breasts" during puberty, but most outgrow them as their testosterone and estrogen levels even out. Although not life threatening, gynecomastia can be embarrassing, adversely affecting men's self-esteem, mental health, and sometimes even social functioning. During your initial consultation, our surgeons will examine your breasts. In certain cases, gynecomastia can be treated with medications such as Tamoxifen. An evaluation by an internal medicine doctor or endocrinologist may be appropriate to assess for other medical causes. For others, a male breast reduction surgery is necessary.
For patients seeking male breast reduction, if the swelling is in the fatty tissue, your plastic surgeon may recommend liposuction to remove the excess fat. However, if the swelling is in the denser glandular tissue of the breast, surgery to remove the firm glandular tissue will be necessary.
During your male breast reduction procedure, small incisions will be placed around your nipple, in the chest wall, and/or underneath the armpit. The size and extent of the incision and subsequent scar will depend on the amount of tissue to be removed.
The gynecomastia surgery takes about two hours, and you can go home the same day. You will need to wear a compression garment for two weeks but should be able to return to work within a week. Since men tend to bruise more easily than women, you can expect bruising and swelling in the area, but it should subside within three to four weeks from the male breast reduction procedure.
Download Our Cosmetic Surgery Post-Operative Care Guides
We've compiled detailed post-operative care instructions to best equip our cosmetic surgery patients throughout their recovery process. To ensure the best and safest recovery, your plan encompasses appropriate prescriptions and clear directions towards maintaining your comfort to get you back to normal life and activity as soon as possible. Individual patients respond uniquely, and the type of procedure may differ, but these basic guidelines will help you along your journey.
Gynecomastia - Frequently Asked Questions
Most males have gynecomastia to some degree during their lives, with three quarters of cases occurring in both breasts. Two-thirds of males have it during puberty. Newborns, boys going through puberty, and older men may develop gynecomastia as a result of normal changes in hormone levels.
Gynecomastia is swelling of the breast tissue in boys or men, most often caused by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. The most common cause of gynecomastia is puberty. The incidence of gynecomastia peaks at age 15. Boys or men who are overweight are the second-most likely to develop gynecomastia. Some medications and recreational drug use are also associated with the development of gynecomastia. For example, use of Marijuana is associated with the development of gynecomastia. Other medications associated with gynecomastia include anti-androgens used to treat prostate enlargement and cancer, anabolic steroids and androgens commonly used to enhance athletic performance, AIDS medications, and anti-anxiety medications such as Valium. Gynecomastia can affect one or both breasts, sometimes unevenly. Most cases have no obvious precipitating cause. Our surgeons will review your medical history and perform an examination at your consultation appointment to exclude a potentially treatable cause before surgical options are recommended.
During your male breast reduction procedure, our surgeons will place small incisions around your nipple, in the chest wall, and/or underneath the armpit. The size and location of the incisions will depend on the amount of tissue that needs to be removed. In your consultation, our surgeons will discuss with you the location and size of the scars so you will know what to expect.
After your surgery, you will go home the same day. Swelling and bruising in the area is expected, especially since men tend to bruise more easily than women. Wearing a chest compression garment for two weeks after surgery will help reduce swelling and will keep you comfortable until the inflammation has gone down. Most patients are able to return to work within one week of surgery. Swelling typically subsides within three to four weeks after surgery.
Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
- Known for natural-looking aesthetic results in breast reconstruction and cosmetic surgery.
- Elected by peers for inclusion in Texas Monthly's Texas Super Doctors®: Rising Stars listing.
- Reconstructed over 3,000 patients, including more than 1,500 DIEP flap reconstructions.
- 4.9-star average rating over hundreds of reviews for cosmetic surgery.