You’ve most likely heard about gynaecomastia before, even if you didn’t know its proper name. In popular culture, gynaecomastia is often referred to as ‘man boobs,’ and it’s exceedingly common, affecting an estimated 40-60% of men at some point in their life. The breast inflation itself is caused by a build-up of glandular tissue behind the nipple, but is generally completely benign and carries no health impacts other than the mental challenges associated with it.
Gynaecomastia is common in men of any age and may develop as a result of:
- Hormonal changes
- Weight gain
- Hereditary conditions
- Disease, such as liver disease
- Certain medication
- Use of non-prescription or recreational drugs, including anabolic steroids and marijuana
Gynaecomastia can cause emotional discomfort and may affect a man’s self-confidence. Excess breast tissue can also cause a man’s breasts to sag and stretch the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple).
What Causes Gynaecomastia?
There is no solid, specific cause for male breast growth. It’s thought to be mostly genetic, so some people will get it no matter what, and others will never get it at all. However, there are a few things that have been shown to increase the likelihood of this condition.
- Excessive alcohol, marijuana or anabolic steroid use can lead to the growth of breast tissue in some people. If you have gynaecomastia and use any of these regularly, it’s a good idea to take a break from them and see if that helps.
- Obesity or being overweight. Everyone’s body stores fat in a different place, and sometimes the adipose (fatty) tissue warehouse happens to be directly behind the nipples. If you’re currently overweight and have man boobs you should try a weight-loss regime first, and see if that makes a difference. If you’re losing weight everywhere else, but your breasts remain, then surgery is probably the way to go.
- Medications. Some medications contain oestrogen, anabolic steroids and similar intensive ingredients that have unpleasant side effects like the risk of growing breasts. Consultation sessions here at Australia Cosmetic Clinics always includes checking for things like these, just to be sure that surgery is really your best option.
What’s Involved In Male Breast Reduction Surgery?
Surgically removing man boobs is remarkably quick and easy compared to most other operations. This is because, unlike female breasts, male breasts are just functionless pads of fatty tissue. The entire thing takes about an hour, and can be performed under twilight sedation or general anaesthetic. Basically, we’ll make a small incision around the nipple and pull out all the unwanted adipose tissue. Where necessary, we’ll combine it with liposuction to make sure we remove the entire thing and give you a somewhat slimmer and more toned look at the end. Afterwards, your skin will naturally tighten around your new body shape and there will be no sign that you ever had gynaecomastia except a nearly-invisible scar along the edge of the nipple.
The only exceptions are the most extreme cases, where a man has been unlucky enough to grow large, full and distinctly woman-like breasts. In these instances, the results will be identical except for more intensive scarring, as excess skin will also need to be removed.