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Unhappy with Your Chest? Consider Breast Reduction Surgery

Unhappy with Your Chest? Consider Breast Reduction Surgery

When people hear the term “breast reduction surgery,” they typically think about large-chested women who struggle with things like persistent back pain from holding up the excess weight in front, rashes and yeast infections on the underside of the breasts from moist skin, and limitations on physical activities.

What if we told you, though, that many men opt for breast reduction surgery as well? Surprised? The American Board of Plastic Surgery estimates that up to 50% of men in the United States experience some degree of gynecomastia, or enlarged breast tissue, during their lifetime.

At PNW Plastic Surgery in Portland, Oregon, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Leo Urbinelli and his team perform a wide variety of men’s plastic surgery procedures, including breast reduction for gynecomastia. If you’re unhappy with your chest size or laxity of tissue, here’s what you need to know about gynecomastia and what breast reduction can do for you.

What causes gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is usually due to a hormone imbalance between estrogen and testosterone, both of which men produce. While it can occur at any age, it most likely shows up at these three times:

1. Birth

Over half of newborn boys have enlarged breasts, or breast buds, due to the mother’s estrogen levels. The breasts usually shrink to a normal size within a few weeks.

2. Puberty

Over half of teenage boys have some amount of breast enlargement due to fluctuating hormones, including drops in testosterone and spikes in estrogen characteristic of this time of life. The breasts shrink as hormone levels even out, but it may take anywhere from six months to two years to stabilize completely.

3. Adulthood

Enlarged breasts become more common in men over 50, whose bodies produce less testosterone. In addition, this population tends to have more body fat, which stimulates both estrogen production and breast tissue growth.

Obese men may also develop enlarged breasts due to excess fatty tissue, a condition known as pseudogynecomastia.

A number of conditions, too, can cause male breast enlargement, including adrenal tumors, kidney disease, liver disease, thyroid disease, and alcoholism.

So can certain medications, such as those used to treat anxiety and depression, bacterial and fungal infections, an enlarged prostate, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, and heart failure, as well as amphetamines, marijuana, opioids, and anabolic steroids used to build muscle.

Regardless of the cause, many men feel self-conscious about the way their chest looks. Fortunately, PNW Plastic Surgery has a fix for that.

What is involved in breast reduction surgery?

Currently, male breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty) is the only consistently effective treatment for gynecomastia that provides long-lasting, if not permanent, results. Following the procedure, many patients say they feel comfortable going shirtless for the first time in a long time, and they often report an enhanced sense of self-confidence.

The procedure can be performed safely and successfully on teenagers and adults alike.

The surgery itself takes about 3-5 hours. Dr. Urbinelli makes an incision around the nipple, then downward on the breast, in a keyhole shape. He removes the excess skin, tissue, and fat and relocates the nipple before closing the incisions. He may or may not use drainage tubes, depending on your situation. If necessary, he also asks you to wear a surgical bra for a period following the surgery to support the healing tissues.

Following the surgery, you should notice an immediate improvement in the shape and appearance of your chest. You may feel sore for a few days, but pain is usually minimal.

However, you’ll need to take at least a week off from work or school, and Dr. Urbinelli will make follow-up appointments for you to remove bandages and sutures. You may not be able to resume your normal exercise routine or other strenuous physical activity for at least a month to allow the area to fully heal.

If you feel embarrassed by your “man boobs” and wish you could have a flat and toned chest, you can. Just schedule a consultation with Dr. Urbinelli to discuss your options, including breast reduction surgery, and see what works best for you. Give PNW Plastic Surgery a call at 818-740-6142, or book online today.

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