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Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia | Eric S. Schaffer, MD FACS | San Antonio TX

What Is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia, or male breast enlargement, occurs often in young teenagers and is due to changing levels of estrogen and testosterone. Gynecomastia frequently improves or resolves altogether as maturity sets in. In some instances, however, the amount of male breast enlargement is either significantly pronounced or so extremely persistent that plastic surgery is needed. Additionally, adult men can develop Gynecomastia later in life. Gynecomastia can lead to embarrassment and may result in loss of self-esteem and in social isolation.


What Causes Gynecomastia?

The causes of adult gynecomastia are not fully understood. Middle-aged and older men experience hormonal shifts, not unlike during puberty, and this could be behind adult gynecomastia. Breast enlargement is thought to be triggered by marijuana use, excessive alcohol consumption, heroin use, and taking certain herbal supplements that contain estrogen. In addition, some of the following medications can cause gynecomastia.

  • Anti-anxiety drugs
  • Antibiotics
  • AIDS treatment drugs
  • Heartburn treatment drugs
  • Steriods
  • Tricyclic antidepressants

Candidates for Breast Reduction Surgery

Whether or not your condition is right for surgical intervention involves ruling a few things out first. If your enlarged breasts are due to weight gain, the first step is to lose the weight and see if the condition persists. Heavy drinkers and marijuana users also aren’t candidates for surgery, as their breast enlargement comes from their lifestyle choices.

Dr. Schaffer can diagnose when gynecomastia is to blame. The key is to feel for a firm rubbery mass underneath the nipple area. The size of this mass is usually less than two inches in diameter and will often be sensitive when patients apply pressure. Before opting for surgery, Dr. Schaffer will likely begin treatment by prescribing medication that reduces the amount of estrogen the patient’s body is producing.


Before & After Breast Reduction

Before
After

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Before
After

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Surgical Correction Of Gynecomastia

If you are self-conscious about the appearance of your chest and find your social, athletic, or professional opportunities to be limited by gynecomastia, you may want to consider male breast reduction. Several cosmetic male breast reduction procedures are available. These procedures include liposuction of excess breast tissue, surgical excision of excess breast tissue, or a combination of both. Sometimes, it is advantageous to remove the extra skin when the amount of skin is excessive. Additionally, Dr. Schaffer can remove excess skin to reduce the size of the nipples.

Additional procedures such as lateral chest wall liposuction or skin reduction may be helpful for you. At your thorough private confidential consultation, Dr. Schaffer will carefully consider your goals and the procedure that is best for you. Our office will treat you with sensitivity and respect when you visit. Your physical attributes such as the consistency of your breast tissue (firm versus soft), your amount of loose skin, and your nipple/areola size will influence which male breast reduction plastic surgical procedure is best for you.


Nonsurgical Gynecomastia Treatment

If your breast enlargement is due to an expansion of your glandular tissue, adjusting your hormone levels, especially estrogen, could correct the condition. But if this doesn’t alleviate the enlargement, surgery is the only remedy. However, if your breast enlargement is tied to medication use or weight gain, you have various non-surgical options to treat the condition.


breast reduction recovery

This is not an extensive surgery, and it doesn’t involve a difficult recovery. You will have some swelling and discomfort that can last up to two weeks, but this diminishes relatively quickly. Dr. Schaffer will require you to wear a compression shirt or vest to reduce swelling and to help your chest conform to its new contour. Most of our patients can resume normal activities within one week after surgery. Strenuous exercise, particularly any exercise that engages the chest muscles, will need to wait for about one month. Dr. Schaffer will discuss the details of your recovery with you during your consultation prior to surgery.


results of Male Breast Reduction Surgery

Recurrence of gynecomastia is very rare after excision surgery. True gynecomastia, in contrast to enlarged breasts due to weight gain, is caused mainly by excess glandular tissue. This causes the protrusion of the nipple-areola complex. In reduction surgery, Dr. Schaffer removes the majority of the mammary gland, leaving enough to support the nipple-areola. With this tissue gone, the chances of recurrence are very low. However, if your breast enlargement was due to the use of steroids, marijuana, or other medications, it is possible that your breasts may become enlarged again if usage continues.


Schedule a Consultation

If you are interested in a male breast reduction or male breast enlargement, call 210-227-3223 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Eric Schaffer. Our practice serves San Antonio, Austin, and surrounding areas in TX.

For more information on our services, call our office to make an appointment.

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