As surgery to address excessive breast tissue in male patients has become increasingly more commonplace, awareness of the condition known as gynecomastia has increased proportionately.
What Is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is described as the enlargement of the glandular tissues that comprise the breast in males. While glandular breast tissue is often responsible for enlarged breasts in males, in overweight patients there is often a fair amount of fatty tissue that can also be held responsible. It is important to understand that fatty tissue and true gynecomastia, caused by glandular enlargement of the mammary glands, are not the same. The onset of gynecomastia may start in infancy but can also begin as late as puberty in young men who are otherwise completely healthy. Gynecomastia is even witnessed in middle-aged and older men who have no other symptoms or disorders.
What Causes Gynecomastia?
Medicine has not been able to pinpoint a single cause for gynecomastia, but research instead points to a wide range of factors that have been linked to the condition. The most likely culprit is a hormonal imbalance, where estrogens and androgens are out of proportion. But again this may also be due to a number of factors. Some of the proposed triggers include medications, recreational drug abuse, thyroid, liver, and kidney conditions, and even the use of several herbal substances such as lavender and tea tree oil.
How Can Gynecomastia Be Treated?
While the medical industry has seen several medications introduced with intentions of treating gynecomastia, doctors agree that the most efficient way to address the symptoms of gynecomastia is through surgical breast reduction. Because the tissues are the same in men and women gynecomastia surgery is essentially a simple male breast reduction. This is good news for male patients as this means that the surgery is far less complicated since the function of the mammary glands is of no concern and because male patients typically display far less glandular tissue than female patients.
While breast reduction surgery for women is usually performed under general anesthesia, depending on the extent of the surgery, it can often be performed under local anesthesia alone, which can provide for a safer, faster and easier surgery. The attending physician will make clear the anesthesia type and procedures that will be involved during a consultation.
During surgery, excess breast tissue will be removed, and depending on the extent of the surgery excess fatty tissue may also be removed. Excess skin can be trimmed away, and the nipple can be re-centered if necessary.
Male breast reduction surgery is an outpatient procedure and while a full recovery can take several months, patients are often able to resume normal and non-strenuous work and activity in as little as one or two weeks.
Patients who exhibit symptoms of gynecomastia can contact Dr. Ordon or Dr. Chopra at either of the Ordon | Chopra Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery practices. In Beverly Hills at (310) 248-6250 or in the Palm Desert at (760) 568-2211. Patients can also contact the doctors and make appointments for consultations through our contact page.
"After learning I was BRCA1 +, I began my search for a surgeon to take care of the expanders and reconstruction segment following my bilateral mastectomy. I had visited a couple of Plastic Surgeons before being referred to Dr.Chopra by a close friend. From the moment I met Dr.Chopra, he gave off a very calm and reassuring energy which helped to reduce much of my fear and anticipation. He patiently explained every step of what I was about to go through, drew pictures and answered every question I had about the surgery and the healing process..."
"My life forever changed when I found out that I was BRCA1 positive and had an 87% risk to develop breast cancer. At the time I was a healthy, vibrant 38 year old wife and mother. I wanted to live a long and healthy life with my family so for me it was an easy decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. When I researched breast surgeons and plastic surgeons I was immediately drawn to Dr. Ritu Chopra because of his experience, charisma and energy..."
"I recently had surgery on my arms. After losing over 160 pounds, I still had a lot of extra skin and fat literally HANGING from my arms and I really felt it was detracting from all the hard work I had done to lose so much weight. I had a procedure call “Brachioplasty”. My doctor was Dr. Ritu Chopra and he is AMAZING. Not only is he a fantastic, perfectionistic, meticulous surgeon, but he is SO caring and kind and really makes me feel like we are in “in it together..."
"I am so extremely grateful to have met Dr. Ritu Chopra and feel blessed to have him care for me during this difficult time. After making the hard decision to have a double mastectomy following a breast cancer diagnosis coupled with strong family history, I began the daunting task of choosing a surgeon to entrust with my treatment. I never planned on having surgery outside of my hometown, Seattle, but after a consultation with Dr. Kristi Funk of Pink Lotus Breast Center and a subsequent referral and conversation with Dr. Chopra..."
"During my initial consultation all my options were throughly explained. This also included all the details of insurance coverage and costs. I only had to make one payment to Dr Chopra and his office took care of the remainder and dealt with my insurance company. During this stressful time it was a relief to have them completely take care of the insurance. January 2014 through April, I had appointments in both Beverly Hills and Rancho Mirage offices. Dr Chopra and his entire staff at both locations are kind,flexible and professional..."
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