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.
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.
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.
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.
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