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What is gynecomastia and how do I determine if I have it?
Originally derived from the Greek words for “woman-like breasts,” gynecomastia is a medical term that means excessive male breast tissue. One out of every 10 men has enlarged breasts, or has been teased by friends about his “man boobs.”
Enlarged male breasts are caused by hormonal imbalance, certain illnesses (e.g., liver disease), the use of anabolic steroids, the use of marijuana or hereditary components.
How much does gynecomastia surgery cost?
ost is an important factor in any plastic surgery decision. It’s important to remember that a surgeon’s expertise/experience influences the price of the surgery. An expert gynecomastia surgeon who consistently produces excellent results is likely to charge more than an inexperienced surgeon who is not as reliable.
Our team at Advanced Cosmetic Surgery of New York strives to offer high-quality work by experienced and talented surgeons at a competitive and affordable price. We occasionally offer promotional discounts, too.
The price of your gynecomastia surgery will depend on several factors, including the techniques used and the degree of correction needed to achieve your desired results. To get a personal quote, please schedule a consultation with our team.
Will my health insurance cover the cost of gynecomastia surgery?
It’s common for insurance companies to regard gynecomastia treatment as elective cosmetic surgery, and therefore not provide coverage. We have seen some insurance companies say that they offer partial coverage, but in actuality make it very difficult for the patient to qualify.
Per our office policy, we do not accept insurance coverage as payment for male breast reduction. For more information refer to this page.
I'm a bodybuilder. How soon can I return to weightlifting after my surgery?
You should ease back into your exercise routine slowly, starting with mild aerobic exercise when you feel ready. We advise our bodybuilding patients to wait at least four weeks after surgery to resume weightlifting, push-ups and other chest exercises. Pushing your body too hard too soon after surgery may cause complications such as increased swelling, elevated blood pressure, bleeding and possible hematoma.
What techniques do your male breast reduction surgeons use?
The precise technique that our surgeons use during your surgery depends on your anatomy, personal needs and goals. If your enlarged breasts result primarily from excess fatty tissue, laser liposuction alone may be enough to produce the desired outcome. If you have excessive glandular tissue, we will surgically excise the tissue in addition to performing laser liposuction. Surgical excision involves a small incision placed at the edge of the areola (pink area surrounding the nipple). If you also have excess skin, that will be excised as well.
Learn more about what’s involved during gynecomastia surgery.
Are there any non-surgical treatments for man boobs?
No. Although certain creams, lotions, injections, exercises and pills claim to reduce excess male breast tissue, the only effective and recommended method is surgical treatment.
Will diet or exercise reduce my man boobs?
Although diet and exercise are central components to a healthy lifestyle, neither will reduce excess male breast tissue.
Consider this: Being overweight or obese causes excess fat and glandular tissue to develop on the male breast area. Losing a significant amount of weight through diet and/or exercise will shrink the fatty tissue, but it won’t affect the glandular tissue.
Exercise can cause the chest muscles to develop, but since the excessive tissue sits on top of the muscle, it will protrude as the muscle enlarges. Until the glandular tissue is removed, the excessive fatty tissue will conceal the muscle contour.
What is the best time or age to have gynecomastia surgery?
There is not a universal best time or age for a gynecomastia candidate.
In some cases, our New York gynecomastia surgeons operate on younger patients between the ages of 12 and 18, but only if their breast development has been stable for at least two years, and their enlarged breasts are causing serious psychological stress for the child.
We also treat older men with gynecomastia, as long as they understand that age can affect the skin’s elasticity, which means it is less likely the skin will retract or tighten after surgery.
Does race or ethnicity affect the occurrence of gynecomastia?
No. Gynecomastia does not differentiate between race or ethnic groups.
Should I lose weight before my male breast reduction?
If you are overweight, you may want to consider adopting healthier eating habits and a regular exercise routine. These efforts will have only positive effects on your body! However, we suggest that you postpone gynecomastia surgery until you have stabilized at your new weight.
Will smoking affect the results of gynecomastia surgery?
Yes, smoking will negatively affect the results of your surgery several ways. In particular, nicotine causes the small blood vessels to tighten, which restricts the blood flow to the surgical site after surgery and leads to poor wound healing. If you smoke, we strongly encourage you to quit smoking at least two weeks prior to surgery and avoid cigarettes after your surgery.
If I have man boobs, am I at a higher risk for male breast cancer?
There is no correlation between gynecomastia and breast cancer. Some men do get breast cancer, though, so it’s important to be aware of any new lumps, growths, discharge or skin changes in the breast or nipple, and to alert a physician if one of these symptoms appears.
We may order a biopsy, mammogram or ultrasound examination prior to gynecomastia surgery to rule out the chance of cancer.
What is male breast cancer?
Approximately 1 percent of all breast cancers occur in men (according to the American Cancer Society). Male breast cancer risk factors include positive family history, lifestyle and occupation. For example, research has found that men who are exposed to hot working environments (e.g., steel mills, blast furnaces) or petroleum and exhaust fumes are more likely to develop breast cancer, as are those who work in the soap or perfume industry.
Certain genetic mutations have also been linked to hereditary forms of male breast cancer. These conditions include Klinefelter’s Syndrome, Cowden’s Syndrome and liver disease.
Men diagnosed with breast cancer usually experience symptoms such as a one-sided lump or mass under the nipple or areola, skin changes or bloody nipple discharge.
What are the risks and potential complications of gynecomastia surgery?
In general, male breast reduction is a safe procedure. However, as with any surgery, complications can arise. Possible complications include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Seroma (collection of clear, yellowish fluid)
- Irregular breast contours
- Loss of nipple sensation
- Skin discoloration
- Asymmetrical results
To prevent the risk of complications, please follow all of our gynecomastia surgeons’ pre- and post-op instructions.
Do drugs or medications cause enlarged male breast tissue?
Yes, certain drugs and medications can cause enlarged male breast tissue, including heroin, marijuana and bodybuilding steroids. Supplements that have hormone-like qualities also may also cause excessive breast tissue.
In some cases, discontinuing the medication can cause the breasts to shrink. However, in general gynecomastia will persist until surgery is performed.
If I gain weight after gynecomastia surgery, will my man boobs come back?
During male breast reduction, our surgeons remove a good amount (but not all) of the breast tissue. The remaining breast tissue will not re-grow.
If you gain a significant amount of weight after your surgery, some of the fat will return to your chest area. If you lose a significant amount of weight, you may notice that it enhances your results.
Should I massage my chest after gynecomastia surgery?
Unless our surgeons advise you to, do not massage your chest after surgery, as it can actually increase swelling. If we think it will be helpful, we will give you specific instructions.
What happens to the tissue and fluid removed during gynecomastia surgery?
If our surgeons treat your gynecomastia with laser liposuction, the aspirated tissue will be physically destroyed and disposed of as medical waste.
If we remove solid tissue through a peri-areolar incision, New York state law requires us to send a portion of the tissue to a laboratory for pathological examination. The remaining tissue is disposed of as medical waste.
Where can I get more information about male breast reduction?
If you’d like more information about gynecomastia surgery, or if you’re ready to schedule a consultation with our New York City / Long Island male breast reduction surgeons, please call our New York City office at 212-206-0023 or our Long Island office at 631-499-1831.