Gynecomastia is the common condition of overgrowth of male breast tissue. Gynecomastia can develop in the teen years as a teen passes through puberty or later in life as the result of prescription medications, the use of anabolic steroids and is occasionally associated with the chronic use of marijuana. Gynecomastia can also be associated with significant weight gain, in which case, the enlargement of the breast is primarily due to increases in the volume of fat that makes up a significant component of both male and female breast.
Men, of any age, usually desire to correct gynecomastia for a number of reasons. Having a breast with feminine contour and volume can be very embarrassing for teens and younger men. It can also effect their ability to socialize and have self confidence with both male and female acquaintances. Men with gynecomastia typically avoid social situations such as swimming and beach activities that require them to remove their shirts. At school or at work they usually resort to layered clothing to conceal their enlarged breast.
Correction of gynecomastia can be performed as a simple out patient procedure. In a limited number of cases removal of the problem tissue and fat can be accomplished through the use of both conventional and ultrasonic liposuction. More often adequate removal of the gynecomastia tissue also requires excision of the true core of hypertrophied breast tissue by open surgical excision of the excess tissue using a small incision below the nipple areolar complex or from the side of the chest. These discrete incisions leave inconspicuous scars most patients find very acceptable. Patients can typically return to most daily activities within a few days. A compression garment that can be worn under clothing is required for 4 weeks post operatively.
In my practice, I have found the correction of gynecomastia, especially in teenage boys, to be a very rewarding procedure. The increase in self esteem and confidence can have a remarkable effect on the individuals and allow them to lead a much fuller life.