Doctor’s Thoughts on Gynecomastia Surgery

At Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery, we strive to provide the best gynecomastia Newport Beach has to offer, and we understand the burden gynecomastia (man boobs) can have on your overall well-being. For some boys and men, breast enlargement can begin during the pivotal teenage years which are already emotionally and physically challenging for many young men. Breast development from hormone changes can occur in one or both breasts. Even a small degree of excess fullness under the nipple can cause great anxiety and distress to young men. Many men go to great lengths to hide their chest to avoid being teased or bullied, by their peers. They are oftentimes too ashamed to open up to their own parents about their enlarged breasts. It is common for these teenage boys to withdraw from social activities, forgo dating, and to become depressed and unmotivated. The idea of wearing a tight t-shirt or a bathing suit is too embarrassing. Adult onset gynecomastia from age, weight gain or weight loss, can also negatively affect a man’s self-esteem and intimate relationships. Oftentimes, many efforts are made in hopes of physical change, such as adhering to a strict diet and exercise regimen. Sadly, these efforts typically result in little or no improvement.

Whether you have puffy nipples or enlarged sagging breasts, there is a life-changing solution for getting rid of the issue that is bothering you. Male breast reduction surgery (gynecomastia surgery) is a permanent option for getting your life back so you can live without your chest weighing on you.

Our board-certified plastic surgeons have decades of experience performing gynecomastia surgery on both teenagers and adults. For many of our patients, the procedure can be performed in our Newport Beach office under local anesthesia. For more severe cases, it may be advised to have the procedure performed at the outpatient surgery center under general anesthesia. All of this will be discussed in detail during your private consultation with one of our doctors.
If you have been looking for a way to get rid of your gynecomastia, we encourage you to contact our office with questions or to schedule a consultation. Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach is a safe place for you to discuss your situation with gynecomastia specialists who care about your well-being. We want you to look in the mirror and like what you see.

What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia (also called “man boobs”) is a common condition among men that results in enlargement of the breasts. Although most often it is due to a hormonal imbalance or fluctuation, the underlying cause is rarely identified.

Gynecomastia can present itself in different ways. It may be isolated to the areola alone causing puffy nipples or on the opposite side of the spectrum, the breasts may be enlarged and saggy, taking on the appearance of female breasts. Some men complain about their breasts being tender or painful.

Gynecomastia can consist of one or all of the below components.

  1. Breast Tissue
  2. Fatty Tissue
  3. Skin Laxity

Breast tissue alone is typically the primary issue causing gynecomastia. While all men are born with some breast tissue, it is when it over-develops that it becomes an issue.

Fatty tissue is often an issue for those who are overweight and/or not in their best shape. It may be isolated to the breasts, but frequently spills over to the breast roll, axilla, and pre-axilla.

Skin laxity can be an issue if someone has lost a significant amount of weight or has experienced weight fluctuations. It is also seen in mature men as a result of the natural aging process.

At Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery, our doctors are not here to tell you whether or not you have gynecomastia, rather they will let you know if you have an issue that can be improved with surgery. Many men have enlarged breasts and don’t think twice about it, while others may have very mild puffy nipples and are tormented by it on a daily basis. If your chest is negatively impacting your life, we encourage you to reach out for help. Our trained surgeons can evaluate your situation and let you know if surgery is a good option for you.

What Causes Gynecomastia?

For many men, gynecomastia develops during puberty. It is fairly common for teenage boys to experience enlarged areolas or breasts between the age of 12 and 15. Typically, this goes away within a couple of years with no treatment at all. When it doesn’t, the likelihood of it going away on its own is very low.

Obesity also plays a role in gynecomastia. In a longitudinal study of gynecomastia patients, roughly 51% were obese. Obesity also increases the prevalence of pseudogynecomastia, or swelling of the breasts due to weight gain, as opposed to hormonal imbalance.

Gynecomastia is also a common development later in the aging process; commonly between the ages of 50-69. Changes in hormones and metabolism can lead to physical changes such as the development of man boobs. Some men may have had mild gynecomastia all their lives but didn’t really think twice about it. However, now as they are aging, the chest skin is loose causing the chest to resemble that of an older woman with saggy breasts.

Other known causes of gynecomastia include steroids, recreational drugs, thyroid problems, kidney and liver disease, and hair growth medications. It is always advised to be seen by your primary care doctor and/or specialist to rule out an underlying condition that may be causing gynecomastia.

Am I a Candidate for Gynecomastia Surgery?

Men who are bothered by the presence of enlarged breast tissue may benefit from gynecomastia surgery. Common concerns relating to gynecomastia include:

  • Puffy nipples
  • Abnormally large chest or a feminized chest
  • Unable to develop defined pecs or a masculine chest through working out because of breast tissue
  • Loose skin, saggy chest
  • Stubborn fat in or around the chest area
  • Asymmetry between breasts
  • Lowered nipples/areolas
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Self-consciousness wearing tight clothing or going shirtless
  • Intimate relationships negatively impacted or don’t have them at all
  • Bullying leading to self-esteem issues
  • Feeling hopeless

The best candidates for gynecomastia surgery are those who are in good health with realistic expectations as to what surgery can and cannot achieve. If your chest is bothering you, reach out to us at Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach to find out if surgery is right for you.

About Gynecomastia Surgery

At the Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery, Dr. Horowitz and Dr. Nichter collaborate on the best plastic surgery practices for their patients. Together, they bring more than 100 years of combined experience and board-certified expertise. As a result, they offer advanced treatment options for gynecomastia correction.

Minimal Incision Gynecomastia Surgery

Our team of board-certified plastic surgeons at Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach understand that most men are concerned about having visible signs that surgery was performed on their chest. Whenever possible, minimal incisions will be used to avoid obvious detection, while providing the best results possible.

When breast tissue alone is present, excision will likely be needed for precise removal. This will be done by strategically placing minimal incisions with advanced suturing techniques to ensure they are well hidden.

VASER Hi-Definition Liposuction for Treatment of Gynecomastia

When fatty tissue and/or skin laxity is present, VASER Hi Def Liposuction may be recommended as part of the treatment plan. The name VASER comes from the phrase “vibration amplification of sound energy.” This revolutionary tool uses inaudible sound waves to vibrate and break down fat, so it can be easily removed. There are also nearly undetectable incisions at the entry point. The most noticeable results of this treatment are a more masculine chest, often with improved muscle definition.

Body Contouring

In addition to correcting gynecomastia many men can also benefit from liposuction of the sides of their chests, abdomen, or love handles at the same time to improve their overall body image.

No General Anesthesia for Gynecomastia Surgery

Many Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery Newport Beach gynecomastia patients are candidates for having surgery performed in-office under local anesthesia. This provides a safer and more cost-effective alternative for male breast reduction surgery. Recovery also tends to be easier without the effects of general anesthesia.

At Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery, we have a dedicated surgical suite located in our office along with a comfortable waiting area for the person who is driving you to/from surgery.

Local anesthesia consists of being administered a sedative such as Xanax or Ativan to relax the patient followed by numbing of the chest with a lidocaine solution. Some men sleep during the entire procedure, while others may doze in and out of sleep. Our gynecomastia specialists are very experienced with performing local anesthesia cases and keeping our patients comfortable.

What is Recovery Like After Gynecomastia Surgery?

After gynecomastia surgery, you will be asked to wear a surgical garment for several weeks to assist healing and support your newly contoured chest. Most patients can return to work after a few days, but strenuous exercise should be avoided for 4-6 weeks. Some swelling, bruising, and general discomfort can be expected during the first week, but this can be managed with pain medication and an ice pack.

Gynecomastia Surgery Results

Most patients can return to work within 3-5 days of gynecomastia surgery. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for about 4-6 weeks depending on the severity of your case. You will need to be cleared by your surgeon before you can perform heaving lifting or resume upper body workouts. Wearing a compression garment after surgery will aid in the healing process and final result.

Some swelling, bruising, and general discomfort can be expected during the first week, but this can usually be managed with medication, ice packs, and rest.

When Will I See the Results from Gynecomastia surgery?

For most, improvement is seen as soon as the initial bandages are removed, although it can take up to 6 months to see the final result. It is important to have patience through the healing process and to understand asymmetries and contour irregularities may take weeks to resolve. The good news is that once you heal from surgery, you can live your life free of gynecomastia forever!

Patients express having a renewed sense of confidence wearing any type of clothing they want without embarrassment. Others are excited to finally be able to take their shirt off at the beach or pool. Finally enjoying a vacation without the worry they experienced before is incredible. We often hear from patients that they wish they had done the procedure years ago!

Schedule Your Gynecomastia Consultation at Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery

Gynecomastia surgery can be a life-changing procedure. Not only is there a physical improvement, but many patients benefit from a psychological improvement as well. Our patients often tell us about the excitement they felt the first time they went to the beach without their shirt on, or how they finally had the confidence to fully enjoy intimacy with their partner.

If you want to start living the life you deserve, contact Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery to schedule your initial consultation. Our doctors will listen to your concerns and determine the best surgical plan for your specific needs.

Gynecomastia FAQs

Is gynecomastia surgery painful?
While most of our gynecomastia patients are not put under general anesthesia during surgery, they are given local anesthesia to numb the treatment area, resulting in no pain during the procedure. Following surgery, patients usually report some swelling and discomfort, but it is usually manageable with medications, ice, and rest.

How much does gynecomastia surgery cost?
The exact cost of your procedure will depend on the grade of your gynecomastia and the treatment method used. We strongly discourage patients from bargain hunting with something as important as surgery and encourage them to choose a plastic surgeon who specializes in gynecomastia and has a stellar reputation for excellence.

At Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery, we offer financing options to those who are in need of some assistance paying for their procedure. We believe that gynecomastia surgery should not be cost prohibitive.

Is gynecomastia surgery permanent?
In most cases, yes, gynecomastia surgery is a permanent solution for getting rid of enlarged male breasts. Having said that, if someone lives an unhealthy lifestyle and gains a lot of weight, it may be possible for fat cells to expand causing the chest to enlarge. Also, there is a slight chance that future steroid use, taking certain medications, or certain medical conditions could flare up any small amount of breast tissue that was left behind from surgery to avoid a crater deformity. It is important to note this is very rare, and that the recurrence of gynecomastia will likely never appear as it did before surgery.