“From a psychological point of view, it can affect your confidence and self-esteem considerably,” comments Mr Alex Karidis, who is one of the UK’s leading gynecomastia surgeons. “It affects relationships, people’s ability to do things such as going swimming since it can make you feel self-conscious. When you are restricted in anything in life this can impact your psyche as well. It can be a very serious issue for many people.”
The first step to finding a treatment for gynecomastia is to know what’s causing the issue. For some men, it’s an overdevelopment of the glandular tissue in the chest area which can be a result of hormone fluctuations. Young men who have gone through puberty and older men who are starting to produce less testosterone can experience excess breast tissue growth.
Genetically, men tend to accumulate fat in the chest and abdomen area and, for many men, excess fat deposits on the pectoral muscles are the cause of moobs or male breasts. This is often known as pseudogynecomastia.
Any surgical procedure brings with it a degree of risk, so the first step is often to look for non-surgical treatments for gynecomastia and there are certain lifestyle changes that can help, particularly if you’re suffering from pseudogynecomastia.
- Losing weight
- Exercise, particularly targeted weight training
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Avoiding certain medications
- Abstaining from steroid use
- Hormone treatments
As hormonal imbalances are often the cause of male breast tissue to overdevelop, hormone treatments can be prescribed. Steroid use can also trigger hormonal imbalances that result in gynecomastia, as anabolic steroids are converted into oestrogen in the body. Eliminating triggers such as steroids or using hormone balancing medication can prevent further breast growth, but unfortunately it rarely reverses the condition.
Diet and exercise can reduce body fat including in the chest area, although sufferers often find that stretched skin is impossible to tone up after significant weight loss and the amount of glandular tissue present will not be affected by any weight changes.
Beware any miracle cures that promise to cure gynecomastia. As Mr Karidis explains: “There are no creams, tablets or ointments I can give to patients that simply eradicate the problem. There are only two options, either living with the issue and being able to accept it or if that isn’t possible, surgery is the only other available option.”
Why male breast reduction surgery could be the solution
Fat reduction or body contouring procedures such as CoolSculpting or liposuction can help to reshape and reduce the chest area, but male breast reduction surgery is often the only permanent solution to fully address this condition.
During this procedure, Mr Karidis will remove excess breast tissue, skin and fat and then reshape the area to produce a flatter, more masculine-appearing chest.
For more information, you may want to look at our recently revamped Patient Journey app. We’ve been working hard to update all the information available on some of our most frequently performed procedures including gynecomastia surgery.
If you do decide to proceed with surgery, put in your procedure date and we will send you prompts and alerts throughout your patient journey – from preparing for your operation, what to expect on the day of surgery and throughout your gynecomastia recovery.Click to download the app