Often considered only a feminine concern, breast reduction surgery is becoming increasingly popular among males. It seems an amplification of body image pressures are taking a toll on the male population. In fact, in 2012, the popularity of male breast reduction surgery increased by 5 percent from the previous year . Like male pattern baldness or “beer belly”, gynecomastia is yet another potential threat to masculine allure.
Gynecomastia (“man breasts” or “man boobs”) is a condition which creates enlarged, benign breast tissue in men. Up to a whopping 69 percent of males will experience this condition at some point in their adolescence during hormone surge. While gynecomastia most commonly occurs within the confines of male puberty, it can persist into adulthood. For those patients who experience enlarged breast tissue into adulthood, surgical intervention is often the only solution as true gynecomastia is unrelenting to weight loss programs.
Psychological Impact of Gynecomastia
Until recently, gynecomastia was considered only a cosmetic concern. However, a study published in the April issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery reveals the psychological impact that the condition may pose to men who suffer with gynecomastia. According to the study, it was inferred that gynecomastia adversely affects self esteem and overall quality of life in those participants diagnosed with the condition.
The study assessed a group of 47 boys being evaluated for gynecomastia. Participants were given a series of psychological tests. The results were then compared to a control group of participants without gynecomastia. Compared to the control group, patients with gynecomastia generated lower scores on tests which were constructed to evaluate general health, mental health, social function and self esteem.
Dr. Brian Labow who conducted the study explains, “Merely having gynecomastia was sufficient to cause significant deficits in general health, social functioning, mental health, self-esteem, and eating behaviors and attitudes compared with controls.”
Given the findings of this study, it is natural to assume that the treatment of gynecomastia may not only result in cosmetic improvement, but a potential psychological improvement as well.
In mild cases, liposuction alone can correct Gynecomastia. However, patients with a considerable amount of tissue or poor skin quality will need to undergo a formal breast reduction involving the surgical excision of excess breast tissue along with liposuction. For three to six weeks following the surgery, patients are advised to refrain from strenuous activities . It is also important to note that scars will be present at the incision sites. Typically, cost for breast reduction starts at around $4,000.
We offer male breast reduction at our surgery practice in Chattanooga, Tennessee. If you are interested in scheduling a private, complimentary consultation with our Board Certified Surgeons, call 423-648-4011.