Gynecomastia is the term physicians use for abnormal breast development in males. Gynecomastia is actually a fairly common condition in men, with studies showing that nearly 50% of all men can become affected. The condition can occur on one or both sides of the chest, and is a combination of extra breast and fatty tissue in the area.
Some cases of Gynecomastia are secondary to a normal pattern of a young man’s chest development. These cases usually develop at the onset of puberty, and usually abate by age 20. Gynecomastia can also develop in otherwise healthy males. Causes can include increased production of estrogen (female hormone), decreased production of testosterone (male hormone), or certain drugs. Men who have used anabolic steroids are also at risk. Other less common causes include the drugs: alcohol, marijuana, spironolactone, cimetidine, some anti-depressants. Gynecomastia may also be an early sign of liver disease. Nevertheless, most cases will have no obvious underlying cause.
The majority of boys who do develop gynecomastia will never require any treatment, as the condition will slowly resolve with time. For patients who aren’t so fortunate treatment is readily available. Treatment typically consists of removing the redundant breast tissue and fat by a combination of direct excision and liposuction. After Dr. Parson has completed his examination he will be able to develop a specific surgical approach that is unique to each patient. Incisions are typically very small and can be hidden by the areola. In cases of more severe gynecomastia excessive skin may also need to be removed. This will necessitate larger scars being placed by Dr. Parson.
The first office visit is a time when both you and Dr. Parson can become acquainted with one another. Dr. Parson will listen to your specific concerns and goals in regards to your breasts. You will also have a chance to meet with other members of Dr. Parson’s team. During the visit a thorough medical history and physical examination will be obtained. Dr. Parson will also use the state-of-the art TouchMD system. TouchMD is designed to help you, as a patient, be better informed and aware of your medical experiences. You will be given access to the mytouchmd.com web portal, which will allow you to relive the experience you had in the doctor’s exam room.
Dr. Parson will then develop a surgical plan that is specific to each patient. He will explain, in easy to understand terms, why certain procedures are better “fits” for each patient’s various situations. In most cases, male breast reduction surgery is the only effective form of therapy for gynecomastia. The approach that Dr. Parson recommends will depend on the degree of breast enlargement, the degree of underlying fat, and the overall quality of each patient’s skin.
Gynecomastia surgery is performed with a general anesthetic. Our board-certified anesthesiologist feels that this method of anesthesia provides the greatest degree of patient satisfaction for this procedure. Gynecomastia surgery usually takes 2 hours to perform. Dr. Parson will utilize one of several techniques depending on the amount of breast tissue present. When the amount of gynecomastia is small, Dr. Parson will employ only an incision around the areola. For more severe forms of gynecomastia, an “anchor-type” incision may be necessary. Following the surgery a snug “pressure” dressing will be applied to the chest.
Dr. Shaun Parson is a board certified plastic surgeon and a leading provider of male breast reduction. If you are suffering from gynecomastia and would like to learn more about your treatment options, please contact his office today at 480-282-8386 to schedule a consultation.