Medically reviewed by Mr. Omar Tillo — MD, MS, EBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast)
Gynecomastia, also known as man boobs, is the name given to overdeveloped breast tissue in men. Many men wish to achieve a more contoured and toned chest by removing this excess tissue. In this article, we will discuss if gynecomastia can reduce naturally and if a male breast reduction may be suitable for you.
Does Gynecomastia Go Away Naturally?
Whether gynecomastia can go away naturally is dependent on its exact cause. Enlarged breasts in men is caused by a hormone imbalance of oestrogen and testosterone. It is, therefore, not surprising that puberty can cause gynecomastia. As such, many young men find that, once hormones level out into early adulthood, the gynecomastia naturally resolves.
However, gynecomastia caused by other underlying health conditions, particular medication use (such as steroids), illicit drug use (such as marijuana), genetics, ageing, and weight fluctuation may not naturally go away.
How to Treat Gynecomastia
For gynecomastia that does not naturally subside, patients may wish to undergo a male breast reduction to remove the excess tissue. It is important that patients choose a plastic surgeon who specialises in performing this niche male contouring procedure.
Many men choose to undergo a male breast reduction to remove excess breast tissue and excess skin. Some patients may also benefit from complementary cosmetic procedures like liposuction to remove any excess fat. Overall, gynecomastia surgery can help to reveal a flatter and more contoured chest area.
The major benefit of removing the excess breast tissue is that patients get to enjoy the aesthetic benefits of a flatter, sculpted chest area.
In addition, many men struggle with discomfort due to enlarged breasts, which can make engaging in strenuous activity and wearing tight clothing more difficult.
A male breast reduction can therefore help patients feel more comfortable in form-fitting clothing and engage in a more active lifestyle. Patients with severe gynecomastia also find that male breast reduction surgery corrects associated health issues such as back pain and poor posture, improving quality of life.
Before and After
In general, the cost of gynecomastia at the CREO Clinic starts at £6,900. The exact cost is dependent on the type of anaesthetic used and whether the plastic surgeon uses skin tightening or liposuction.
As gynecomastia surgery is a personalised cosmetic procedure, patients will receive a full cost breakdown following a 1-to-1 consultation with our body contouring surgeon, Dr Omar Tillo. During this, he will be able to explain the exact surgical techniques needed to achieve your desired result.
In general, after the preferred anaesthetic is administered, the surgeon will make an incision around the nipple area. The exact size and location of these incisions are dependent on several factors, including the amount of excess tissue. After the surplus glandular tissue and skin are removed, the remaining skin is tightened while stitching the incision sites.
After gynecomastia surgery, your surgeon will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions as well as any required prescriptions for pain management to ensure the most comfortable gynecomastia surgery recovery possible.
Patients may immediately notice side effects such as swelling, soreness, and bruising in the chest area, which typically dissipates over the first few days after male breast reduction surgery. Patients are generally able to resume most daily activities 1-2 weeks after surgery but are advised to wait up to six weeks before engaging in any strenuous exercise.
Patients will immediately notice their flatter and more sculpted chest area. However, patients will not be able to see the full effect of their plastic surgery until swelling completely dissipates, which can take up to six months. After this, patients will be able to enjoy the improved aesthetic of a more contoured and defined chest.
What Causes Gynecomastia
There are several factors that can contribute to breast tissue growth in men. In general, gynecomastia is caused by an imbalance of the sex hormones oestrogen and testosterone. When the female sex hormone, oestrogen, is in higher levels than normal in men, it can cause the overdevelopment of breast tissue. This can be caused by a plethora of factors:
Men can experience gynecomastia at various stages of their life. It’s common for male infants to be born with excess breast tissue due to the effects of their mother’s oestrogen. However, this typically subsides two to three weeks after birth.
As the hormone levels fluctuate during puberty, it is relatively common for teenage boys to develop gynecomastia. In most cases, this usually goes away naturally, as hormones stabilise, without the need for treatment, within six months to two years.
Older men can also experience gynecomastia as testosterone levels decrease naturally. In addition, older men often have excess fat, which can trigger a further imbalance of hormones.
Medications and Supplements
Various medications that interfere with hormone levels can result in the development of excess breast tissue. These include anti-ulcer drugs and medications used to treat heart disease. Furthermore, illegal drugs such as cannabis and anabolic steroids can lead to a hormonal imbalance resulting in gynecomastia.
There are several health conditions that can contribute to gynecomastia:
Males who do not produce enough testosterone to counteract the effects of oestrogen on breast development can experience the growth of excess tissue. Some conditions that reduce testosterone production, such as Klinefelter syndrome and pituitary insufficiency, can experience related gynecomastia.
In rare cases, tumours affecting the testes, adrenal glands, or pituitary glands can interfere with normal hormone production, leading to excess breast tissue development.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland produces an excessive amount of the hormone thyroxine. This can cause hormones to become imbalanced, resulting in gynecomastia.
Most men do not report symptoms of gynecomastia besides the presence of excess male breast tissue. However, some signs and symptoms can include:
- Pain, particularly in adolescent boys
- Swollen male breast tissue
- Tenderness of the enlarged breasts
- Excess nipple sensitivity
Is Gynecomastia Surgery Worth It?
Many men struggle with gynecomastia and wish to have a more contoured and flatter chest. Gynecomastia surgery is an increasingly popular plastic surgery that can help patients achieve their body goals by removing excess tissue and skin.
This can provide an aesthetic benefit to patients, as well as a boost in comfort when wearing tight clothes and engaging in strenuous exercise. As such, many patients regard gynecomastia surgery to be a worthwhile cosmetic procedure.
Schedule a Consultation with CREO Clinic Today
If you desire a more contoured and flatter chest, you may be a good candidate to undergo a gynecomastia procedure. At the CREO Clinic, our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr Omar Tillo is a specialist in male plastic surgery and has mastered the fine art and clinical expertise necessary to carry out gynecomastia procedures.
Contact the CREO Clinic today to schedule a 1-to-1 consultation with Dr Tillo, and find out how gynecomastia surgery can be tailored to help you reach your body goals.