Finding the Best Way to Diminish Male Breast Tissue
Shaming is not among the best ways to treat gynecomastia, and yet there is no shortage of “man boob” jokes out there. That’s not to say that gynecomastia is a dire and serious condition at all times. And, certainly, humor is an excellent way to cope with some of the situations brought on by gynecomastia. However, when it comes to actually treating gynecomastia, there are several good approaches to consider.
Of course, gynecomastia (or the development of male breast tissue) can develop in any number of ways and for a wide variety of reasons. Determining the nature of your gynecomastia is really the first step into figuring out the appropriate way to treat it. Because, thankfully, patients do have a wide variety of options.
And getting results is quite important. For many patients, treating their gynecomastia is really about regaining their feelings of masculinity and youthfulness. Finding the best way to treat gynecomastia can really help patients do that as quickly as possible.
What Causes Gynecomastia?
Simply put, gynecomastia is the medical term for the development of male breast tissue. Now, breast tissue is itself not quite a monolith. There are a many different components to it, even though we call “breast tissue” by a singular name. Sometimes breast tissue is composed of muscle, sometimes it can be fat, and in still other instances breast tissue is mostly excess skin.
The causes are quite numerous, but they can usually be boiled down to the following possibilities:
- Change in diet: In some cases, gynecomastia is brought on by changes to your diet (or by continued poor diet choices). In other words, sometimes it’s a matter of suddenly increasing the amount of calories you take in. This can lead to the development of excess fat in the chest area.
- Change in activity: Gynecomastia is relatively common in men who are former athletes. The reason is pretty simple: Former pro, semi-pro, and serious athletes are used to expending a significant amount of energy on a daily basis; so when that stops, the body finds it difficult to adjust even with changes to diet. As such, male breast tissue can then form.
- Medications or hormones: In some cases, specific medication types (and hormone types) can cause the development of male breast tissue. In these cases, it’s wise to proceed with caution and tell your surgeon about all medications and hormones you are taking (avoiding any interactions is a paramount concern).
- Genetics: Sometimes it’s all in your genes. It’s not uncommon for gynecomastia to be caused by simple genetics. Of course, there’s nothing very “simple” about it. The interaction of genetics is quite difficult to predict—and it’s even hard to know when gynecomastia develops because of “genes” or because of other factors.
It’s also a distinct possibility that all of these factors combine in some way. That is, it’s not uncommon for patients of gynecomastia to have a genetic predisposition that is then exacerbated by diet or exercise issues.
Forms of Gynecomastia
As mentioned above, however, male breast tissue is not always “fat.” There are several ways that gynecomastia can manifest, and knowing which one you’re dealing with can help you develop the best treatment for male breast tissue. Generally, male breast tissue can be composed of:
- Excess skin
- Excess fat
- Excess muscle
- Some combination of the above
You’ll probably discuss this with your plastic surgeon during your consultation. Together, you’ll be quite likely to determine the exact cause of your gynecomastia, its composition, and the best way to proceed.
What are the Best Treatments for Gynecomastia?
In general, there is no single best treatment for gynecomastia. Much will depend on you, your unique situation, and the composition of your male breast tissue. However, several treatments are widely available, and they vary in both invasiveness and effectiveness. In some cases, you’ll be able to get by with a non surgical procedure. In other cases, you might need a full breast reduction surgery.
The options are as follows.
Famous as a kind of non surgical liposuction, CoolSculpting procedures have actually found some success in treating male breast tissue. However, there are some caveats. CoolSculpting only works on fat. So you’ll need to make sure that your breast tissue is, well, actually composed of fat. If that is the case, you’ll be able to get some results with the procedure. Essentially CoolSculpting freezes fat away (the fat cells are much more vulnerable to cold than skin cells, something this procedure takes advantage of).
The procedure usually takes about 30 minutes to complete, though many gynecomastia patients require several treatments to see ideal results. There’s no real “recovery” time, though, so patients can typically return to work the same day as their CoolSculpting. This procedure probably won’t generate huge results, but it will likely help those who are suffering from minimal gynecomastia.
In cases where CoolSculpting isn’t the right choice, patients will likely have to opt for a specialized procedure known as gynecomastia surgery. This procedure combines a couple of things: liposuction and the elimination of excess skin. The liposuction is designed to get rid of the fat causing the male breast tissue to form, while the elimination of excess skin is usually able to address any other causes.
In general, patients can expect to spend a couple of weeks recovering from gynecomastia surgery. The incisions involved vary, depending on the extent of work that needs to be accomplished. Even in cases where the gynecomastia is caused by excess fat, only removing that fat would lead to excess skin. In most cases, then, gynecomastia involves both aspects of the procedure even if the root cause is only one or the other.
Whether patients decide on going with CoolSculpting or with surgery (or with whatever else is on the horizon—we may not be that far off from something like Kybella being used to treat gynecomastia), what’s important is the results. And Gynecomastia is famous for getting great results for patients.
Once the procedure is complete, patients are likely to find a profile that is significantly more masculine, athletic, and younger-looking. This means that gynecomastia has a pretty high success and satisfaction rate. Part of that depends on maintaining realistic expectations throughout the process. But part of that high success and satisfaction rate also depends on finding the best treatment for your gynecomastia. There are many best ways to treat gynecomastia, after all—focus on the one that’s right for you.