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Mastopexy in Men: Say Goodbye to Gynecomastia

You might be surprised to learn that one of the fastest growing plastic surgery procedures performed on men in America is… the breast reduction. In 2016, almost 30,000 surgeries of this type were performed on men for a condition called gynecomastia or it’s relative pseudogynecomastia.

Gynecomastia comes from a combination of the Greek words for woman (gynae) and breast (mastos), and it is a term used to describe enlarged breast tissue in men. True gynecomastia is characterized by an overgrowth of glandular tissue. This usually manifests as a small tender lump of glandular breast tissue beneath the nipple/areola. It is not uncommon to see this problem in adolescent males, but in most it will resolve as they get older. Pseudo– (Greek for false) gynecomastia is characterized by increased fat deposits in the breast area.

Both conditions (which for convenience are often both referred to as gynecomastia) are common, affecting up to a third of all men. The problem is benign but can cause social and psychological discomfort.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, gynecomastia is characterized by the following signs:

  • Excess localized fat
  • Excess glandular tissue development
  • Sometimes excess breast skin
  • Presence unilaterally (one breast) or bilaterally (both breasts)

Though for most cases of gynecomastia there is no identifiable reason for its occurrence, it can be the result of a hormone imbalance: either the presence of too much estrogen or too little testosterone. Drugs including anabolic steroids, certain antidepressants, and alcohol have been linked to this condition as have certain medical conditions, a few of which are listed below:

  • Kidney disease and dialysis
  • Tumor
  • Obesity
  • Extreme stress
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Liver disease

Depending on the level of physical or social discomfort that accompanies the condition, with the help of a qualified plastic surgeon, the problem can be fixed. Excess skin, fat, and glandular tissue can be removed with a breast reduction, also called reduction mammaplasty.

In many cases this surgery involves a small incision at the border of the areola to remove the offending glandular tissue with any excess fat addressed as needed with liposuction. When the condition is more advanced, it can be corrected with a chest lift, or mastopexy, similar to a breast lift in women.

The severity of the condition, the elasticity of the skin, and the amount of sagging all help to determine the type of mastopexy needed to restore a firmer and more masculine appearance to the chest. The location and extent of the incision depend on the amount of tissue removed and include the following types of mastopexy:

Periareolar or doughnut mastopexy

An incision is made around the areola. Excess skin, fat and glandular tissue are removed. With this technique the areola can be made smaller.

Circumvertical mastopexy

A keyhole incision is made around the areola and down to the crease of the breast in order to remove more excess skin, fat and glandular tissue. The areola can be reduced in size as well.

Extended circumvertical mastopexy

An inverted “T” incision pattern allows the removal of more skin, fat, and glandular tissue and relocation of the areola. In some cases, the vertical scar below the areola is extended out toward the armpit.

To learn how plastic surgeons like Dr. Slack minimize the appearance of scars see our post: Best Practices for Minimizing Scars. You can also look through this male breast reduction before and after photo gallery to see how discrete the scarring can be.

In addition to years of experience, Dr. Slack has completed a fellowship and extensive training in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast. He says the best candidate for the surgery:

If you are a man suffering from a sagging chest or gynecomastia and want to know if you are a candidate for surgery, contact us today and schedule your consultation.

Men Have Plastic Surgery, Too

men have plastic surgery

You might be surprised by just how many men are having plastic surgery these days. Men in Brazil, Japan, Germany, and across the United States. And yes, men right here in Collin County, Texas.

Across the world, men have nearly 14 percent of all cosmetic procedures, according to a 2015 report. That’s 2.5 million cosmetic procedures a year. And this appears to be an upward trend, especially in the United States.

“Male plastic surgery rates have significantly increased since 2000 and the notion that cosmetic procedures are just for women no longer exists.” American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Why are more men having plastic surgery?

While we can’t give a definitive answer here, we know it is not because men are less attractive than they used to be. Men today have many of the same issues with aging, body image, and societal pressures that they have always had. But doing something about any one of these things, namely having a cosmetic procedure to change it, has become much less stigmatized.

With the loosening of these taboos, plastic surgery practices (ours included) have increasingly opened their doors to men. This means creating a more unisex environment and taking into account the unique physical and psychological needs of each patient, no matter their gender.

Which procedures do men most often get?

Non-Surgical

While men still don’t come in for a cosmetic procedure nearly as often as women, their visits are rising quickly, especially in the area of non-surgical procedures. Since the year 2000, botox injections for men have risen 355 percent. In 2015 nearly 500,000 botox injections were given to men, according to a report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Other non-surgical procedures are also increasingly sought out by men.

The most common non-surgical cosmetic procedures for men are listed below:

Surgical

Men get about 8 percent of the total number of surgical or reconstructive procedures performed in the U.S.. Coming in at number one for men? The nose job, or rhinoplasty. In 2015, the two most commonly performed procedures on men were rhinoplasty and eyelid surgery. But, the two fastest rising procedures among men, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ 2014 procedural statistics, are pectoral implants and male breast reductions.

Here are the most common types of plastic surgery requested by men:

What are the special considerations for men?

“Our society places a high value on looking young and fit. Today, men of all ages and all walks of life are requesting plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons.” American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Men often have different aims than women when having plastic surgery. According to a 2016 survey review, they tend to be less inclined to have procedures associated with long downtime. This may be because of social stigma or a desire to get back to work sooner. They also tend to choose just one surgical procedure at a time, while women are more likely to combine them.

Men also have different anatomy and physiology that needs to be considered when planning any kind of plastic surgery. For example, men tend to have different bone structure, with larger foreheads, flatter cheeks, and a more prominent brow bone. Building up too much facial volume can make a man look more threatening or aggressive than he wants. Conversely, taking away too much volume can result in more feminization than desired.

Men also tend to have larger muscles, thicker skin, and more body hair. Some research has also shown that men have a more robust blood supply to the skin, which can have an effect on bleeding and bruising.

Plastic surgery for men and women is as different as men and women themselves. But one thing we all have in common – we want to look our best. A good plastic surgeon can help both men and women do just that.

If you are a man considering plastic surgery and you have any questions, contact us today and schedule your consultation.