__ How do I know if have man boobs or gynecomastia?
This is a very commonly asked question and difficult. The decision is based on history and physical exam.
- If it you developed gyno
- If you were very heavy as a young man or maybe obese, it may be just pseudogynecomastia due to fat deposit. If so, this can be reduced with weight loss. Sometimes a heavy person can have gynecomastia underneath the fat layer and becomes apparent after the weight loss.
- Steroid use is very common. Your chest is perfectly fine and you start to take steroid supplements either knowingly or unknowingly. Your chest gland tissue begins to enlarge, especially after you discontinued the drug. It may be tender and often very firm.
- You’re older in life and notice male breast enlargement. Men over 50 years old start to have reduced levels of testosterone. This imbalance will cause an increase in the female characteristic hormone estrogen and cause breast development.
__ When should I have gynecomastia male breast reduction surgery?
The answer is fairly simple. When you are socially embarrassed or depressed over the situation to the point that you are uncomfortable taking off your shirt. Your self-esteem is significantly affected, or you are not comfortable with intimacy in your relationships. When sports in school change from fun to no participation, no more shirts and skins, or swimming, it may be time to think about surgery.
__ Is there a nonsurgical cure for gynecomastia?
You may see advertisements and stories in the news about easy nonsurgical treatments for gynecomastia, but Dr. Delgado says this is all hype and marketing. He has seen many patients who have tried various things and they have discussed their dissatisfaction. Much research is underway to find a medical alternative. Some of these drugs can be viewed under the gynecomastia section.
__ Is liposuction by itself adequate treatment? I want to avoid surgery.
The use of liposuction by itself is not adequate treatment for true gynecomastia. The exception is pseudogynecomastia, which is due to being overweight, and then liposuction is a good option. If only the fat is removed around the gland it will create an unnaturally looking bulb of breast tissue since the liposuction does not remove the glandular tissue. Treatment by liposuction alone leaves many patients dissatisfied. Dr. Delgado’s male breast reduction practice comprises of 40% of revision surgeries from patients who are not satisfied from other physician practices. Many of these patients had liposuction only.
__ Is the entire breast gland removed during surgery?
Not in all cases, it is considered a cosmetic procedure. Enough tissue needs to be removed to create a well sculpted, contoured chest. In some cases all of the gland is removed, and in some cases only 80 to 90% of the gland is removed. Dr. Delgado will be glad to discuss all aspects of your surgical procedure with you.
__ Will the breast tissue come back after surgery?
Rarely, but the remaining breast tissue can still be stimulated and enlarged by steroids or other drugs. Of course weight gain can increase the fat content of the overall chest and body.
Gynecomastia seldom returns if enough of the gland is removed during the surgical procedure.
However, this is not a cancer procedure but a cosmetic one. The goal is to have a nice male looking chest. To achieve this, breast tissue often will remain.
Dr. Delgado has seen that treatment of adolescent gynecomastia can recur naturally because at this young age the hormones are still surging. This can be unpredictable.
__ Is gynecomastia surgery covered by insurance?
Insurance companies consider gynecomastia cosmetic surgery. Dr. Delgado disagrees with this determination and on multiple occasions has appealed to insurance companies, but it is rarely a covered procedure even for the most severe cases.
__ Is male breast reduction surgery painful?
Most men state that they find gyno reduction surgery is not very painful and only take pain medication for 2 or 3 days. Removing drains can be uncomfortable but recently an improved technique has made the pain minimal. The Gynecomastia Center of Excellence is surprised how well our patients do and how the discomfort is controlled.
__ What is the Cost?
Depending on the complexity of the surgery will determine the cost. The Gynecomastia Center of Excellence at Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center always uses a Board Certified physician anesthesiologist, who uses general anesthesia, and never local anesthesia. Dr. Delgado’s surgical staff is personally trained to the highest standards. The surgery center has Federal and California State accreditation for an outpatient surgical center.
All of this is important to remember when comparing the costs of various providers. The general cost range is $8500 to $12000 depending on the complexity and time required for surgery. Gyno-surgery is an investment in your future and even though the cost is significant, it does not compare with the lifelong enjoyment you will have from having a flat and contoured chest.
__ When will I be able to return to work?
Within a few days patients are able to drive a car. Within a week or less, the patient can return to school or work, if it is a white collar job.
However, if the work is demanding physically, then 2 weeks of recovery will be required. Patients need to wait for 4 to 6 weeks after surgery before resuming formal exercise.