Barney Frank’s recent moobs scandal racing across the social media networks brings light to this topic. Men are supposed to have flat chests but a staggering number of men are also going under the surgical knife to improve how their chest looks and to correct a common condition called gynecomastia.
Also known as “puffy nipples”, gynecomastia is a condition characterized by excess localized fat and/or glandular tissue development in the chest that is not related to obesity. Although it affects three out of four teenage boys, the condition typically goes away as they mature. But for those few men who are unable to shake the problem, gynecomastia can be a source of unending embarrassment and bad locker-room jokes. But instead of suffering in silence, healthy men can snip the problem away with a simple plastic surgery.
“Gynecomastia surgery is fairly common for men of all ages,” says South Florida plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Wigoda, “The ages of patients I see who request to have their chests made smaller ranges from teenagers to men in their sixties.”
More and more men are viewing plastic surgery as a viable option for improving their overall appearance. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported on the trend earlier this year. About 1.1 million cosmetic procedures were performed on men in 2011, which represented a 2% increase over 2010.
Gynecomastia is a fairly simple procedure, but traditional suction-assisted liposuction is often not adequate. Most patients, however, can be successfully treated with ultrasonic liposuction, which uses sound waves to loosen and liquefy fat in the chest area for easy removal. In some cases, glandular tissue may need to be cut out. In situations like these, an incision is made on the lower half of the areola and the excess tissue is removed. The scar left behind is generally barely visible.
Even men with breasts that are large and ptotic can be treated. This usually requires the removal of excess skin, so greater scarring may occur. Gynecomastia can be performed with local anesthesia and sedation, or general anesthesia depending on the situation.
“Most patients do not have significant pain afterward and can resume normal non-strenuous activities in a few days,” says Dr. Wigoda. “I typically recommend waiting four weeks before exercising.”
Before getting gynecomastia sugery, it is important that you approach the procedure with the right frame of mind. You should do it for yourself, and not to fit someone else’s beauty ideal. Set realistic expectations about what you will look like after the surgery. You should also be physically healthy and at a normal weight, and your breast development should have reached a stable state.
If your breasts are out of proportion to the rest of your chest or you are embarrassed to take your shirt off in public, then gynecomastia surgery may be the answer to your problem. Stop by Dr. Wigoda’s website to see how this experienced South Florida plastic surgeon can help you.