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Male breast enlargement is socially a very embarassing problem for young men in high school and for older adult males.  It even has been dubbed “Man Boobs” to add insult to those who suffer from gynecomastia. 

I received the below inquiry.  The name and any personal information is omitted of course for patient confidentiality.

Blog.laserandvein.com question: “I have Gynecomastia and it is very embarassing…How can i get rid of it???”

Thank you for your question regarding gynecomastia or otherwise known as male breast enlargement.

I understand your feelings of embarrassment.  I have taken care of young men who otherwise had a positive self image but were so embarrassed by their enlarged breasts that it kept them from participating in sports and certainly they would never go shirtless.  Following their treatment they found an increased self-confidence because the gynecomastia was no longer present.   

 I will respond in general as I do not have any of your medical history.

 Gynecomastia is a enlargement of the male breast tissue.  Yes, all of us males have a small amount of breast tissue under our nipple/areola. 

 Usually it is small and not noticeable.  However this breast tissue may enlarge (hypertrophy) as we go through puberty and our early adult life.  This is usually due to  the hormonal changes that allows us to develop into adult males.  In many instances the gynecomastia resolves  as one enters in to complete adulthood.  Weight gain can aggravate the gynecomastia.

 In older males gynecomastia can be due to medications, liver disease, hormonal changes as well as weight gain.  A rare cause of gynecomastia is a hormone producing testicular tumor.  A medical history and physical exam will rule out these potential causes.  These men feel that they no longer look “Manly”.   

In both instances one option is to surgically make an incision around the areola and to excise the breast tissue and surrounding fat pad.  If the amount of gynecomastia is just a small tender mass from a quarter to half dollar size than this may be the most direct and complete treatment.  This is usually performed by a general surgeon.  In my previous career as a general surgeon I found this treatment to have a high level of patient satisfaction. 

 However if your gynecomastia is larger with a surrounding fat pad that more resembles a female breast then SmartLipo laser liposuction may be your better option.   Our web site link is http://laserandvein.com/smartlipo.php.  I perform SmartLipo completely under local anesthesia through two small 3 mm. size needle holes.  The laser melts the fat and breast tissue.  After this tissue is liquefied we suction the entire breast and chest area with a small suction tube. 

 The procedure takes about 90 minutes.   You walk out of the office approximately 15 minutes later.  Because of some mild oral sedatives Rx: Benadryl and Ativan someone else will have to drive you home.  A compression garment will be worn post laser liposuction.

 If you are interested in an educational and complementary consultation please call our office at (707) 542-8346.  Our laser liposuction liaisons Angela or Patty (ext. 305) would be happy to discuss your specific concerns to determine if you are a good candidate for SmartLipo.

 Thank you again for contacting us,

 Walter Tom

Walter W. Tom, MD, FACS

Medical Director

Aesthetic Laser & Vein Centers