Being unhappy with the size and shape of the chest is not exclusive to women. Gynecomastia, or “man boobs”, is an incredibly common condition that affects over 50% of the male population. Until recently, men were reluctant to discuss their chest, even with a doctor, and were therefore often ignorant of the fact that there are treatment options for reducing any fullness in the area. Thankfully, social media has helped to diminish this old stigma. As a body contouring expert, the male chest reduction has long been one of the cornerstones of my practice. Just as there are varying reasons for and degrees of fullness in the chest, there are also a number of different procedures at my disposal for re-sculpting your torso into its proper proportion. The right one for you is going to completely depend on whether or not your fullness is due to an excess of breast tissue and fat, or fat alone. Liposuction or a non-invasive body contouring procedure like SculpSure® for gynecomastia may be good options if you are concerned with the latter.
Men Have Chest Glandular Tissue Too
One of things that always surprises my male patients is being told that we all have breast glandular tissue, similar to women, and we all have estrogen. In fact, an imbalance between your estrogen and testosterone levels can often be an underlying factor in “man boobs”, and explains why the incidence of developing them increases with age. Understanding the root cause of the fullness in your chest is critical for determining the best treatment plan for your unique anatomy and needs.
As mentioned, I love that social media has brought gynecomastia into the light. However, I can’t tell you how often a man comes in to see me wanting liposuction or SculpSure® to reduce their chest fullness when they actually need male chest reduction surgery to address excess chest tissue that is both glandular and fatty. This is why it is so important to schedule an in-person consultation with a body contouring expert.
Gynecomastia Consultation in Boston
One of the reasons that I love gynecomastia procedures is that, as a man, I understand the male psyche. I know how to help my male patients to feel more comfortable in their skin by teaching them about their body contouring options. An excess of fat and/or glandular tissue can really wreak havoc on a man’s self-confidence. Since a smooth, flat chest has always been perceived as “masculine”, gynecomastia may make you feel self-conscious to the point where it actually adversely affects your social life, work life, and romantic interactions. During your consultation, I will listen closely to what bothers you about your appearance. I will ask questions about your medical history, family history, lifestyle, and tolerance for downtime. I will also perform a thorough physical exam to assess:
- Chest fat
- Degree of excess glandular tissue, if any
- Skin tone
In patients whose issue is due to fat alone, we can discuss liposuction versus SculpSure® for gynecomastia.
Liposuction for Gynecomastia
When it comes to body contouring procedures for fat reduction, liposuction is always going to be the gold standard. It gives me the most access in order to precisely re-sculpt your torso. The important thing to remember about fat is that it is not a blanket enemy. You need fat. We just want it to be placed strategically in order to create the ideal peaks and valleys for your torso. This is why I typically refer to my liposuction procedures as liposculpture.
The downside of liposuction is that it is a surgical procedure. While the incisions through which I place the cannula to remove the fat are tiny, this is a procedure that requires some downtime. You will also need to wear a compression garment afterwards in order to reduce swelling, speed up your healing process and improve your end results. This can be a stumbling block for some men. However, one of the many benefits of liposuction for gynecomastia is that it is typically a one and done procedure. So, while the initial investment of your time may be heavier than you’d like, you have to amortize this investment over the many years that you’ll enjoy your results.
SculpSure® for Gynecomastia
SculpSure®, on the other hand, is a non-surgical procedure that uses laser heat to reduce the number of fat cells in your chest. It requires no anesthesia, no incisions, and no downtime. Furthermore, you will not need to wear a compression garment afterwards. However, it will take a series of treatments, spaced 6-8 weeks apart, to achieve your final results. Also, not every man is an ideal candidate for SculpSure®. And the end result will not be as precise or as robust. For some men, this is a fair trade-off for no downtime. I am always very honest about what you can expect to achieve with each procedure. This way, you can make an informed decision about what’s right for you.
To find out more about liposuction, SculpSure or male chest reduction surgery for gynecomastia, or any surgical or non-surgical procedure with Dr. Sean Doherty at his Boston or Brookline office, contact us today or call (617) 450-0070 to schedule a consultation.