While gynecomastia surgery is a body contouring procedure in which the overlarge male breasts are reduced through the use of incisions, its benefits are often far beyond cosmetics; this is particularly true among patients who have been taunted and teased because of their unusual breast size.
As more and more people become aware of male breast reduction surgery, it has been one of the most commonly performed plastic surgeries over the past several years. In 2012 alone, about 20,700 underwent the procedure (many of them were under the age of 18) performed by US board-certified plastic surgeons.
One recent study has suggested that even the mildest form of male enlargement, whose primary cause is yet to be determined by experts, is enough to have a detrimental impact on one’s body image and self-esteem.
The study involved boys with breast enlargement who scored lower in terms of body image, mental health, and social functioning compared with their peers of the same age and gender who were unaffected by the condition.
Another surprising finding was that boys with the condition were more likely to exhibit eating disorder, which could be their way to cope with emotional and psychological stress of being taunted.
Some plastic surgeons have suggested that eating disorder may also be attributed to the goal of some boys and even adult men to gain more weight in an attempt to hide their distinctly large breasts.
But despite the negative impact of male breast enlargement as suggested by many experts, it is surprising that health insurance rarely covers the cost of surgery to correct this problem. In contrast, female breast reduction is now often covered particularly if the condition leads to poor posture, chronic back and shoulder pain, rounded shoulders, etc.
Meanwhile, the good thing about gynecomastia surgery is that its results tend to last a lifetime as long as the patients are able to maintain their ideal weight throughout their lives. Nevertheless, a few may need revisions in the future in the event that enlargement does recur.
The surgery is performed by literally removing some of the excess skin, tissue, and/or fat, while still making sure that the breast’s natural contour is preserved. For better results, some patients may require nipple repositioning and/or liposuction to further remove the excess fat.