A big concern for some men considering male breast reduction surgery is “will their breasts grow back?” This is a valid concern as it is difficult enough to decide to have surgery only to have the male breasts come back. In most cases, the results are permanent. However, there are instances that “man boobs” may return.
Not All Tissue and Fat Are Removed
True gynecomastia is treated by surgically removing most of the breast tissue and fat, however, some remains to give a sculpted chest and support the areola. It is the small amount that remains that could be a potential problem in the future.
If surgery is done for a young adolescent, male breasts may return because hormones are still stimulating overgrowth. Body builders know gynecomastia is a risk if they use anabolic steroids and they realize man boobs may return if they continue to use steroids after surgery, some choose to use drugs to block estrogenic effects.
Factors That Cause Man Boobs to Return
Patients who frequently use marijuana may find their male breasts return after surgery if they resume use. Another possible factor for breasts returning is if the patient should gain a lot of weight. Even though the fat cells that were removed won’t come back, the remaining fat cells could become enlarged. Other factors that may cause breasts to return could be certain medications or having a hormonal imbalance. Uncommon, but possible is scar tissue buildup.
To determine the probability of regrowth of breasts, finding the original cause can help in preventing recurrence after surgery. The main cause is puberty; but the breasts usually disappear after the teenage years on their own. Besides puberty, the main reasons for male breast growth are:
• Imbalance of testosterone and estrogen levels
• Decrease in testosterone production, common in older men
• Some medications
• Marijuana and other recreational drugs
• Psychological stress
If any of these conditions can be treated before surgery, it is recommended to do so to prevent regrowth. Unfortunately, the cause of male breasts is not always known; this is referred to as idiopathic gynecomastia.
The good news is that male breasts do not cause any health concerns but do cause a lot of angst for many men, a high percentage will seek surgical correction. Results are almost always long lasting without recurrence, in all the years that Dr. Miguel Delgado, M.D. has been performing gynecomastia surgery, he has seen very few cases where men have had a recurrence. Dr. Delgado recommends that his gynecomastia patients maintain a healthy lifestyle including exercise and good eating habits.
If male breasts are disrupting your life, call Dr. Delgado (415) 898-4161 today for a consultation.