San Francisco, CA-What is gynecomastia? Gynecomastia, also known as moobs, man breasts, and man boobs are the description of the development of male breasts, it will affect 60% or more of all men at some point in their lifetime.
The question of possible non-surgical options for getting rid of gynecomastia comes up frequently for all gynecomastia surgeons from adolescents and men hoping to find a resolution to get rid of the male breasts without cosmetic surgery.
The cause for some types of gynecomastia needs to be ruled out before attempting surgery or non-surgical methods. For example, 90% of adolescents will find their gynecomastia will go away on its own after puberty with no treatment at all. If a patient is suffering from “pseudo-gynecomastia” which is caused by fat alone, weight loss or liposuction may get rid of the man boobs, but liposuction is a surgical procedure. Some men will find that losing weight or removal by liposuction will leave them with loose skin, and then may opt for surgical skin tightening.
For all others, it is important to try to determine the cause of the development of male breasts so that it will not reoccur if surgical intervention is the choice. For example, many men develop breasts while taking certain prescriptions drugs, or steroids, or smoke marijuana or other illicit drugs. Consulting with a gynecomastia specialist is recommended to help determine the cause and to stop the offending drug or find an alternative.
There are men suffering with moobs that do not have surgery as an option. There are some measures that can be taken, but unfortunately, none will actually get rid of their gynecomastia.
One option that some men choose is to wear a gynecomastia compression type shirt; there are many styles and manufacturers to choose from and can usually be worn undetected under clothing. However, the compression vests can be binding and/or hot, and a trip to the beach or swimming or any activity that involves removing ones shirt, still presents a problem.
If any research is done on the internet about gynecomastia, it is almost impossible not to see advertisements for herbal based supplements that allege they can reduce fat cells in size and quantity. The main ingredient is Chromium Picolinate, which is found in many over the counter diet products, and their fat reducing claims remain unsubstantiated. Even if they did work, they are only claiming a reduction of fat and not breast tissue which is present in all cases of true gynecomastia. There have been many reports on www.gynecomastia.org from men who have tried these products and they report very disappointing results. If you are tempted to try these products, before plunking down money, check Google reviews for the product, make sure that they are not posted by the company themselves as they have multiple websites and they do a very high volume of advertising.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that men who do not have surgery as an option seek psychological counseling and/or find support groups with other men suffering with gynecomastia, such as www.gynecomastia.org. There is comfort to be gained by learning how others deal with their condition, and many stories are shared on this popular site. For some men learning to live with gynecomastia without self-loathing is definitely an option.
Men who are able to have male breast reduction surgery and choose this option have an extremely high patient satisfaction rate. For several years in a row male breast reduction surgery has been on the increase, The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that for 2012, there was an increase of 5% over 2011.