Understanding Male Breast Reduction


Dr. Michael Devlin describes the prevalence of gynecomastia, or excess male breast tissue, and the male breast reduction surgery that can fix it. Dr. Devlin describes how gynecomastia develops and what its causes are. He also discusses the process of determining the best treatment plan for each patient with excess male breast tissue.

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Justin Lewis: And welcome back to Good Morning Arkansas. I'm Justin Lewis filling in for Chris Kane and we're joined by Dr. Devlin. He's here to tell us about a cosmetic procedure for men that's becoming very popular. Now we talk about cosmetic procedures you probably think women immediately, right? But men are having things done, right? Dr. Devlin: A lot more men are starting to have cosmetic procedures done and one of the one's that we're seeing a big increase in is breast surgery for men. A lot of people might think that's kind of odd because you think of breast enlargement, but this is actually the reverse of this, so this is actually reducing male breast. So we're talking about gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is basically enlarged breast tissue in men and you see that about 30% of the population is actually affected with this. Justin Lewis: So 30% that's a pretty large number. Do guys know this is going on? Dr. Devlin: Well guys don't really know because most guys kind of hide that and they don't really see other people do it; they wear compression vests, they won't take their shirts off. So most people, when we tell them it's 30%, they think they're the only ones involved. Now they're starting to get on the internet, a lot more access to information, they're starting to realize that it's not just them, and they're looking at, "What can I do about this?" Justin Lewis: What kind of psychological effects is it having on our guys? Dr. Devlin: I just had a man come in about a couple of weeks ago, and during the consult we were doing a physical exam he took his shirt off and he told me, "This is the first time I've had my shirt off in front of another human being in over 20 years." That's pretty profound, that shows you just the depth of, kind of the embarrassment or shame they feel with enlarged breasts; and now they're just wondering, and after the procedure they're like, "I should have done this a long time ago," because it really boosts their self-confidence. Justin Lewis: Dr. Devlin, I wonder what is causing this? I guess if people had this going on what's happening in their bodies? Dr. Devlin: Well, there are a lot of different causes for enlargement in breasts. Most infants, 90% male infants, are going to have enlarged breasts and that's just to do with an imbalance between the female hormones and the male hormones, and then that usually resolves on its own. Then, you see another distribution of it during puberty; where again the hormone balances are kind of out of balance, and you can see that 50 to 60% of teenagers will develop that. Most of those go on to resolve within six months to a couple years, but about 20% of those still are around and those are the ones that are going to persist. Justin Lewis: And for guys that are coming in, like the one you gave me an example of that have this going on, how do you kind of fix that problem? Dr. Devlin: Well number one, we look at what is the cause of it. Is it just a true enlargement of the breast tissue or is it just fatty deposits in the breast tissue itself? Sometimes its medications a lot of times, depending on what medications, can do it. Interestingly enough the big thing in the news now is low testosterone and so they'll do testosterone replacement. Interestingly enough most of the time that that does correct things, but one of the side effects of that can cause enlarged male breasts. Other things are certain blood pressure medications can do it. One of the big ones is stomach acid medications like Tagamet, that type of thing, that can cause enlarged breasts, and one of the other big ones is certain drugs like anabolic steroids that people take for weight lifting. A lot of times we'll see patients come in who've had a history of taking anabolic steroids, alcohol use, marijuana, those types of things can also cause enlarged breasts. Justin Lewis: When we're talking about enlarged breasts, and I guess trying to reduce that in men, are there other cosmetic procedures that we're seeing guys having done now? Dr. Devlin: Men are starting to have a lot more cosmetic procedures; fillers, Botox especially in the non-surgical ones, liposuction for just some contouring. We're seeing a lot more older gentlemen come in to have their eyelids done, a little bit of a face lift, that type of thing. It's becoming a lot more socially acceptable in females so the men just kind of pick up on that and do it themselves. Justin Lewis: Maybe trying to, I guess, catch up and also stay attractive. That's certainly why women do it, is that why guys are starting to do it? Dr. Devlin: Self-confidence is really the big thing, they really just kind of boost that and that's why, especially with this procedure with the gynecomastia, the surgery itself is really not a bad surgery. Usually we treat that either with just surgical excision or a combination of surgical excision and liposuction outpatient surgery, an hour to two hours to do it, and they're home and there really is not a whole lot of downtime. Justin Lewis: Okay, well Dr. Devlin we sure are glad you... Dr. Devlin: Did we get to see a before and after picture at all? Justin Lewis: Do we have that picture up? Yeah, there we go. Okay. Dr. Devlin: This is your typical presentation right here where you see enlarged male breasts, and here's one after surgery, and you can see it really does... Justin Lewis: Quite a difference. Dr. Devlin: ...make a big difference and a big psychological... Justin Lewis: And that's simply surgery, that's not any sort of a diet or anything, right? Dr. Devlin: That's not a diet, because if it's truly glandular hypertrophy, that breast tissue is enlarged, diet is not going to take care of it. Surgical excision is the treatment. Justin Lewis: That's a good example there Doctor. Well thanks for coming in, it was good to see you, and this is Devlin Cosmetic Surgery. If you want a consultation you can reach him at 227-8811 or DrDevlin.com. After the break we'll have a look at your entertainment headlines.

Plastic surgeon Michael Devlin, M.D.

Devlin Cosmetic Surgery: Michael Devlin, M.D.

Dr. Devlin is a cosmetic surgeon who provides each of his patients with personalized care and a compassionate approach. He offers a range of procedures in an environment where patients feel safe, comfortable, and heard. He is affiliated with organizations such as the:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (Fellow)
  • American Society of Cosmetic Breast Surgery
  • American Medical Association
  • Arkansas Medical Society
  • Pulaski County Medical Society

To get started on your plastic surgery journey, fill out our form or call (501) 227-8811.


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