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Elliot W. Jacobs, MD, FACS - Diplomate, American Board Of Plastic Surgery

Specializing in Primary &
Revision Gynecomastia Surgery

815 Park Avenue New York, NY 10021

Debunking a Man Boob Myth: New York’s Dr. Jacobs

man boob myths

There are some good reasons guys choose not to have male breast reduction, including health concerns and finances. It’s not at all disappointing when gynecomastia surgery is not an option for a given patient; what IS disappointing is when a man is convinced the procedure is not for him due to a myth. That’s why we spend so much time educating our patients with man boobs in New York, and also why we participate in online forums. We want guys to be able to make informed decisions.

We recently saw a forum post by a man who decided to forego man boob surgery because his breasts changed in size from time to time. He concluded that if he elected male breast reduction, his moobs would eventually return. In the vast majority of cases, this is simply not true!

The Real Skinny on Man Boobs

Being informed about gynecomastia starts with understanding the makeup of man boobs, or, in patient shorthand, “what’s in there.” Enlarged male breasts almost always consist of a mixture of gland and fat tissue. And we do mean “mixture,” in that the two types of tissue are intertwined.

The next thing to understand is what triggers the growth of these tissues. Many of our patients with man boobs in New York experienced breast gland enlargement during the teen years when hormones are in flux. For some unfortunate guys, gland tissue does not go away when hormones settle into place. Breast gland can grow for other reasons too, including certain underlying health conditions, medications and street drugs. When breast gland tissues grow, they generally do not subside even when the trigger goes away.

Everyone knows what prompts fat cells to grow: too many calories in and not enough calories out. When a guy notices his moobs growing or shrinking, it’s usually due to weight changes (ask any woman!). What guys often do not know is that excess fat creates its own little environment that generates additional hormones, often prompting breast gland growth. Thus, gain weight and man boobs grow. Lose weight, and gland tissue will still be left behind.

Why Gynecomastia Surgery Works

Due to the intertwining of breast gland and fat, the best gynecomastia surgery strategy for most patients is a combination of liposuction and gland excision. When both types of cells are gone, they’re gone forever. In our thirty plus years of treating man boobs in New York, we have never known a patient to re-grow moobs.

No gynecomastia expert would remove every bit of breast gland and fat during male breast reduction, however. Doing so would result in a very strange looking chest indeed—either completely flat or unfortunately cratered. The goal is to create contours with a masculine appearance, requiring careful sculpting of remaining tissues.

A Few Caveats

Since it’s desirable to retain a bit of “what’s in there,” it’s not 100% impossible for a guy to re-grow breasts. Should he decide to begin taking finasteride (Propecia or Proscar) for thinning hair (a drug with the potential to cause moobs) for instance, it’s possible that remaining breast gland could become enlarged. Similarly, since some fat cells will remain after surgery, it’s not inconceivable that a guy could gain a sufficient amount of weight to grow those cells. Of course, weight gain would be distributed throughout the body, not just in the chest area.

(Most guys are so happy after gynecomastia surgery that they don’t allow themselves to gain weight. We do remember one patient who DID gain about 40 pounds post-op, and his chest still looked much better than it did before his procedure.)

We always have a frank conversation with our New York man boob patients prior to surgery. We include a discussion about causes of gynecomastia, and if we can settle on a likely trigger for a given patient we also talk about future choices the patient may have. Bodybuilders who have taken anabolic steroids—known man boob culprits—are perhaps the best example. If they are sufficiently bothered by enlarged breasts or puffy nipples to seek surgery, they understand it’s in their best interests not to use these substances in the future.

We believe in treating the whole patient: his body, his lifestyle and his mindset. The consultation room is where this process often begins, but patients can start even sooner by giving us a call at 212-570-6080 or by contacting us online.

Do reach out if we can help you!

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