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

815 Park Avenue New York, NY 10021
212-570-6080

Fibrous Gynecomastia? Fat? What is it?!

New York gynecomastia

If you browse sites like gynecomastia.org, you’ll notice many men struggling to understand–even obsessing over–what’s underneath the skin on their chests. We hear this from our New York gynecomastia patients as well: “What is it I feel in there? Do I have fibrous gynecomastia? Are those lumps glandular tissue like women have? Maybe it’s just fat causing my moobs?”

It’s understandable that men want to know the makeup of their man boobs. Some think that if their problem is largely fat, they can embark on a strict diet or choose a liposuction-only solution for male breast reduction. Others simply seem horrified at the thought of having female-like breast tissue under their nipples and just have to know what’s inside.

If you frequently poke and prod your chest in an effort to identify what’s beneath the skin, we have a suggestion: stop. We’d like you to consider that it really doesn’t matter all that much what’s inside those moobs. Here’s why.

First, it can be a real challenge to determine from the outside exactly what kind of tissue you’re feeling with your fingers. Fat can sometimes feel dense and lumpy–just as you might imagine glandular tissue to feel. Even if you could determine that most of your excess breast tissue is fat, know that it can be very hard to reduce the size of your man boobs through dieting. Men tend to put on weight most readily in their bellies and chests, and unfortunately those pounds can be quite stubborn to banish.

Actual breast tissue, which all men have to some extent, can also feel like fat to the touch. It takes an experienced gynecomastia surgeon to get a sense of what’s behind a man’s moobs, and even experts can be wrong. A patient can’t be expected to figure this out. Moreover, in our practice we find that nearly every one of our New York gynecomastia patients has at least some measure of breast tissue that needs to be excised during their procedure. That’s why we would never suggest a patient choose liposuction-only male breast reduction in the consultation room. If the plastic surgeon is not ready to address whatever he or she finds after using the scalpel, the patient is likely to be dissatisfied with the results.

Let’s face it–when it comes to the male chest, what matters is contour. You want to look masculine and sleek whether your arms are raised or at your sides, whether you’re pumping iron or at rest and whether it’s hot or cold. The exact ratio of fat to glandular tissue is not something others will poke you to find out, and it’s not a vital factor in your overall look.

If you do find yourself preoccupied and unhappy with your chest, what we do suggest is a consultation with an experienced male breast reduction specialist. Even if you’re not thinking of surgery but simply wanting some answers, it’s a good investment to seek expert input.

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