Gynecomastia and Your Weight
Gynecomastia and excess weight often go hand-in-hand. It makes sense when you consider that, for many patients, the underlying cause of man boobs is mostly fatty tissue. It’s not too surprising that some men ask if they can have gynecomastia surgery when they’re not at their ideal weight.
When we counsel overweight patients with gynecomastia in New York, we advise them to try their best to lose weight before considering male breast reduction. We tell them that as the pounds come off, their man boobs shrink. For most patients they don’t disappear completely, but they do become smaller. And there’s the bigger bonus of being healthier and feeling happier overall.
We sometimes agree to perform male breast reduction for the right overweight patient. Often it’s someone whose appearance holds him back from physical activity, including regular workouts, so he has a difficult time losing weight. We refer to male breast reduction for these New York patients as “compromise surgery.”
In consultation, we advise these men to lose as much weight as they can before their procedure. We also ensure they understand that they will see improvement after surgery, but not “perfection.” They can expect their moobs to be smaller, but they should not anticipate a trim, tightly contoured chest. In fact, most retain some amount of inframammary fold, or crease beneath the breast.
Patient reactions to the results from compromise surgery run the gamut:
– Many feel that modest improvement is enough and they are content
– Others use surgery as inspiration to hit the gym for further improvement
– A few are disappointed, not having heard us about realistic expectations
In our practice, we do not perform gynecomastia surgery when patients are obese. There’s not enough improvement to be gained in the chest area when someone is that far from a healthy weight.
To determine the right course of action for you, the first step is to know your BMI, or Body Mass Index. There’s an easy-to-use calculator on the National Institutes of Health website. You can find some sound weight control suggestions there as well. When you're ready, arrange a consultation with an experienced gynecomastia surgeon and listen carefully to what they have to say about the amount of improvement you might see after surgery.