One Sided Gynecomastia?
Sometimes we meet prospective New York gynecomastia patients who tell us they have just one enlarged breast. Occasionally that’s true, but more often it’s not. Let’s explain!
True one-sided gynecomastia is pretty rare. When breast gland is triggered to grow—by a persistent hormone imbalance, steroid use, prescription medication or for no known reason—gland usually grows on both sides. Think about it, you would rarely see a female non-cancer victim with just one apparent breast, right?
What is quite common is that one breast is bigger than the other. This is true for men as well as women, and true for many body features like feet, hands, eyes and others. The fact is, it’s a rare human being whose body is perfectly symmetrical. Therefore, many New York one-sided gynecomastia patients actually learn to view their condition as “lopsided.” This is an important mind shift!
Could It Be Male Breast Cancer?
When a guy truly has one-sided gynecomastia or a lopsided pair of breasts, we take great care to evaluate whether it’s possible he has a rare case of male breast cancer. Some men aren’t aware that approximately 1% of breast cancers are found in males, according to breastcancer.org, and one symptom is breast enlargement or a lump (read more about male breast cancer risk factors here). If there’s any chance one of our patients may indeed have cancer, we refer them for screening before considering male breast reduction surgery.
How We Treat Lopsided Man Boobs
As we’ve said, it’s not unusual for guys with man boobs to have one side noticeably bigger than the other. Head on over to our before and after gynecomastia photo gallery and see for yourself. Some great examples include patient 28, patient 31 and patient 62.
We always perform careful examinations of our patients, and when asymmetrical gynecomastia is the problem we spend extra time to assess what’s going on and create the right surgical strategy. Even if the smaller breast looks nearly normal, chances are we’ll recommend surgery on both sides. There are a few reasons for this:
• Although the physical examination tells us much about the makeup of a guy’s chest, and our experience gives us the ability to make very educated guesses, we won’t know exactly what’s under the skin until we’re in the operating room. Therefore, we most often plan to have a look at both moobs.
• If only the larger breast is treated, and normal looking, masculine contours are revealed after healing, oftentimes the smaller, untreated side won’t look as good. A patient may find himself dissatisfied with the unoperated side after a one-moob surgery.
• It is a challenge for even a highly experienced plastic surgeon to operate on one breast and make it look like the mirror image of the other. It’s better to optimize them both at the same time and achieve the best symmetry possible that way. Not only that, it saves the patient from having to go through—and pay for—two surgeries.
A Few Last Thoughts
Many caveats apply to what we’ve said here. The most obvious is that every patient is unique. On rare occasions we will run across a New York gynecomastia patient with just one enlarged breast and we may decide that operating on just one side is the right choice. We also occasionally operate on just one side when performing revision gynecomastia surgery.
In addition, we remind each guy in consultation that some measure of asymmetry is quite normal and perfectly matching breasts are extremely rare. We all need to agree that “much better” is the goal for gynecomastia surgery, not “perfection.”
Another important consideration for you if you’re a lopsided guy: please choose a plastic surgeon who’s certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has at least several hundred gynecomastia surgeries to his or her credit. The more a surgical plan needs to address added challenges, like marked asymmetry, the more you need an expert at the helm.
We would love to work with you. Contact us if you’d like to explore how to make it happen.