The Most Custom of Custom Man Boob Surgeries
Every case of man boobs is unique. That’s what you’ll hear from a seasoned gynecomastia specialist. Our New York experience tells us just that: while some surgical strategies turn out to be more routine than others, no two cases of moobs are alike.
One of the biggest challenges for a plastic surgeon is working with a guy with tuberous breasts. These cases, from minor to pronounced, test a surgeon’s ability to transform unusual-looking breasts into a more “normal” chest with the fewest possible traces of surgery.
What are Tuberous Breasts?
Tuberous breasts have other nicknames: tubular breasts, zucchini breasts, Snoopy breasts. Each one is an attempt to characterize what happens when the circumference at the base of the breast is constricted—for no known reason—forcing the internal tissues to grow out and downward. The results can range from barely noticeable puffiness to large, pendulous, tuber-shaped breasts.
The condition is not too unusual in women, but it is challenging to treat. You can find photos and a discussion of a typical approach to surgery for women here. Tuberous breasts are rare in guys but they do occur, and the fix can be quite tricky. Many plastic surgeons have never treated a male case; that’s why it’s doubly important for guys with tuberous breasts to find a gynecomastia specialist. Here in New York we have handled many cases.
Mild to Moderate Cases
The plan for cosmetic surgery for tuberous breasts in women almost always includes breast enlargement, therefore the constricting tissue at the base of the breasts needs releasing. Since the goal for men is smaller breasts, this step can often be eliminated. For mild to moderate cases, we usually make a small incision at the base of the areola so we can remove extra breast gland and perform liposuction. In addition, we loosen and re-drape the surrounding skin so it can lie flatter on the chest as the healing process takes place.
We often recommend guys hit the gym to build up their pectoral muscles after recovery. Good sized pecs can also help “take up” any extra skin that might be left behind.
More Severe Tuberous Breasts in Men
We have worked with many patients with moderate to severe cases of male tuberous breasts here in New York. As gynecomastia specialists, we pull out every technique and tool to help these guys who often feel very distressed about their appearance. Whether the issue a large amount of hanging tissue, protruding areolas or both, we can bring about significant improvement.
We’re happy to say that with even fairly severe tuberous breasts we can often coax the skin to tighten sufficiently once the internal tissue is reduced through the small incisions at the edge of the areolas. For unknown reasons, sometimes the areola skin sometimes does not tighten as much and ends up with small folds. When this happens, we recommend a second minor procedure to remove the existing areola scar and wait six months to see if additional tightening will occur. Oftentimes this is enough to see the skin smooth out. For some patients, the best plan during the second minor surgery is to release the areola creases themselves. We make the call based on our experience.
In rare and very severe cases, we recommend surgery akin to a female mastectomy. This plan calls for temporary removal of the nipple/areola complex, which can then be reduced in size. Then we will make horizontal incisions in a mid-breast position, through which we can eliminate breast gland, fat and skin that is too stretched to bounce back on its own. Then the nipples/areolas can be stitched back into the middle of the surgical scars, in a normal location on the chest.
One tradeoff for these patients is more scarring (another is probable diminished sensation of the nipples and areolas since there’s no option but to cut the nerves). Scars do fade, and many guys eventually end up with faint, thin, light-colored horizontal lines across their breasts. Patients can expect to look great under a tight t-shirt or tank top at least; some feel comfortable going shirtless in time. Either way, the embarrassing, saggy breasts will be gone.
What We Can Accomplish
Do you suspect you have tuberous breasts? We invite you to consider working with us.
As three-decade gynecomastia specialists in New York, we are very confident in our ability to treat just about any guy’s chest. We have handled several dozen cases of tuberous breasts—you can see a couple of examples of our work with guys like you on our gynecomastia FAQ page here (see question #24).
Contact us to find out how to get started.