“Moobs”- Man Boobs, Does this make me less of a man?

The reason a blog on Man Boobs or Gynaecomastia as it is medically known is pertinent today is because the concept of body image has changed across the world and is fast changing in India. The incidence of Gynaecomastia in the Indian subcontinent is more than Caucasian and African populations.The Answer to the question in the title is definitely ‘No’, it’s not the end of the world. It does make men a little self conscious about taking their shirt off in public or wearing tight t-shirts which makes their chest more prominent. It is more common in teenage boys who might not understand the change & in older men who just don`t care but that opinion is subject to change.

Most men ask why? Why did they happen to me? It is caused by an imbalance in sex hormones testosterone & oestrogen.Oestrogen makes breast tissue(gland) grow. While all men do produce some amount of oestrogen,the testosterone usually overpowers it & stops the oestrogen from causing breast tissue to grow. If this balance changes, it causes breast enlargement.

Obesity,Puberty & Old Age are the main causes of gynaecomastia. Other rare cases include heart disease, alcohol,steroids,testicular masses,cannabis & Klinefelter’s syndrome(genetic). Coming to what is seen and felt ,there is an enlargement of the glandular breast tissue along with a generalised fat around the chest .This is not to be mistaken with puffy nipples which is a different entity where the nipples itself are large and feel like a soft balloon .The treatment for “Moobs” and for puffy nipples are very different.

Who is a candidate for breast reduction?

After ruling out the above causes,if you are a healthy non smoker, your plastic surgeon would decide if you are a good candidate for breast reduction surgery. The surgery itself is a combination of liposuction (an entire blog on the myths of liposuction will be coming up soon) – to remove the excess fat and gland excision-to remove the enlarged gland.The gland excision is a 3-9 ‘o’clock incision around the edge of the nipple which is eventually inconspicuous. The surgery is usually done under general anesthesia and now increasingly under sedation and local anesthesia. Once the surgery is complete, the patient can go home at night or stay overnight.

A pressure garment (a tight corset ) will have to be worn for a month after the procedure. There is no downtime and back to work in a couple of days. Expect sore breasts for a few weeks and a inconspicuous scar which will take a few months to fade. Avoid stretching, exercises, heavy weight lifting for a month. The results are seen in a month and complete results are seen in about 3 months. Today’s advanced technique allows for a short surgery, quick recovery and virtually invisible scars.

Eventually the consultation, surgery and final result is a partnership between you and your surgeon, so do it the right way to create the masculine contour you desired. This teamwork will give the best possible result with an enhanced sense of self confidence to take your shirt off in summers !!