Although gynecomastia is the term most commonly used to describe enlarged male breasts, not every feminine-looking man-boob is considered true gynecomastia. Some men present with a condition that looks identical to gynecomastia, but with a unique underlying cause, hence the term, pseudogynecomastia. While there are notable differences between pseudogynecomastia and gynecomastia, both conditions can be equally frustrating. Luckily, both conditions can also be successfully treated in the cosmetic surgeon’s office.
What is pseudogynecomastia and how is it treated?
Pseudogynecomastia is a condition where men develop an excessive amount of fat (adipose tissue) behind or around the nipple/areola region. While the prefix ‘pseudo’ means false, or masking another issue, there is no need for men diagnosed with pseudogynecomastia to fret about having ‘fake gynecomastia’. Pseudogynecomastia is a very real problem, causing the same physical and psychological issues as gynecomastia.
For some men, weight reduction may improve their pseudogyneomastia to a small degree. Generally speaking, as you reduce your body fat, the chest will also become smaller. However, most men suffering from pseudogynecomastia find little improvement from diet or exercise. For those who have been struggling with pseudogynecomastia for over a year, liposuction from a board certified plastic surgeon can correct the issue. Using the semi-invasive liposuction technique, a surgeon can remove the necessary amount of fatty tissue to create a smooth, flat chest. In cases where loose or lax skin is present, this excess tissue may be surgically excised to create a taut, masculine chest.
How is pseudogynecomastia different from gynecomastia?
The primary difference between pseudogynecomastia and gynecomastia is the type of tissue that causes the increased breast size. While pseudogynecomastia is adipose tissue, true gynecomastia is the result of excessive glandular tissue. Unlike billowy fat cells, glandular tissue is firmer and more fibrous; it is also nonresponsive to diet and exercise. This increase in glandular tissue is often the result of an imbalance in hormone levels, medications, or drug use.
Glandular tissue requires surgical excision to remove, it cannot be treated with liposuction. This is generally performed through a small incision created along the nipple/areola or in the armpit region. Many men present with both glandular tissue and fatty tissue. In this case, a combination of surgical excision and liposuction will ensure the breasts see optimal improvement. Again, if lax skin is present, once the underlying tissue is eliminated, this can be removed so the desired chest contour is achieved. The nipple/areola can also be resized to better match the proportion and shape of the breast.
Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery is Houston’s number one provider of male breast reductions. Contact our office at (281) 668-7370 to schedule a confidential consultation with board certified cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Paul Vitenas. If you would like our patient coordinator to reach out to you, simply fill out our online Contact Us form.