Male tuberous breast deformity, though rare, is a serious medical condition that can affect a man’s self-confidence and mobility. Unfortunately, male tuberous breasts are often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, leaving men without an explanation for their unusually-shaped chests. This month, board certified plastic surgeon Dr. S. Larry Schlesinger explains what causes tuberous breasts in men and why gynecomastia surgery is needed to restore a healthy, attractive male chest.
Male tuberous breast deformity is a very unusual type of gynecomastia, a condition that causes the appearance of “man boobs.” Similar to female tuberous breast deformity, men with tuberous breasts typically develop tight collagen bands during puberty, which restrict breast growth in the bottom of the breast but allow tissues to grow in the upper breast.
Diet and exercise alone cannot correct a male tuberous breast deformity.
Not only can tuberous breasts be incredibly embarrassing for men, but the condition can make it difficult to perform upper-body exercises like bench presses and push-ups. Because diet and exercise alone cannot correct tuberous breasts, many men end up living with their deformity, hiding their chests in loose-fitting shirts, sweatshirts, or even bras.
Male tuberous breast deformity differs from gynecomastia in both its causes and appearance:
Male tuberous breast deformity is thought to be congenital. It presents during puberty when the breast tissues become stymied, likely due to hormonal changes. Though not confirmed, some doctors speculate that tuberous breasts may be hereditary.
Men who suffer from gynecomastia, on the other hand, develop the condition during their teenage or middle years due to the following reasons:
The best way to correct male tuberous breast deformity is with gynecomastia surgery, also called male breast reduction surgery. I perform gynecomastia surgery by removing excess fat in the breasts and other areas of the chest via liposuction, and surgically excising fibrous mammary gland tissue. I also remove excess areolar tissue through an incision at the base of the areola to reduce herniation in the nipples and allow the nipple-areolar complexes to lay flat after breast tissue is removed. The desired result is a flat, slightly contoured chest with flat nipple-areolar complexes situated just above the inframammary folds.
If a patient’s nipples need to be repositioned, I will transpose the nipple-areolar complexes using a superomedial dermal pedicle (skin graft) after I’ve performed liposuction, allowing me to move the nipples upward on the chest wall without detaching them from their blood supply.
The desired result from gynecomastia surgery is a flat, contoured chest with flat nipples situated just above the inframammary folds.
I advise all of my male tuberous breast surgery patients to wear a compression garment for 1 to 2 weeks after their surgery to reduce swelling and help shape their chest. This is a critical step for ensuring an optimal result.
The results of gynecomastia surgery to treat tuberous breasts are permanent as long as you maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. Many of my patients are able to develop a healthy diet and exercise routine after surgery because they are motivated by their results, and they find exercise easier and more enjoyable.
My male patients often develop a better self-image and increased mobility following gynecomastia surgery; this is particularly true for patients who previously had tuberous breasts. They typically find physical exercise to be easier and more comfortable and enjoy showing off their chests. I love seeing my patients return for follow-up visits months after their surgery feeling confident and wearing tight-fitting shirts.
If you’re tired of living with tuberous breasts or gynecomastia, visit Dr. S. Larry Schlesinger at the Breast Implant Center of Hawaii in Honolulu. Dr. Schlesinger is a board certified plastic surgeon with over 30 years of experience helping men achieve flat, sculpted chests with gynecomastia surgery. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Schlesinger online or call (808) 597-8835.