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Gynecomastia is the presence of enlarged, feminine breasts on a male individual. It is a medical condition that can be psychologically devastating and can inhibit the social development of the men who suffer from it.
Male breast reduction or gynecomastia reduction surgery is a treatment for gynecomastia and is the fifth most common plastic surgery procedure performed on men in the United States. This procedure is steadily gaining popularity due to public education about the condition and increasing receptiveness to treatment.
Men of any age do not want to have to hide their chests under clothing and limit their life activities due to enlarged breasts. This condition is more prevalent than most people realize as men who have this condition are embarrassed by it and generally keep their chests covered and out of the public eye. They tend to restrict their exposure at beaches, swimming pools, at the gym and even in relationships.
Fortunately, the Internet has become a powerful venue for education, awareness and opportunity. Dr. Delgado credits Merle J. Yost, LMFT, the creator of www.gynecomastia.org, for his enormous contribution in supplying the answers people are seeking about this condition.
THE DEVASTATING EFFECTS OF GYNECOMASTIA
The man who lives with male breast enlargement, or gynecomastia, has a daily struggle. Every day begins with having to face the unwelcome sight of his chest each morning in the shower. This starts the day with a negative impact on self-esteem and ego. Choice of clothing is highly strategic and dictated by the need to conceal the presence of breasts that are too large and feminine. Men with gynecomastia gravitate toward multi-layers of clothing, button-down shirts with pockets, jackets, bulky sweaters and dark colors. Tee shirts and light weight fabrics are avoided as they are too revealing.
School presents a challenge with the locker room setting and sports activities, with swimming and other traditionally shirtless activities being the worst. A male with gynecomastia makes a practice of avoiding such situations altogether.
Going to work is not too bad if it dictates a shirt, tie and jacket and you work in a climate controlled environment. However, an outdoors job with physical labor is miserable when the weather turns hot. The man with gynecomastia will suffer untold physical discomfort before he will subject himself to the psychological torture of insensitive comments and teasing from tactless co-workers and peers.
The day is over. Hopefully, it will be, “No comments about my chest. This is a good day.” The work week goes by and then the weekend comes with its barbecues, family outings, swimming pools, dates, beaches and sports. These activities demand special effort by the gynecomastia sufferer to conceal and camouflage his condition from others. Many events are best avoided altogether.
The burden of gynecomastia is ever-present. Feelings of guilt, embarrassment, inadequacy and shame plague men with gynecomastia.
The primary cause of gynecomastia is largely hormonal. It usually starts to appear at puberty as hormone levels surge to new levels with the onset of physical maturity. Testosterone develops male characteristics while estrogen brings on female traits. Low testosterone or high estrogen levels in males can allow development of female-like breast tissue or gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia can also be caused by use of certain drugs, especially steroids, but also many other medications, as well. Although rare, male breast enlargement can also be stimulated by hormone-secreting tumors. As men approach their sixties, naturally decreasing testosterone levels can also result in breast development.
Pseudogynecomastia is not true gynecomastia. This is a condition in which fatty tissue is responsible for the enlargement. This is seen in men who have had significant weight gain. Pseudogynecomastia can be reversed with weight loss if the skin has not been overly stretched.
Fortunately, the surgical treatment of gynecomastia is highly effective, giving excellent esthetic results. The treatment of choice is liposuction combined with surgical gland excision. The gland is excised through a one-half to one-inch long incision around the edge of areola. In some cases, the “Lite Procedure” can be performed. This is done through a three to four millimeter incision and the gland is pulled through the small opening. For full details and photographs, visit Dr. Delgado’s blog, www.moobreduction.com.
The gland and fat components can vary greatly. Dr. Delgado uses a combination of both techniques, gland excision and liposuction, to get the best results.
About 30% of Dr. Delgado’s gynecomastia practice is comprised of redo surgeries for men who were not entirely satisfied with their results from other practices. The most common reason for this is that only liposuction was performed. Although research supports liposuction as an effective treatment for gynecomastia, Dr. Delgado has found that liposuction by itself cannot deliver a flat chest without any type of fullness in the peri-areolar area. From his many years of experience, he has determined that liposuction of any variety (e.g., ultrasound, Vaser, laser, SmartLiposuction) does not dissolve all the unwanted breast tissue and deliver the optimal results that men are seeking. Surgical excision of the glandular tissue must be performed in conjunction with the liposuction.
Surgery is an outpatient procedure. In 2001, Dr. Delgado established his own federal and state-approved out-patient surgical facility on the campus of Sutter Marin County Community Hospital. The purpose of creating this private surgery center was to allow Dr. Delgado to offer his patients the highest level of physical care in an intimate, concierge environment, yet in a location contiguous to a full service hospital. Dr. Delgado’s surgical team has worked with him for over ten years. Each member of his staff has been personally chosen by Dr. Delgado and trained to the highest professional standards.
Following surgery, one can drive a car in two to three days, return to work in three to five days, but not exercise for four to six weeks. Restraining from exercise is often the hardest for patients and many patients also find it trying to wear a compression garment for six weeks.
DR. DELGADO - THE GYNECOMASTIA SPECIALIST
Dr. Delgado is indisputably an expert in the surgical treatment of gynecomastia. He has focused his attention on this procedure for more than twenty years and has performed nearly one thousand gynecomastia reduction surgeries. Due to his vast experience in this area, he has become a resource for expert advice for other physicians and is referred the most difficult cases.
As a result of his passion and personal mission to help men who suffer from gynecomastia, he has dedicated a website solely to address the concerns of men with this condition, www.gynecomastiaspecialist.com. He also has an external blog, www.moobreduction.com, for up-to-date monthly news.
Dr. Delgado has been featured in gynecomastia television documentaries that have been broadcast worldwide and has treated patients with this condition from around the world. He conducts virtual gynecomastia consultations daily.
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Novato, CA 94945
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