Managing Gynecomastia Through Lifestyle Changes and Exercise

Managing Gynecomastia Through Lifestyle Changes and Exercise

Gynecomastia is a condition where male breast tissue becomes enlarged, causing the appearance of male breasts. Enlarged breast tissue can be extremely embarrassing for men, especially in social situations like the beach or pool. If you’re experiencing mental distress because of gynecomastia or are considering gynecomastia surgery, you’re not alone. Although many men opt for gynecomastia surgery (or male breast reduction surgery) as a way to manage and remove excess breast tissue, lifestyle modifications for gynecomastia can also be an ideal solution. However, knowing more about gynecomastia and the specific changes that can produce noticeable results is key. Here’s what to know about managing gynecomastia symptoms and how an experienced plastic surgeon such as Dr. Miguel Delgado can help you explore your treatment options.

Healthy Diet Recommendations

Gynecomastia is often tied to a variety of health factors like diet and hormones. In fact, eating a balanced diet can have many different health benefits, including treating gynecomastia. It can be helpful to consider switching to a gynecomastia diet to maintain the results of your procedure or help reduce symptoms. As with any dietary changes, however, make changes slowly and don’t try to overhaul your diet all at once. Adjust the following accordingly:

Reduce Estrogenic Foods

Certain foods have higher levels of estrogen-rich compounds which can contribute to male breast development through misbalancing hormone levels. These tend to include foods rich in soy (such as soy milk), saturated fats, and flaxseeds. Instead, incorporate more lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your nutritious diet. Additionally, processed foods are notorious for containing high levels of estrogen-rich compounds, so try to enjoy these in moderation.

Increase Fiber

Fiber is key for digestion and also plays a role in hormonal imbalances (one of the common causes of gynecomastia). Try to find sources of fiber that you enjoy and can incorporate daily. Good sources of fiber include whole grains, legumes, and leafy greens, as well as certain fruits and vegetables.

Exercise Recommendations

Exercise is key when it comes to gynecomastia because it can help reduce body fat and the appearance of male breast development. Focus especially on toning the chest muscles and incorporate exercises that bring you to a healthy weight, if you’re not already. Keep in mind that body changes can occur slowly when it comes to exercise, so consistency is key. Whether or not you already exercise regularly, consider the following changes to your schedule:

Cardiovascular Exercises

Cardio exercises are designed to increase your cardiovascular health as well as burn excess fat as energy. Some of the most effective cardiovascular exercises for losing weight include swimming, running, or cycling. It’s recommended to get at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise of moderate intensity per week, or at least 20 minutes per day.

Chest Exercises

An important accompaniment to any exercise regimen is weight training. Focus on exercises that target the chest muscles to increase muscle mass and reduce fat. These exercises include push-ups, chest presses, and dumbbell flys. Make sure to incorporate good sources of protein into your diet to support muscle growth.

Lifestyle Changes for Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia may be tied to health changes, but there are a variety of causes including lifestyle factors. In fact, other lifestyle changes can help reduce the appearance of gynecomastia and glandular tissue. These include:

Weight Management

If your gynecomastia is related to fat, then it may be helpful to lose weight. Make sure to focus on a healthy lifestyle and sustainable changes to your diet and exercise regimen. By losing fat tissue, you may also reduce hormonal fluctuations that can contribute to breast development. With a little long-term dedication, you can achieve more average breasts and better confidence – and prevent weight gain that may cause male breast enlargement to come back.

Clothing and Outfits

Your choice of clothing can exaggerate the appearance of gynecomastia, meaning taking stock of your wardrobe can help. Look for well-fitting clothing and consider having your wardrobe tailored to minimize the appearance of breasts. Additionally, look for shirts with thicker fabrics, layers, or patterns to better conceal your chest and create a more masculine chest contour.

Medications and Drugs

Certain medications can produce enlarged breasts (sometimes by affecting estrogen levels) meaning that switching medications can sometimes produce results. Make sure to consult your physician before making any changes. Secondly, illicit drugs can also produce gynecomastia symptoms – as can alcohol consumption. Stopping these lifestyle choices can often treat gynecomastia without the need for surgery.

Underlying Health Conditions

There may be an underlying cause that is unknown to you, meaning treating underlying health conditions can sometimes produce results. Hormone imbalance may cause excess estrogen and thus enlarged breast gland tissue, meaning you may be able to resolve gynecomastia through hormone therapy. Testing your testosterone levels and whether it may be playing a role in developing gynecomastia can be a good first step in your treatment plan.

Schedule a Consultation

There are many causes of gynecomastia and a board-certified plastic surgeon is often the best place to start. During a consultation, you can discuss your many treatment options and learn more about the impact that gynecomastia has on many men. To meet with Dr. Delgado, San Francisco’s leading gynecomastia expert, contact us today through our online form.

Teenage Gynecomastia: What Every Parent Should Know

Teenage Gynecomastia: What Every Parent Should Know

What Causes Gynecomastia During Puberty?

The teen years and puberty can be an awkward and confusing time as the body and facial hair begin to grow, hormone levels fluctuate, and more. However, one issue that some teen boys face is the development of excess breast tissue, also known as gynecomastia. This excess breast tissue growth can result in enlarged male breasts that look similar to female breasts (also called “man boobs”). Understandably, this condition can cause many teen boys to feel embarrassed and affect their overall self-esteem and confidence. Read on to learn more about teenage gynecomastia and how to treat it.

Fluctuating hormones during puberty are the main cause of breast enlargement in males. During this time, the hormones estrogen and testosterone are fluctuating to aid in development and growth. Typically, testosterone takes the lead during this time of male development. However, in some cases, there may be less testosterone in the body, which can lead to male breast growth in one or both breasts. In rare cases, gynecomastia in adolescent boys may also be caused by anabolic steroids, illegal drugs, and certain medical conditions or medications as well.

Does Weight Impact Gynecomastia?

While being overweight or obese can lead to the formation of increased body fat and fatty tissue in the chest, this is not the main cause of adolescent gynecomastia. Gynecomastia which is caused by weight gain is known as pseudo-gynecomastia, as true gynecomastia is caused by an excess of glandular tissue in the breasts. Teens with gynecomastia may also experience a small, rubbery lump under the nipple, breast buds, or tenderness around their nipple-areolar complex.

How is Gynecomastia Treated?

While some teenage boys may grow out of their teen gynecomastia naturally, others may notice that their male breasts are still with them into early adulthood. In these cases, gynecomastia surgery, also known as male breast reduction surgery, is the best option for permanent results. The main goal of this procedure is to treat breast enlargement by excising glandular tissue to create a flatter chest contour. In cases of severe gynecomastia or cases where the patient has more body fat, excess tissue, and skin may also need to be removed to create a masculine chest appearance. Overall, outcomes from this surgical treatment are positive and can make a lasting positive impact on the patient’s life.

How Can I Best Help My Teenage Boy?

If your son is living with gynecomastia, understand that his breast size has most likely caused him to feel self-conscious or even ashamed. It can be hard to watch your child go through this, and you may be wondering how to best help them. Overall, it is important that you take the time to listen to them and show them support while they are going through this tough time. If your teen is still experiencing breast swelling and enlarged breasts after a couple of years, it may be time to consider speaking with their healthcare provider regarding medical intervention in the form of gynecomastia surgery.

To diagnose gynecomastia, a physical examination will need to be performed. Blood tests may also be ordered since various factors may be at play, such as other medical conditions along with hormonal changes.

Contact Dr. Delgado Today

Overall, gynecomastia is a common condition that affects young men in their teen years due to hormonal changes. This condition can affect their self-image and take a toll on their everyday lives. If you are concerned regarding your son’s gynecomastia symptoms and are interested in learning more about gynecomastia treatment, please contact Dr. Delgado in San Francisco and Novato, CA today. As a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Delgado specializes in gynecomastia surgery and has more than 30 years treating males of all ages. To take the first step, please contact Dr. Delgado today to schedule a consultation appointment today to discuss the best treatment option for your son.

The Risks and Complications of Gynecomastia Surgery

The Risks and Complications of Gynecomastia Surgery

Are you a male with enlarged breast tissue, or what some call “man boobs”? If so, you may be suffering from gynecomastia. This condition can affect males of all ages, can affect one or both breasts, and take a toll on self-confidence, self-esteem, and healthy body image. The most common cause of gynecomastia is an imbalance in hormone levels. Thankfully, there is a permanent solution for gynecomastia: gynecomastia surgery or male breast reduction surgery. Read on to learn more about this surgical treatment and the risks that you should be aware of.

About Gynecomastia Surgery

Gynecomastia surgery, also called male breast reduction surgery, is an effective solution for those living with excess breast tissue due to gynecomastia. It is performed under general anesthesia and involves the surgical removal of gland tissue, excess tissue, and excess fat for a flatter, more masculine chest appearance. Overall, gynecomastia surgery is often deemed the best way to correct gynecomastia caused by glandular tissue.

Gynecomastia surgery is a form of plastic surgery, and when performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, the risks associated are greatly reduced. This is because board-certified surgeons have extensive knowledge of surgical procedures and the experience needed to identify and mitigate any possible issues quickly and effectively.

Risks Associated with Gynecomastia Surgery

There are always some risks involved with any form of surgery, including gynecomastia surgery. These may include:


Hematoma occurs when blood collects under the skin. While very small hematomas can be massaged and may resolve on their own, larger hematomas require drainage to eliminate the excess blood. Dr. Delgado uses drains during this gynecomastia surgery to help prevent the risk of hematomas.


Scarring is always a risk when it comes to any form of invasive surgery. Scarring can occur at the planned incision site, or may also occur at an unplanned site. However, visible scars generally heal well following gynecomastia surgery and Dr. Delgado can give you advice on which products to use to further improve scarring.


Infection following gynecomastia surgery is very rare. This is because antibiotics may be prescribed prior to surgery to decrease the risk even further. It is important to follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions regarding hygiene to further prevent the risk of infection.

Nipple Sensation Loss

During gynecomastia surgery, some of the nerves that travel through the breast tissue to the nipple may be severed. This can lead to decreased nipple sensation.

Contour Irregularities

The risk of contour irregularities is greater when an individual undergoes surgery with an unskilled surgeon. A skilled board-certified plastic surgeon with ample experience performing gynecomastia surgery will understand the proper techniques to avoid irregularities for a flat, smooth chest.

Risk of Reoccurrence

The risk of gynecomastia recurring after surgery is rare when all glandular tissue is removed. When recurrence does occur, it is often because a hormonal stimulus has not been addressed or anabolic steroids are continued to be used after surgery.

Pain or Discomfort

Following gynecomastia surgery, patients may experience some level of pain or discomfort, which is to be expected. This pain should subside over time during the healing process, and your surgeon may prescribe you pain medication to help.

Deep Vein Thrombosis or Cardiopulmonary Issues

Any surgical procedure can lead to the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which may lead to cardiopulmonary problems. This is rare, though it is important that patients are aware of the risk.

Schedule a Gynecomastia Surgery Consultation

For further information regarding gynecomastia surgery in San Francisco Bay Area, please contact Dr. Delgado today. Your first step will be to schedule an initial consultation appointment to discuss your aesthetic concerns and desired result.

Gynecomastia Surgery FAQs

Does gynecomastia surgery involve liposuction?

In some cases, the procedure includes liposuction to remove excess fatty tissue for an improved chest contour.

Does insurance cover gynecomastia surgery?

Because gynecomastia surgery is often an elective procedure, insurance does not cover the cost.

Are all men with large male breasts a candidate for gynecomastia surgery?

To determine if gynecomastia surgery is right for you, you should consult with a physician to first obtain a diagnosis. Common signs of gynecomastia include swollen or puffy nipples, nipple discharge, nipple sensitivity, male breast tissue discomfort, and more.

Can gynecomastia surgery cause male breast cancer?

No, gynecomastia surgery has no links to the cause of male breast cancer. 


How to Manage Gynecomastia Surgery Post-Surgery Pain and Discomfort

How to Manage Gynecomastia Surgery Post-Surgery Pain and Discomfort

Gynecomastia is a condition that causes excess breast tissue in males as well as other symptoms, which can have a negative impact on an individual’s self-esteem and mental health. For cases of true gynecomastia, gynecomastia surgery is the most effective treatment option for permanent results. However, before choosing to undergo any form of surgery, it is important to understand what to expect post-op. Read on for an overview of what to expect following gynecomastia surgery and how to manage any discomfort.

What to Expect After Gynecomastia Surgery

Ultimately, the recovery time following surgery depends on the individual patient, the invasiveness of the surgery, and how well the patient adheres to aftercare instructions. However, the typical recovery time for most patients is 4-6 weeks.

For the first few days directly after surgery, you may experience discomfort, tenderness, and tightness in the chest area. Some people may also experience some nausea from the anesthesia used during the procedure. Swelling of the chest area is also to be expected, which can be reduced with the use of a chest compression garment.

By weeks 3-4, compression garments may no longer be required. The majority of swelling and bruising should be resolved, revealing more accurate visual results of the procedure.

By week 6 the recovery process should be near or at completion. Most patients will be able to freely return to most forms of exercise, including movements that put a strain on the chest area. Some mild swelling may still be noticeable in the pectoralis majors, which will naturally resolve over the next couple of weeks.

Pain Management

Mild to moderate pain or discomfort is to be expected following any type of surgery, especially during the first few days. Over-the-counter or prescription pain medication can help with this. Pain severity will depend on the individual and their tolerance level. While some discomfort is to be expected, please do not hesitate to reach out to Dr. Delgado if you are experiencing severe pain or are unsure if you are healing properly.

Tips For a Quick Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery

The healing process following gynecomastia surgery is usually quite easy. While Dr. Delgado will provide you with specific post-surgery instructions, here are some basic tips to help ensure a speedy recovery.

  • Wear your compression garment as directed. You will be required to wear a compression garment to ensure proper healing of the chest for the best possible outcomes.
  • Attend all post-op appointments with Dr. Delgado, which are imperative to ensure proper healing.
  • Cold compresses can be applied to the chest to help reduce swelling and discomfort. However, you should never apply an ice pack directly to the skin! Instead, place an ice pack in a cloth or towel and then place it against your skin.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day.
  • Sleep on your back. Propping yourself up with pillows can help this position feel more comfortable after your male breast reduction surgery.
  • Limit any physical activity until you are cleared by Dr. Delgado. For one month following surgery, you should avoid chest and arm exercises. Full body training can often be resumed about one month following surgery. An inability to follow these guidelines may delay healing.

Gynecomastia Specialist in San Francisco

If you are considering gynecomastia surgery or would like to learn more about this treatment option, please contact Dr. Delgado today. A highly skilled board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Delgado has been treating patients with gynecomastia for over 30 years and is committed to providing natural-looking surgical outcomes for his patients.

Gynecomastia FAQs

Are there other procedures that can be combined with gynecomastia surgery?

Another common procedure that can be performed in conjunction with gynecomastia surgery is nipple reduction surgery. More surgery options can be found on

What causes gynecomastia in males?

Gynecomastia can be caused by hormonal imbalance, specific medicines, drugs, or anabolic steroid use.

What are some common complications associated with gynecomastia surgery?

As with any form of surgery, there is a risk of complications with gynecomastia surgery. These may include but are not limited to, bruising, bleeding, wound infections, allergic reactions, asymmetries, loose breast skin, and more. However, when performed by a skilled, board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Delgado, these risks are greatly reduced.

Note: If you ever experience trouble breathing, chest pain, or rapid blood loss following any type of surgical procedure, it is deemed a medical emergency and you should seek medical attention immediately.

What are the most common symptoms of gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is often characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Enlarged or excess tissue in the breast area
  • Puffiness beneath the nipple
  • Nipple discomfort/pain
  • Nipple discharge

Are all cases of gynecomastia treated the same?

Overall treatment depends on your individual symptoms, your desired outcomes, and your overall health. For example, severe cases of gynecomastia may be treated differently than mild cases.

How do I prepare for gynecomastia surgery?

Prior to your surgery, Dr. Delgado may have you adjust or stop certain medications such as blood thinners, stop smoking, and more. Preparation steps can be discussed during your consultation appointment.

The Impact of Gynecomastia on Self-Esteem and Confidence

The Impact of Gynecomastia on Self-Esteem and Confidence

Have you ever seen a male friend or family member with enlarged male breasts? If so, they may have gynecomastia. This condition can have negative psychological effects on those living with it. Read on to learn more about the toll gynecomastia can have on a male’s confidence and feelings of self-worth.

About Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is a condition that affects males of all ages. It causes male breast enlargement due to glandular tissue in one or both breasts. It is usually caused by a hormonal imbalance, which can result in an increase in glandular breast tissue. The second most common cause is anabolic steroid use which is used to build muscles. For some adolescent boys, gynecomastia may resolve on its own. However, if gynecomastia persists past the teen years, it will most likely stick around.

Impact on Self-Esteem and Confidence

This increase in male breast tissue can take a negative toll on a male’s self-worth and confidence. This can result in a number of negative mental health effects, including the following:


Gynecomastia can have a psychological impact on those living with it. One of the first emotional responses is often anxiety, as patients are unsure regarding the outcome of diagnosis and a possible treatment plan. Gynecomastia can also cause anxiety around social interactions where a male should take their shirt off such as spending time at the pool or beach.

Low Self-Esteem

Men living with gynecomastia often experience a negative self-image due to their enlarged breasts. They may experience feelings of shame to expose their body or incompleteness due to social phobia.


The most severe psychological issue associated with gynecomastia is depression. Individuals may feel that they have a low quality of life due to their condition. While women generally reach out to friends and relatives when they are experiencing psychological issues, men with gynecomastia have shown that they tend to conceal their mental condition. This can lead to feelings of helplessness.

Social Isolation

Many gynecomastia patients feel as if they don’t “fit in” with peers, which can lead to loneliness. Many males with gynecomastia, especially teens, tend to withdraw from social functions, which can lead to continued isolation as they grow into adults. Individuals may also withdraw from family and friends to conceal their breast enlargement to avoid possible teasing or judgment.

Disordered Eating

Some patients with gynecomastia may believe that weight loss can help to reduce their excess breast tissue. While weight loss may be helpful in cases of pseudo gynecomastia, however, male breast reduction surgery is the best solution for true gynecomastia. Because of this, some patients may begin to control their eating habits in a disordered way, leading to dangerous conditions such as anorexia.

Schedule a Consultation

As you can see, gynecomastia can take an enormous toll on the mental health of those living with it. If you or a loved one are dealing with gynecomastia and are seeking treatment, Dr. Delgado can help. The most effective solution for treating gynecomastia is male breast reduction surgery. If you are interested in discussing your gynecomastia surgery options, please contact Dr. Delgado today to schedule a consultation appointment.