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.
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 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:
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.
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:
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.
Gynecomastia is also referred to as man boobs or moobs and is a complex physiological condition. The most effective and permanent solution is gynecomastia surgery to remove the excess glandular tissue and subcutaneous fat from the chest. On occasion, non-surgical options and medications may offer a solution. However, medication will normally only provide a temporary fix and gynecomastia will usually return if treatment is discontinued.
For a large percentage of men, non-surgical gynecomastia treatments will not provide an effective enough solution. If you want to try non-surgical treatment for gynecomastia, keep reading for a breakdown of which treatments might help.
Types of Gynecomastia
Non-surgical treatment options may work for a small percentage of men. The most appropriate method will depend on the type of gynecomastia that has been diagnosed.
Gynecomastia is typically classified into three types:
True gynecomastia, caused by glandular parenchyma — excess glandular tissue.
Mixed gynecomastia, a combination of glandular parenchyma and hypertrophy of fat.
Before considering a surgical approach to male chest reduction, a correct diagnosis of the cause of gynecomastia is essential.
Non-Surgical Treatments for True Gynecomastia
True gynecomastia, also referred to as real gynecomastia, results from excess glandular tissue. This tissue gives the chest a feminine appearance, resulting in what is often called man boobs. Enlargement of glandular tissue is the most challenging type of gynecomastia to treat without surgery.
Currently, no medications are approved by the FDA to treat gynecomastia.When the FDA has not approved a medication for a specific use, it is usually due to a lack of proven results from evidence-based research and comprehensive data. However, the use of this type of medication is still permitted and is referred to as “off-label” use.
The below medications can be used for the treatment of gynecomastia, although in most cases, gynecomastia will return within six months following discontinuation of the medication.
Gynecomastia Treatment Medication Summary
Clomiphene is a synthetic chemical taken orally that has been shown to partially reduce glandular tissue for approximately 50% of patients.Complications such as nausea, skin irritation, nipple tenderness, visual disturbances, decline in sperm count, and testicular atrophy (shrinkage) may occur using clomiphene.
Tamoxifen is another oral medication and a type of selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). Research has shown that treatment with tamoxifen only resulted in a marginal decrease in glandular tissue. Complications recorded during the use of tamoxifen include nausea, fatigue, headaches, skin rash, weight gain, hair loss, and erectile dysfunction.
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can be taken in various ways, including intramuscular injections, gel, and in a stick form that is applied to underarms. There is limited research into the effectiveness, and it is not suitable for men who have prostate or breast cancer, persistent urinary tract problems, or sleep apnea.
Before starting testosterone replacement therapy, men should have screening for prostate cancer. Complications associated with testosterone replacement therapy include elevated risk of heart attack, stroke, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), and blood clots. Other complications include mood swings and heightened aggression, decline in sperm count, and testicular atrophy (shrinkage).
Anabolic Steroids and Gynecomastia
Bodybuilders that use anabolic steroids will often find that one of the side effects is the development of gynecomastia. This is true gynecomastia and a result of the growth of glandular tissue. Often nipples will point down, and in extreme cases, the pecs will look more like female breasts. Clearly, this is distressing when the goal is to achieve a muscular-looking chest with defined pecs.
Non-Surgical Ways to Reduce Symptoms of Pseudogynecomastia
Pseudogynecomastia is when hypertrophy of fat in the chest area gives the appearance of breast tissue or man boobs. This occurs in men that are overweight and can be reduced with a corrective diet and exercise to burn calories and decreasesubcutaneous fat. When hormone levels are not balanced, some men find that avoiding certain foods could change estrogen levels and may also impact the growth of glandular tissue,
Cardiovascular aerobic activity is one of the fastest ways to burn calories and involves any exercise that elevates the heart rate. A balanced diet, exercise, and reaching a healthy BMI are important for both physical and mental health. Unfortunately, even after weight loss, many men do not notice any real visible difference in the amount of fat on their chest or the overall shape of their chest area.
Non-Surgical Ways to Treat Mixed Gynecomastia
Mixed gynecomastia may be treated with a combination of medication to reduce glandular tissue and weight loss to decrease fat. Often mixed gynecomastia causes a lack of motivation to exercise and stick with a balanced diet, as there is a reliance on the medication used.
Due to the limited reduction in the chest area due to weight loss, it can also be difficult to measure the effectiveness of treatment with medication. When weight loss does not result in a significant loss of chest fat, even if the medication reduces glandular tissue, there is unlikely to be a significant change in the shape of the chest.
Do Estrogen Blockers and Nutritional Supplements Reduce Gynecomastia?
There are numerous claims online made by nutritional supplement companies. One of the most commonmyths is that estrogen blockers will reduce gynecomastia. High estrogen levels in men have been linked to insulin resistance and weight gain. Insulin resistance is not resolved by taking estrogen blockers which is why they do not reduce gynecomastia.
Surgical solutions currently provide the most reliable, fastest, and permanent solution for gynecomastia. With advanced techniques and minimal scarring, there is no need to be afraid of surgery.
For personalized information about gynecomastia plastic surgery procedures, please complete Dr. Delgado’s inquiry form.
Miguel Delgado, M.D., F.A.C.S is a world-renowned Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon granted by the American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Society. Dr. Delgado has a surgical practice solely dedicated to cosmetic plastic surgery. He specializes in gynecomastia surgery and is the medical director of Gynecomastia.org, the oldest and largest gynecomastia forum dedicated to supporting, educating, and providing solutions for men with breast enlargement. Dr. Delgado celebrates 30 years of practice in San Francisco, California. He was voted the “Best Plastic Surgeon of 2017-2020.”
Upper Chest Exercise That Will Help You Get Rid of Man Boobs for Good
Men are increasingly deciding on surgical options to get rid of man boobs, fast and permanently. According to the Plastic Surgery Statistic Report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, male breast reduction surgery is in the top 10 most popular plastic surgery procedures for men in 2020. Men with gynecomastia often feel uncomfortable and, regardless of weight or fitness, look out of shape due to the feminizing appearance of excess breast tissue.
Prominent breasts in men, also known as man boobs or “moobs,” are a significant source of anxiety for men when changing in locker rooms, at the beach or pool, or anywhere they might take off their shirt. This mental anguish results in men wearing loose-fitting clothes and never taking off their shirts in public. For many men, gynecomastia symptoms also cause embarrassment and impact intimate relationships and their overall wellbeing.
It is estimated 30 % of men will develop gynecomastia at some point in their lives. This development occurs when testosterone levels are off-balanced with estrogen levels. The hormonal imbalance is most likely to occur during puberty or between 50 to 69. However, male breast cancer is rare and occurs in less than 1% of men.
One of the best ways to get rid of man boobs and look fit is with high-intensity cardio exercises for weight loss, combined with intense upper chest workouts. This means concentrating on a pectoral muscle workout plan. Gynecomastia exercises to get rid of man boobs and grow muscle will not work for every man with puffy nipples because gynecomastia’s main cause is male breast tissue. More often than not, gynecomastia surgery is eventually needed for a permanent solution.
Cardio Exercise for Fat Loss
Cardio exercise for weight loss and to burn fat results in fat loss to the entire body and will significantly reduce the excess body fat component of the chest, which causes man boobs and belly fat. To achieve the best from your overall chest workout plan, you will need to lose fat on your chest, and your workout plan should include aerobic exercise. You may even find that you have pseudogynecomastia, which is caused by excess fat rather than true gynecomastia.
Exercises that isolate your upper chest, mainly the pectoralis major muscle, in strength and bulk, will give you pecs that display chest development and defined chest muscles. This can help to give you bigger muscles and reduce gynecomastia. For any chest workout plan to build bigger muscles, chest exercises need to be performed at least twice a week, although if you can fit in three or even four, you will more than likely see much faster results.
For maximum benefit and more success with these exercises and to build upper body strength fast, the proper position for chest exercises is at a 25-45 degree incline. The five exercises below can be done alone, as a weight lifting day or after a cardio workout.
The key is to perform six to eight reps with heavier weights rather than ten or more reps with lighter ones. Although you will need to pace yourself, lifting too much weight will pull muscles, so work your way up to lifting heavier weights. The exercises below require a barbell rack. If you don’t have one or space for one, it is time to hit the gym. Joining a gym will also give you access to a wide variety of gym equipment, which can help to build muscle fast.
Intensity cardio exercise can reduce chest fat, but no specific exercise will target “only” chest fat. The bonus is that cardio exercise reduces your total body fat percentage, helping to improve your entire body shape. As described in the exercises above, you can target muscle development in the chest, which will build muscles and increase weight loss.
What Should I Eat to Lose “Moobs”?
There are many diets for weight loss and reducing chest fat. One of the essential articles regarding weight-loss strategies is from the Mayo Clinic.
What Are Man Boobs?
The clinical term for Man Boobs or Moobs is gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is defined as the benign growth of the male breast glandular tissue. This is caused by increased estrogen levels and decreased testosterone levels. Gynecomastia symptoms can also be due to health conditions, medications, or steroid use.
Pseudogynecomastia is male breast enlargement caused by excess fat and can be drastically improved with the proper diet, weight loss, exercise, and liposuction. Many men who have concerns with “man boobs” or “moobs” are in this group. The amounts of testosterone are average, and hormone levels are balanced.
For personalized information about gynecomastia plastic surgery procedures, please complete Dr. Delgado’s inquiry form.
Miguel Delgado, M.D., F.A.C.S is a world-renowned Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon granted by the American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Society. Dr. Delgado has a surgical practice solely dedicated to cosmetic plastic surgery. He specializes in gynecomastia surgery and is the medical director of Gynecomastia.org. This is the oldest and largest gynecomastia forum dedicated to supporting, educating, and providing solutions for men with breast enlargement. Dr. Delgado celebrates 30 years of practice in San Francisco, California. He was voted the “Best Plastic Surgeon of 2017-2020.”
Many men suffer from gynecomastia. And It’s no secret that the increased emphasis today’s pop culture places on the male physique has created a correlating effect with gynecomastia awareness. As gynecomastia becomes more well-known, various treatments for it are brought to the forefront. The most common form of treatment for this disorder is through surgery. But alternative gynecomastia treatments, such as medication or the right lifestyle are known to help as well.
When it comes to using alternative gynecomastia treatments, some medicines are used in place of surgery. Three of the most popular include Gynexin, Gynectrol, and GyneMax. These supplements are designed to reduce male breast size, but they have different ways of doing it. Gynexin is an herbal based supplement with the intention of eliminating the fat that results from gynecomastia. This supplement is able to stand apart from the other because of its 99% success rate. This is due to its possession of the natural fat burner, Guggulsterone.
Gynectrol is another supplement that has found success. But it doesn’t tackle gynecomastia by eliminating the fat like Gynexin. Instead, Gynectrol reduces estrogen amounts that might be causing gynecomastia. Like Gynexin, this supplement also contains all-natural ingredients. However, it is recommended mainly for treating pseudogynecomastia cases because breast tissue cannot be removed by oral medications once it has formed. Even though Gynectrol is not quite as effective as its predecessor, it still boasts a 96.5% success rate making it one of the most popular male breast reduction supplements.
GyneMax is the last supplement mentioned. But it is not as popular as its competitors. This supplement is branded as the best herbal supplement for gynecomastia. In reality, however, the ingredients used in this pill suggest that it is better used as a weight loss supplement, rather than a treatment for gynecomastia. Because GyneMax is not as effective, it also contends with many negative customers reviews. These reviews, along with poor performance cement its place as the most unpopular of the three supplements.
Even though surgery or medication are better treatment routes, proper diet and exercise can also help break down breast fat tissue. Elements like zinc, vitamin D, and healthy fats in diets can help achieve weight loss and improve muscle strength. Foods that are high in these qualities include lean beef, eggs, avocados, and walnuts. Gynecomastia food to avoid is soy because it contains high amounts of an herbal type of estrogen. Another diet change that is helpful is juicing. Juicing is useful because it allows the intake of various nutrients the body needs while also minimizing the intake of calories.
While all of these methods are alternative gynecomastia treatments, they are not always the best approaches for eliminating gynecomastia. If these methods do not produce the results that you desire, surgery might be the best option for you. If you have any questions about gynecomastia surgery, get in touch with Dr. Delgado by phone (415) 577-4161 or via our contact form.
Surgical Vs. Non-Surgical Body Contouring and Liposuction Procedures
The Myths And The Myth Busters
• What Is Coolsculpting / Non-Surgical
The makers of CoolSculpting State That This Procedure Freezes & Eliminates Stubborn Fat.
The information provided by the company states that this procedure will safely deliver precise, controlled cooling to gently target the fat cells underneath the skin. The information also states that the treated fat cells will crystalize (freeze), then die. Over time, your body is to process the cells and eventually eliminate the dead cells, leaving a more sculpted you. It is stated that while some patients may see results as early as 3 weeks following the first treatment, the most dramatic results are usually seen between 1 and 3 months following a series of treatments along with diet and exercise.
Anyone that is committed to following a diet and exercise program for 3 months, will likely lose weight and contour their body naturally. This can also be the case for those who are 3 weeks into their diet an exercise program.
• What Is Liposonix / Non-Surgical
Liposonix states that this procedure reduces fat using ultrasound technologies. Like Coolsculpting, Liposonix is also marketed as a non-invasive fat reduction procedure. They state that Ultrasound energy can be used to penetrate through layers of skin to target fat tissue without harming the skin or other surrounding tissues. Fat is then naturally processed through the body. The Liposonix system informs consumers that the procedure uses high-intensity focused ultrasound wave of energy that can destroy targeted subcutaneous fat therefore delivering a more precise result. It is stated that results can typically be seen within 8 to 12 weeks with a healthy diet and exercise.
Liposonix states that results can be seen with only one treatment. However, it is more often recommended that the patient may receive 2 to 3 treatments to achieve desired results. Again, like Coolsculpting, anyone that is committed to following a diet and exercise program for 8 to 12 weeks, will likely lose weight and contour their body naturally.
• What Is SmartLipo / Non-Surgical
The makers of Smartlipo state that this procedure is a minimally invasive, laser-assisted procedure that will target troubled areas like the abdomen, arms, buttocks, thighs, and neck, and will permanently eliminate fat. The manufacturer states that for the stubborn areas of your body that does not respond to diet and exercise, this procedure will provide dramatic improvements. They state minimal downtime with less pain than traditional liposuction.
Per the information provided, the technique has three wavelengths to provide targeted treatments that will disrupt the fat, coagulate blood vessels as well as stimulate collagen to improve the elasticity and texture of the skin.
This procedure is performed using local anesthetic to numb only the specific areas that are being treated. What this means, is that you are awake during the procedure.
The Smartlipo laser cannula is inserted through a small incision in the skin, the laser will then rupture fat cell membranes and destroy fat cells permanently. It is stated the fat will liquefy and then gently suction out.
The Myth Buster:
Be careful of fancy marketing words such as “Laser” Liposuction and “minimally invasive”. Fact, the only fat that is responsive to any liposuction procedure is the fat directly beneath the fascia. This is the fat that can be pinched directly underneath the skin. The procedure is performed to address the fat just beneath the skin. Having said that, all liposuction procedures can be considered “minimally invasive”. What this means is, the procedure is performed just below the surface of the skin through a small incision (approx. size of a pencil eraser). Over the years, the word “laser” has become somewhat of a great marketing word. There are always factors to consider prior to having this procedure, as well as any procedure (surgical or non-surgical). Lasers in any form, produce heat, therefore can burn its surroundings. Complications that are often seen with this procedure, can range from cosmetic dissatisfaction to permanent internal damage. These complications are often due to heat from the laser, combined with friction of the technique. This combination can burn the underneath portions of the skin causing a visually wavy/lumpy appearance at the treatment site. Other complications from lasers can also be as severe as an internal burn or injury.
***Lasers have become a great option for external resurfacing such as scar treatments, and hair removal. Lasers have also evolved in technology for anti-aging purposes. When lasers are used in this capacity, the provider can be much more precise in the treatment as well as visibly see how the individual is reacting to the heat. ***
• What Is The Ultrasonic Liposuction Procedure / Surgical Procedure
• What Is Traditional Liposuction Procedure / Surgical Procedure
The ultrasonic liposuction procedure is very similar to a traditional liposuction procedure, with one major exception. A sound generator is connected to the cannula, which then generates ultrasonic waves through the tip of the cannula. These waves cause fat cells to dissolve and liquefy, and the liquefied fat is then easily suctioned from the body.
Ultrasonic liposuction can greatly benefit patients that are not the perfect candidate for traditional liposuction. Ultrasonic liposuction uses sound waves to first break up and liquefy fat, which is then removed via suction. Because the fat is liquefied before removal, there is far less blood loss than with traditional liposuction, and can also be effective in areas that tend to be more fibrous.
Depending on the individual needs of each person, a more traditional liposuction may be performed directly after the ultrasound procedure in order to better shape the body. Having a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon perform the Liposuction procedure is the safest way of having ANY procedure done. When having a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon perform the procedure, you will have options available that will deliver the best results for you and your body type.
During liposuction, a cannula is inserted – or surgical metal tube – through surgically created entrances in your skin. Fat is then sucked through the cannula into a container by the power of a vacuum pump. The experience and skills of our board certified plastic surgeons allows them to act as body sculptor, leading to more proportional and attractive results.
Although liposuction is not intended as a weight-loss technique, this procedure is commonly used to remove fatty areas for body contouring and sculpting. Suction-assisted lipectomy, or lipoplasty, more commonly referred to as liposuction, can be used to improve various areas of the body. Individuals who choose to have liposuction often target their abdomen, hips, thighs, and knees. Men generally target love handles, lower abdomen and enlarged male breasts.
Following any Liposuction procedure, you will be fitted with elastic bandages or compression garments while your skin shrinks to fit your new body.
*** FOR YOUR SAFETY, IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT WHEN HAVING ANY PROCEDURES PERFORMED, THAT THE PROVIDER BE LISENCED IN THE SPECIALTY AND THE PROCEDURES ARE PERFORMED IN A STERILE ENVIRONMENT AT A LISENCED SURGICAL FACILITY. ***
Do extensive research on the provider as well as the facility itself. Your life and your body are not worth bargaining.
Note: In most cases, if a procedure is not being performed in an Operating Room setting, this will often mean that the provider performing the service does NOT have Operating Room privileges. This can mean that the provider is not licensed to perform the procedure.