What is Pseudo-gynecomastia?
Pseudo-gynecomastia is a “female-like breast” on a man, which is caused by fat accumulation in the chest area. Men with pseudo-gynecomastia are usually overweight and can be obese. Most men with pseudo-gynecomastia have recently gained weight, which can be attributed to many different socio-economic issues.
The five differences between Gynecomastia and Pseudo-gynecomastia Gynecomastia are:
|Breast composition is breast gland tissue||Breast composition is fat|
|The tissue is firm||The tissue is soft|
|The individual has a healthy or low body weight||The individual is overweight or obese|
|Breast tissue can be tender and painful||The breast tissue is not tender or painful|
|Breast size does not fluctuate with weight gain or loss||Breast size significantly fluctuates with weight loss or gain|
This above chart illustrates the differences between gynecomastia and pseudo-gynecomastia. Note that even with pseudo-gynecomastia, a small disk of breast tissue is usually present.
What causes pseudo-gynecomastia?
Pseudo-gynecomastia is caused by weight gain. Both boys and men can fall victim to unnecessary weight gain, resulting in fat accumulation in the chest. The weight gain can be attributed to a genetic trait for a large body type, overeating, a medical condition, or an injury preventing a healthy lifestyle.
Treatment for pseudo-gynecomastia
Healthy weight loss through a sensible diet and exercise is the first line of treatment for pseudo-gynecomastia. While weight loss has been shown to decrease the size of the breasts, it does require a high level of self-discipline and willpower, which makes losing weight extremely difficult for some men. Some obese men resort to a gastric-bypass procedure or other types of less invasive techniques. In some cases, these procedures are excellent and appropriate. Some boys and men will never lose enough weight to have a contoured chest.
Surgical options for pseudo-gynecomastia
Frequently, pseudo-gynecomastia cannot be eliminated through diet and exercise. In such cases, a surgical correction is an option.
Pseudo-gynecomastia before and after treatment with liposuction
Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty, or suction-assisted lipectomy, yields excellent results for pseudogynecomastia. Liposuction was invented in 1974 and has been the gold standard for minimally invasive fat reduction ever since. Other names for liposuction include lipo and body contouring.
Four steps for liposuction in the treatment of pseudogynecomastia
STEP 1 – Anesthesia. The choice of anesthesia is general anesthesia, IV sedation, or local. Your physician will advise you of the best technique for you.
STEP 2 – Incision. The doctor makes a minimal incision (2-3mm) and infuses the local anesthesia solution into the treatment area, in this case, the chest. The anesthesia will include a drug such as lidocaine for pain control and a bleeding reducing agent, or epinephrine, to reduce the bleeding.
STEP 3 – Liposuction. A hollow cannula with various types of tips is the primary surgical instrument. The cannula is connected to a tube that is attached to a suctioning machine. The doctor suctions the fat with his or her dominant hand and uses the other is to control the cannula tip and evaluate the fat/skin thickness for evenness.
STEP 4 – Results. The improved chest contour will be apparent when the swelling and fluid retention that commonly follow liposuction subside.
Liposuction requires good skin quality. Once the chest deflates after removal of the fat for ideal chest contouring, the skin needs to contract to the new contour. If not, the skin will sag and compromise the aesthetic outcome. In some cases, men with poor quality skin will require male breast reduction surgery for pseudogynecomastia, especially men who have experienced massive weight loss.
Liposuction is not an alternative for weight-loss. If you are overweight, you’re likely to lose more weight through a healthy lifestyle—the last option may a weight loss surgery like bariatric surgery.
Pseudogynecomastia is due to fat accumulation in the chest area, causing “female-like breasts.” This condition is most often present in overweight or obese males. The treatment ranges from weight loss via diet and exercise, to weight loss bypass procedures or male breast reduction surgery.
Venkata Ratnam B.Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2011 Aug;35(4):668-9. doi: 10.1007/s00266-010-9629-0.
Medscape Updated: Mar 22, 2018 , Author: George Anastas, MD; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, M
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