In 2013, nearly 23,000 procedures – including liposuction and mastectomies – were performed on men to remove enlarged breast tissue, a condition known as gynecomastia. The procedure is the third most common cosmetic surgery performed for men behind rhinoplasty (nose reshaping) and blepharoplasty (eye lift).
Gynecomastia can be embarrassing leaving lingering emotional scars. It can also be painful, causing breasts to become swollen and tender. In some cases, the breasts can lactate. The condition may go away after a few months or years, or symptoms may persist for a lifetime, in which case surgical intervention may be considered.
“Surgical treatment for gynecomastia includes various techniques, alone or in combination, depending on the type. In the simplest type of gynecomastia, there is enlargement of breast tissue immediately beneath the nipple and areola, resulting in a firm, prominent, often tender and painful mass. This condition is most often treated by direct surgical excision through a well disguised incision just at the margin of the areola. In more complex types of gynecomastia … there may be more diffusely enlarged fatty breast tissue, possibly combined with localized prominence of dense breast tissue beneath the nipple and areola. These cases are sometimes treated with liposuction alone but often also require direct excision of the more firm breast tissue,” explains Dr. Polo with Miami Plastic Surgery.
Many causes of male breast enlargement are caused by natural hormone fluctuations during puberty or from obesity. However, medications can also cause gynecomastia, such as the antipsychotic drug risperidone, known by the brand name Risperdal. The drug is used to treat adults and children with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability with autism. However, it is also prescribed off-label for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and other behavior disorders.
Risperdal maker Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, currently faces hundreds of lawsuits alleging the company knew Risperdal could cause gynecomastia but failed to warn doctors and patients of this risk.
Source: Kendall Gazette