pec modelThis shouldn’t come as a shock – but Men have Breasts. The male breast gland doesn’t have  the function of the female mammary gland, but it is there.

Sometimes, a combination of swelling in the male breast, fatty tissue, heredity, and lifestyle choices- produce a condition known as Gynecomastia: enlarged male breasts.

While Gynecomastia is not in itself considered a serious medical issue, male breasts that appear swollen, overgrown, or soft, cause a great deal of emotional and even physical problems for men of all ages;

gynecomastia illustration ASPS

Gynecomastia (ASPS)

  • An unwanted feminine appearance to the chest
  • An ‘out of shape’ look
  • Discomfort wearing many styles of clothing
  • Embarrassment when bare-chested


There are different causes, and different times in life when this problem may arise.

Hormonal Changes:

Men and women have both testosterone and estrogen. Imbalances in these hormones are common causes of changes in breast size.

Boys going through puberty will often go through a phase that leads to an appearance of enlarged breasts. At this stage in life, the condition most-often resolves itself within a period of months to a couple of years.

Medical Factors:

Other types of hormonal changes occur later in life, and may be due to other medical factors.

Since diseases of the kidney, liver, and thyroid could be potential causes, a checkup with your medical doctor would be a good first step.


We’ve stayed away from the popular descriptions; Moobs and Man-Boobs, for a few paragraphs, but now it’s time to use them to discuss the Lifestyle causes of male breast enlargement.

  • Marijuana Use:

We’re not here to scold, but to tell you the medical findings. One of the reasons we believe we’re seeing so many ‘younger’ men with enlarged breasts, is an apparent reaction to the chemical content of pot. The studies on this have gone back and forth for a number of years, but have strongly suggested a connection between cannabis and the changes in testosterone levels that cause enlarged male breasts.

  • Drug Use (Prescription and Other):

– There’s a long list of other kinds of drugs that can contribute to gynecomastia. They include some medications for heart and hypertension problems, certain antibiotics, and ulcer treatments.

– Abuse of drugs (such as heroin), is also a cause.

– Steroid use among athletes and body-builders is often associated with male breast development, causing physical change which may not reverse, even after the drugs are no longer used.  The changes become more apparent when the workout routines are scaled down. Men often see a sagging, deflated appearance.


Exercise and Diet

We’re going to guess that you’ve seen lots of articles promoting “Lose Your Man-Boobs in __days with This Exercise-Diet-Nutrition Plan.”

If your problem is caused by excess fat in the chest and other areas, no exercise, no chest muscle development, and a really bad diet, please, go ahead and try a good and sensible diet and exercise plan. Although diet and exercise can help decrease fat around the breast, they will not reduce the amount of glandular tissue.

If you’re not seeing any changes in your chest area, no matter what you do, it could be time to consider a visit with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Gynecomastia Surgery – Male Breast Reduction

Photo by Dr. Lepore Gynecomastia-Before

Photo by Dr. Lepore

Liposuction: You can very often get the results you want, with an ultrasound-assisted form of Liposuction. This is a surgical procedure, during which excess fat is removed. Liposuction techniques often have an added effect of slight skin tightening. They may not, however, remove all of the overgrown, more dense glandular tissue.

Photo by Dr. Lepore Gynecomastia-After

Photo by Dr. Lepore

Liposuction & Excision: When liposuction alone is not enough to make a sufficient change, your plastic surgeon will recommend excising (cutting) the excess tissue inside the breast, and removal of excess loose and sagging skin. Liposuction may be used at the same time, to remove the excess fat.

What can you expect from surgery?

Some results will be visible right away. Following a short recovery period, you should notice a more masculine-appearing contour to your chest. Fat deposits and sagging skin will be greatly reduced. Incision scars will be well-hidden, and will fade with time

You will soon be able to resume- or begin, an exercise routine to enhance your results even more.

We know there’s a pop-culture tendency to snicker or poke fun at “man boobs” or whatever the term of the day might be.

But, please know it’s something we take seriously. We know that you do too. Our gynecomastia patients are very pleased with their surgical choices, their results, and their enhanced levels of personal confidence.

[Dr. Vincent Lepore performs Gynecomastia surgery in San Jose. He is a Board Certified, Stanford-trained Plastic Surgeon, treating patients throughout Silicon Valley. Please call us for a Free Consultation, at (408) 356-4241]

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