Male breast over-development or Gynecomastia (colloquially known as man boobs) is generally a bilateral and symmetrical anatomical abnormality of male breast maturation. Occasionally due to endocrine hormone abnormalities, the process most often occurs with no apparent cause in adolescent or fully mature males.
Obesity may be a contributing factor, but equally often the problem is simply due to undesirable pectoral fat storage and some element of glandular tissue enlargement in the male breast. Certain medications may also contribute to the development of Gynecomastia, especially drugs used for hormonal treatments of some male cancers.
Gynecomastia usually does not signal the presence of any "disease", but since Breast Cancer does occasionally occur in older males, the finding of unilateral (one-sided) male breast enlargement must be considered a particular danger, and biopsy is usually warranted.
Although the anatomical finding of Gynecomastia does not usually represent a disease, it is a source of teasing, and anguish, in adolescent males, and certainly a source of significant embarrassment in adult men as "man boobs" are regarded as feminine or a sign of low fitness.
As such, the surgical correction of this deformity has often been a covered expense under health insurance in the past. However, with the advent of "managed care" and HMO-type health insurance schemes, this treatment has usually been arbitrarily labeled as "cosmetic surgery", and thus is very frequently denied by insurance companies, much like female breast over- development has likewise been labeled as a "cosmetic problem".
Treatment of Gynecomastia at the California Surgical Institute usually entails a combination of Tumescent Liposuction contouring, and direct removal of excess glandular breast tissue which is too fibrous to be removed and shaped by liposuction technique alone. A small incision under each nipple results, and generally heals quite favorably. A compression garment is worn on the chest for about two weeks after surgery, and exercise is limited for about 3-4 weeks.
Since gynecomastia surgery is the only proven method to eradicate overdeveloped breast tissue in a male, many insurance companies will pay for male breast reduction with insurance. To see if you qualify for male breast reduction with insurance, please fill out our free insurance verification form to the right.