Enlarged male breasts are the sign of a relatively common condition known as gynecomastia (guy-neh-co-MAST-ee-ah). The condition may be brought on by obesity, anabolic steroids (ann-uh-BALL-ick STAIR-oids), hormonal imbalances, or heavy use of alcohol or marijuana. If a doctor suspects one of these causes, you may be advised to first make lifestyle changes to see if this reduces breast size. If the cause is unknown, surgical methods must be used to correct gynecomastia. If excess fat is responsible for the swelling, liposuction alone can be successful in creating a more masculine contour. Liposuction of the male breasts is usually performed as an outpatient procedure and typically requires only a few days of recovery. Small incisions are made under the arm or in the dark border around the nipple known as the areola (air-ee-OH-la). Fat cells are then suctioned out using a small, hollow instrument known as a cannula (KAN-yuh-luh). When plumpness in the breasts is due to glandular tissue, it must be removed by reduction surgery. Incisions are made around the areola or under the arm, and the surgeon then cuts away extra tissue, fat, and skin from the breast. Liposuction may also be used during the process. Though both procedures are relatively simple, they also involve side effects and possible risks. For more information on gynecomastia, consult a cosmetic surgeon.
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