After Gynecomastia Surgery, Can the Breasts Grow Back?
Before and After Gynecomastia Surgery
San Jose, California
Dr. Miguel Delgado, M.D. states that many men ask him at the time of their gynecomastia consultation if it is possible for their male breasts to grow back after surgery. The answer is that in most cases the breasts will not grow back; however, there are instances where it could happen.
Dr. Delgado will try to determine the cause of a man’s breast growth through a series of questions, and sometimes testing by an endocrinologist. If it is possible to determine what made the breasts grow then action can be taken to avoid recurrence. The cause of most gynecomastia, however, remains unknown; this is referred to as idiopathic gynecomastia.
During male breast reduction surgery, most of the breast tissue and fat will be removed, but some will remain to sculpt the chest and give support to the areola. It is this remaining tissue that could be an issue in regrowth. For example, studies show that up to 65% of adolescent boys will develop some degree of gynecomastia during puberty. If left alone, all but about 5% of the adolescent cases will resolve on their own with no intervention. Cases that have breast gland remaining are referred to as persistent pubertal gynecomastia, for these young men surgery will be the only option for removal.
It should be noted that young men do very well with male breast reduction surgery as their skin is usually very elastic, pliable and contracts well back to the muscle after the breast gland is removed.
Some adolescent boys are so traumatized by breast growth that is damaging to their self-esteem. With careful consultation with the boy and his parents and possibly an endocrinologist, early surgery (as young as 12 to 14 years of age) may be warranted. However, there is some possibility of continued growth of the breasts after surgery, due to the hormones still fluctuating. Recurrence for adolescents is rare, and Dr. Delgado has never had to re-operate.
Other possible reasons for recurrence would be:
· Continued use of marijuana or other recreational drugs
· Weight gain
· Some prescription drugs
· Anabolic steroids (popular with body builders)
· Decrease in production of testosterone (usually in older men)
· Imbalance of levels of estrogen and testosterone
· Psychological stress
· Scar tissue build-up (rare but possible)
It is stressed that regrowth is rare, of the thousands of gynecomastia cases Dr. Delgado has performed over the years; he has only seen a handful of recurrent cases.