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What’s the Difference Between Gynecomastia & Pseudogynecomastia?


The appearance of enlarged breasts is a concern that affects many adolescent and adult males. While “gynecomastia” is frequently used as a blanket term when referring to this issue, the condition may actually qualify as “pseudogynecomastia” for certain individuals based on the anatomy of their abnormally large breasts.

In true gynecomastia, overly large male breasts are mainly caused by an excess accumulation of glandular tissue. This extra tissue buildup usually begins developing during puberty due to hormonal fluctuations, and for many young men, it resolves on its own. In the event the condition does not go away by itself (which could take approximately one to two years following the end of puberty), direct removal of the excess glandular tissue is generally necessary for men seeking to reduce the size of their breasts and improve their overall chest contour.

In pseudogynecomastia, the primary cause of enlarged male breasts is a buildup of fat that often manifests around, behind, or underneath the nipples. Although certain weight lifting techniques and pectoral exercises can help some individuals improve this condition by toning the chest, the most effective way to treat pseudogynecomastia is removing fat via liposculpting (a skilled liposuction approach used to carefully and precisely “sculpt” the treatment area).

In reality, the vast majority of men who desire gynecomastia treatment have an excess of both fat and glandular tissue in the breasts. As a result, our Houston plastic surgeon – Dr. James F. Boynton – often employs a unique, minimally invasive male breast reduction technique that addresses both the fatty and glandular tissue using minimal incisions and a “pull-through” excision method. He then optimizes aftercare with compression garments designed to facilitate skin retraction for optimal results. Following surgery, patients usually experience a considerable boost of self-confidence and esteem as a result of their more masculine-appearing chest.

For more information about gynecomastia and its treatment options, please feel free to contact our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Boynton.