Gland or Fat: Does it Matter?
One of the most frequently asked questions we field about cases of gynecomastia in New York and online is: are my man boobs made up of breast gland or fat? Guys sometimes seem almost desperate to know what is “in there.”
Why it Might Matter to You
If you were to come in for an appointment with us, we won’t spend lots of time evaluating the composition of your enlarged breasts. And we’ll tell you why below. But in our three decades of working with guys with moobs, we’ve come to understand what’s behind the question for patients. It comes down to two reasons:
• Some men don’t want to think that they have female attributes, such as breast gland. For these guys, the notion of excess fat is more acceptable.
• If a guy can be convinced that his man boobs are made up primarily of fat, he may believe diet and exercise can get rid of them. (We’ll say more about this shortly too.)
It’s next to impossible for even a seasoned gynecomastia expert to determine a patient’s ratio of gland to fat in a physical examination. It’s even less likely that a guy will be able to figure it out for himself. But in the end, it doesn’t make much difference.
Why it Doesn’t Matter to Us
The first thing to know is that all men have some measure of breast gland—it’s normal. The problem starts when the gland begins to grow, usually in adolescence (but not always). Men will often add a little fat through the years, and one of the first places it tends to land is the chest. Therefore, almost every single patient we have treated for gynecomastia in New York has a combination of breast tissue and fat present.
But what about “pseudogynecomastia,” you might ask? Isn’t this the term for male breasts that contain only fat?
Actually, we have concluded that there’s really no such thing as pseudogynecomastia. When a guy is overweight and has enlarged breasts, there is almost always gland present as well as fat. That’s because fat tissue tends to trigger the growth of breast gland. Therefore, if you have moobs, know that diet and exercise may reduce their size somewhat, but it’s very unlikely that you will be satisfied with the results of your efforts. In fact, it could happen that your moobs seem more prominent as you lose weight—but that’s a topic for another blog post.
We don’t use the term “pseudogynecomastia” in our practice for other reasons. One is that the prefix “pseudo” implies that the problem is not real or not important. For patients who find their moobs distressing, that’s not helpful. In addition, if a man believes fat is his only problem, he may be convinced that liposuction alone or even a liposuction alternative can banish it. But for many guys who choose to address only fat, troublesome gland remains behind.
No matter the ultimate ratio of breast gland to fat, our New York gynecomastia patients have benefited from our approach that employs both liposuction and excision. We use our own specially designed instruments to carefully sculpt masculine contours—suctioning fat away and gently removing gland.
If you want to know more, give us a call at 212-570-6080 or contact us online. We are proud of our track record for helping guys across the country and we would be happy to help you too.