Gynecomastia Reduction (Chest Reshaping) in the Athletic Male

Q: I am writing you because I need information on gynecomastia reduction. I have been battling with fat around my chest ever since I was young. I am now 28 and not the least bit out of shape. Actually I am a certified personal trainer and have participated in body building contests. Even when dieting down to as little as 4% body fat I still have this fat on my chest. It is very humiliating and I have never been comfortable with my body because of this reason. I am completely happy with my body except for this part. Being a trainer and a single man my appearance is important. Can you help me?

A: Male breast enlargement, known medically as gynecomastia, comes in all forms. How it appears in different men is as variable as breasts are in women. While many people may think that gynecomastia presents as an actual breast, that is only partially true. About half the men I see today in my Indianapolis plastic surgery practice have what I call ‘minimal gynecomastia’. Their stories are all very similar. They are younger (under age 40) men who are in extremely good shape (many are trainers and body builders) who just can’t get off that little bit of fat on their chest. While a lot of other people may not think it significant, they are extremely bothered by it due to their understandable sensitivity to their body shape. I suspect in some patients their extraordinary focus on conditioning and body shaping may be a compensatory response to their self-image issues with it.

Such smaller amounts of gynecomastia are easily treated and resolved with simple liposuction techniques. This leaves essentially no significant scarring, can be done in one hour of surgery, and there is minimal recovery. Because of its effectiveness and skin tightening potential, I prefer to use laser or Smartlipo as the liposuction method. Men can return to full chest exercises in two weeks.

Dr. Barry Eppley