Florence Mussat, M.D.
680 N Lake Shore Dr. #1030 Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 751-9000


Category: Gynecomastia Surgery

What Causes Gynecomastia and How to Treat It

Gynecomastia is a condition that affects many men, causing enlarged breast tissue and often leading to self-consciousness and discomfort. As a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Chicago, IL, Dr. Florence Mussat understands the importance of addressing this concern to help individuals regain their self-esteem and quality of life. In this post, we will delve into the intricacies of gynecomastia, exploring its causes, treatment options, and when to seek medical intervention.

What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia, often referred to as “man boobs,” is a condition categorized by the enlargement of breast tissue in males. This occurrence can lead to a more feminine chest appearance, causing emotional distress and affecting self-esteem. While gynecomastia is generally harmless, its psychological impact is significant, prompting males of all ages to seek medical resolutions.

How does Hormonal Imbalance Contribute to Gynecomastia?

Hormonal imbalance, specifically an increase in estrogen relative to testosterone, is a leading cause of gynecomastia. Various factors, including puberty, medications, health conditions, and aging, can trigger this imbalance. Estrogen stimulates breast tissue growth, while testosterone suppresses it. When this balance is disrupted, excessive breast tissue can develop.

Is Gynecomastia Common During Puberty?

Gynecomastia is quite common during puberty. Hormonal fluctuations are natural during this period of life, and it’s not uncommon for teenage boys to experience temporary breast tissue enlargement. In most cases, this condition resolves independently as the hormone imbalances stabilize. However, seeking medical advice is crucial if the issue persists or causes emotional distress.

What Role Do Medications Play in Gynecomastia Development?

Certain medications have been associated with gynecomastia development. These include anabolic steroids, anti-androgens, some anti-depressants, and certain heart medications. Not everyone taking these medications will develop gynecomastia, but if you notice changes in your breast tissue while on medication, consult your healthcare provider.

Can Gynecomastia be a Symptom of Underlying Health Conditions?

Yes, gynecomastia can sometimes be a symptom of underlying health conditions. Conditions like hormonal disorders, testicular tumors, and hyperthyroidism can contribute to breast tissue enlargement. It’s essential to address any unexplained changes in your body, including gynecomastia, with a medical professional to rule out potential underlying health issues.

How Does Aging Impact the Risk of Gynecomastia?

Aging can influence the risk of gynecomastia development. As men age, testosterone levels may decrease, and estrogen levels might rise due to changes in hormone production and metabolism. This hormonal shift can contribute to the growth of breast tissue. Therefore, older men are more susceptible to gynecomastia compared to younger individuals.

Are Lifestyle Factors Linked to Gynecomastia?

Lifestyle factors can play a role in gynecomastia development. Excessive alcohol consumption, drug use (particularly marijuana and certain illicit drugs), and obesity have been linked to an increased risk of gynecomastia. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, can help reduce the risk of developing this condition.

What Treatment Options Are Available for Gynecomastia?

The treatment approach for gynecomastia varies based on its severity and underlying causes. In mild cases, lifestyle changes like weight loss and exercise may help reduce breast tissue. However, more significant issues often require medical intervention. Treatment options include:

  • Hormone therapy: Balancing hormone levels through medications can sometimes be effective.
  • Medication adjustment: Switching or discontinuing medications contributing to gynecomastia may alleviate the condition.
  • Plastic surgery: Surgical options like liposuction and male breast reduction surgery can remove excess breast tissue and restore a more masculine chest contour.

Can Gynecomastia Resolve on its Own without Treatment?

In some cases, especially during puberty, gynecomastia may resolve independently as hormone levels stabilize. However, it’s important not to rely solely on the hope of spontaneous resolution, especially if the condition is causing emotional distress. Consulting a qualified medical professional can help determine the appropriate course of action.

What Role Does Exercise and Diet Play in Managing Gynecomastia?

While exercise and diet alone may not fully treat gynecomastia, they can be supportive, especially in mild cases. Engaging in regular physical activity and adopting a balanced diet can contribute to overall weight loss and fat reduction, which may help minimize the appearance of enlarged breast tissue.

When Should I Seek Medical Intervention for Gynecomastia?

If you are experiencing gynecomastia and it is causing you distress, discomfort, or embarrassment, seeking medical intervention is recommended. A consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon like Dr. Mussat can help determine the underlying causes and develop an appropriate treatment plan tailored to your needs.

What Surgical Options Exist for Gynecomastia Treatment?

Surgical intervention is often considered for cases of gynecomastia that do not respond to other treatments. The two primary surgical options are:

  • Liposuction: This minimally invasive procedure involves the removal of excess fat from the chest through small incisions.
  • Male Breast Reduction: In more severe cases, male breast reduction surgery may be performed to remove excess breast tissue and restore a flatter, more masculine chest contour.

Dr. Mussat’s expertise in plastic surgery ensures that you will receive the highest level of care and achieve natural-looking, transformative results.

Learn More

Gynecomastia can significantly impact a man’s self-esteem and quality of life, but it’s important to remember that effective treatments are available. Whether it’s hormonal imbalances, medications, or underlying health conditions, addressing the root causes of gynecomastia can lead to a renewed sense of confidence. Don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance if you or someone you know is struggling with gynecomastia.

Dr. Mussat and her dedicated team are here to support you on your journey toward a more confident, masculine appearance. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards reclaiming your self-esteem and enjoying life to the fullest.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Mussat Today Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. With the proper medical intervention and support, you can overcome gynecomastia and embrace a happier, more confident you.

Can Exercise Reduce Large Male Breasts?

Many men are affected by the appearance of overdeveloped breasts during the course of their lives, and it can cause significant self-consciousness and emotional distress. As a result, many men spend a significant amount of money and time at the gym with personal trainers trying to flatten their chests and redefine their pectoral muscles. However, while exercise and weight loss can have an effect on fatty tissue, they, unfortunately, can’t do much for glandular tissue. Therefore, to achieve a well-defined, masculine chest, male breast reduction is often the only way to effectively eliminate male breast tissue.


Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Florence Mussat recognizes that gynecomastia can cause embarrassing problems for men, preventing them from living their life to the fullest. Fortunately, Dr. Mussat has successfully treated many of her male patients suffering from gynecomastia with a male breast reduction surgery. In this blog, we will discuss what causes male breasts to develop, why exercise isn’t always successful in reducing enlarged male breasts, and how gynecomastia surgery can help you achieve your ideal results.

The Different Types of Gynecomastia

Enlarged male breasts are a common problem for men with excess fat through their chest area. This type of gynecomastia is called pseudo-gynecomastia, which is caused by major weight fluctuations, age, or genetic traits. To improve the appearance of excess fat in the chest area, Dr. Mussat performs liposuction of the chest to achieve a stronger, more masculine appearance.


Men can also suffer from enlarged glandular breast tissue that occurs during adolescence due to a hormone imbalance between estrogen and testosterone. Usually, this issue resolves itself as a man grows older, but due to a continued hormone imbalance or chronic use of some medications and drugs, gynecomastia can follow them into adulthood.

Why Exercise Cannot Affect All Types of Gynecomastia

Male breasts are composed of both glandular and fatty tissue. In cases where gynecomastia results from excess fatty tissue due to weight fluctuation, diet and exercise can sometimes prove effective. However, if the enlarged male breasts result from excess glandular tissue, exercise and healthy eating habits will prove ineffective, and the situation will need to be remedied through cosmetic surgery.

How Is Male Breast Reduction Performed?

When performing male breast reduction surgery, Dr. Mussat will first perform liposuction, if necessary, to remove excess fatty tissue. Then, she will make a small incision around the outer edge of the areola, or the darker-pigmented skin around the nipple, where she’ll remove excess skin, as needed, before removing the glandular tissue. Once she has achieved the desired aesthetic, she’ll close the incision with sutures and dress the area with bandages.


Recovery from male breast reduction usually requires about three to five days off work. The results of male breast reduction are typically visible immediately, but the final outcome of the procedure won’t be visible for a few months or until the body is entirely healed.

Schedule Your Male Breast Reduction with Dr. Florence Mussat

If you feel you’ve wasted enough time and money at the gym only to see zero results from your hard work, it might be time to consider gynecomastia surgery. A male breast reduction is a relatively quick procedure that is safe and will deliver the results you want.


To schedule your private consultation with Dr. Florence Mussat and learn how a Chicago male breast reduction can help you achieve a leaner, more masculine-looking chest, contact her office by calling (312) 751-9000 or by completing our online form today.

4 Tips to Prepare for Gynecomastia Surgery | Dr. Florence Mussat

Gynecomastia, or male breast reduction surgery, is a procedure designed to eliminate excess tissue from a man’s chest, creating a more masculine upper body shape. Regardless of the type of male breast reduction surgery planned, thorough preparation should precede the procedure to accomplish safe and desirable results.

Being well-prepared will not only make you feel more confident, but it will also increase your chances of a smooth surgery followed by a fast, trouble-free recovery. Here are the four things you should do before having gynecomastia surgery.

1. Determine What You Want From the Procedure

Apart from removing excess breast tissue, this is an opportunity for you to address other aesthetic concerns simultaneously. These could include the removal of excess skin and breast glandular tissue, as well as liposuction.

Having Dr. Mussat develop a clear plan for your ultimate goal is crucial to know you’ll be satisfied with the outcome. She will assess your anatomy to establish whether the fullness in your chest is due to:

  • Excess fat
  • Excess breast tissue
  • Loose skin surrounding the areolas

In the case of age or extreme weight loss, fullness in the chest can be the direct result of loose skin surrounding the areolas, which Dr. Mussat can quickly remove with an areolar reduction. However,  if your gynecomastia concerns include excess fat and breast tissue, you’ll also need surgical excision of tissue and fat removal.

2. Speak With Dr. Mussat About Your Surgery

An essential next step in preparing for your gynecomastia surgery is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mussat in downtown Chicago for the following reasons.

  • She is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
  • She has in-depth knowledge of the underlying causes of gynecomastia.
  • She has performed numerous male breast reduction surgeries using the techniques needed for your procedure.
  • She’s happy to show you before-and-after pictures of previous male breast reduction patients.

Dr. Mussat has a detailed understanding and extensive experience in reducing breast tissue in men and recontouring the chest area to make it more masculine.

3. Commit to Lifestyle Changes

Even though your lifestyle might not have caused gynecomastia, now is probably a good time to overhaul your diet and exercise routine. Follow the guidelines outlined below before your surgery, establishing a healthy lifestyle ahead of your procedure while simultaneously helping you preserve your results.

  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid sugar, white flour, and processed foods.
  • Switch to a whole-food diet.
  • Lower your alcohol consumption.
  • Avoid taking steroids or hormonal supplements.
  • Do not smoke tobacco or marijuana.
  • Exercise three to six times a week, including regular weightlifting and resistance exercises to build muscle.


4. Plan for a Healthy Recovery

Before your surgery, arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home and provide assistance with household chores during the initial 48 hours after your surgery.

Returning home after your gynecomastia surgery and starting the recovery process will be a challenge. Plan to take some time off from work and other commitments, and expect to spend at least 48 hours resting.

Follow Dr. Mussat’s advice for your recovery, and you can expect a quick and trouble-free recovery.

Get Ready for Your Gynecomastia Surgery With Dr. Florence Mussat

Are you ready to address your gynecomastia and start living the life you deserve? Regain your self-confidence with a leaner, more sculpted look throughout your chest area by scheduling a private consultation with Dr. Mussat to prepare for your gynecomastia surgery. The results will help you once again feel proud of your appearance. Contact her office by calling (312) 751-9000 today.