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Dr. Jejurikar's Blog

Gynecomastia, or male breast enlargement, is one of the most common reasons that men consult with plastic surgeons. In fact, according to ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery), between 2011 and 2012 there was a 30 percent increase in men undergoing plastic surgery specifically for gynecomastia. Although there are a multitude of reasons for the development of gynecomastia, one of the most common reasons is a decrease in the amount of the hormone testosterone circulating in the blood stream compared with estrogen.  Logically, anything that decreases testosterone levels or increases estrogen levels causes an imbalance in the ratio between estrogen and testosterone. The body responds to this by creating excessive breast tissue.

There are many things that can make the ratio of testosterone to estrogen to become unbalanced.  Natural hormonal changes that occur with age, many prescription medications, street drugs and alcohol, certain health conditions, anabolic steroids and herbal products have all been shown to throw off the normal ration of testosterone to estrogen.

The first association between marijuana and gynecomastia was a study performed in 1972 that demonstrated a clear link between marijuana usage and gynecomastia; this was contradicted that a smaller study done in 1977 looking at soldiers that showed no clear link between marijuana and gynecomastia. There have been many studies that show the active ingredient in marijuana can decrease testosterone levels. Marijuana suppresses the natural levels of testosterone in men. This imbalance very likely contributes to tmale breast development.

If you have smoked marijuana or currently use marijuana, there are surgical procedures in place to treat your gynecomastia. If there has been a small to moderate increase in the breast size then UAL (Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction) most likely is the procedure of choice.  This procedure is very similar to “regular” liposuction but is aided by the use of a thermal broke that breaks up fibrous male breast tissue prior to removing with a liposuction cannula. The surgeon would use a very small incision on the breast, and then utilize suction to remove the excess fatty tissue. For men with larger breasts that also sag, a surgical excision to remove excess skin and breast tissue, as well as reposition the nipple and areola, is a better option. Healing time depends from patient to patient, but typically most patients can resume normal activities within one to two weeks.

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