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FAQ Man Boobs & Gynecomastia Surgery (Male Breast Reduction) Singapore

April 11, 2019
February 9, 2024

With high testosterone levels produced puberty, for the vast majority of men, the breast tissue does not develop like it does for their female counterpart.

Table of Contents

We all think that when it comes to breasts, they're a concern pertaining only to the fairer gender. However, men do encounter "breast issues", thus why it's called the man boobs.

Gynecomastia is a medical condition and not just an aesthetic concern. Hormonal imbalance is one of the common causes of man boobs.

Here are some common questions on gynecomastia.

Can Beer And Soy Cause Gynecomastia?

Hoppy beers like IPA (Indian Pale Ale) contain phytoestrogen, a plant-based estrogen hormone. The common myth is that drinking too much of them will cause estrogen levels to skyrocket. The truth is the phytoestrogen levels are too low to create any hormone imbalance. The consumption of beer or any alcohol in excess can be detrimental to your overall health and, thus, should be avoided.

This is a popular Singaporean and even Asian myth -- Soy contains isoflavones, a class of phytoestrogens which may MILDLY mimic the hormone estrogen. The effects of soy isoflavones on estrogen levels are complex, but soy is generally safe to be consumed in moderation.

Is Gynecomastia A Sign Of Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is not only subjected to women as men can get them, although it accounts for only 0.2% of all malignancies in male patients. Gynecomastia, however, is not a sign of developing breast cancer. Also, excessive breast development and breast cancer are not correlated.

Can gynecomastia affect Asian males in any age groups?

Yes, it can affect babies, teenagers and adults in Singapore and around the world in all ethnic groups.

Although it is not unusual for the condition to regress over time, this is unfortunately not always the case for some.

Gynecomastia in infants

More than half of male infants are born with enlarged breasts due to the effects of their mother's estrogen. Generally, the swollen breast tissue goes away within two to three weeks after birth.

Gynecomastia during puberty

Gynecomastia caused by hormone changes during puberty is relatively common. In most cases, the swollen breast tissue will go away without treatment within six months to two years.

Gynecomastia in adults

Researchers have estimated that the prevalence among men ages 50 to 80 is between 24% and 65%, with at least 1 in 4 men in this age group being affected. However, most men with the condition experience no symptoms.

Can ageing cause gynecomastia in men?

Nearly 65% of men between 27 and 92 years old had some kind of gynecomastia. Adult gynecomastia is usually associated with increasing age due to progressive testicular hypofunction and increased weight and body fat.

According to statistics, male menopause or andropause happens when testosterone production drops in men aged 50 or older. As the levels of testosterone drop, it causes a hormonal imbalance, which may eventually lead to the development of gynecomastia.

Which type of prescribed medications can cause man boobs?

According to Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), several medications can cause man boobs. These include:

1. Anti-androgens

To treat an enlarged prostate, prostate cancer and other conditions. Examples include flutamide, finasteride (Proscar, Propecia) and spironolactone (Aldactone, Carospir).

2. Anabolic steroids and androgens

To treat hormone deficiencies, delayed puberty, or muscle loss from another disease.

2. AIDS medications

The estrogen-like properties of some HIV medications can cause gynecomastia, especially Efavirenz (Sustiva).

3. ADHD medications

That contain amphetamines, such as Adderall.

4. Anti-anxiety medications

Such as diazepam (Valium)

5. Tricyclic antidepressants

6. Antibiotics

7. Ulcer medications

Such as the over-the-counter drug cimetidine (Tagamet HB).

8. Chemotherapy to treat cancer

9. Heart medications

Such as digoxin (Lanoxin) and calcium channel blockers.

10. Stomach-emptying medications

Such as metoclopramide (Reglan)

11. Recreational drugs, illicit drugs and alcohol

What kind of health conditions can result in the development of gynecomastia?

According to John Hopkins, some diseases and medical conditions may result in the development of man boobs, such as:

  • Liver diseases
  • Kidney disease
  • Lung cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Tumours of the adrenal glands or pituitary gland
  • Some conditions that a baby is born with (congenital disorders)
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Injury or trauma
  • Obesity

Can gynecomastia surgery (male breast reduction) permanently get rid of man boobs in Singapore?

Gynecomastia surgery (male breast reduction) is a clinically proven method to resolve the issue of gynecomastia. Non-invasive treatments like fat freezing or low-energy laser CAN NEVER eliminate this medical condition as it requires surgical removal of the affected male breast tissues. 

Can I use insurance or Medisave for my gynecomastia surgery  (male breast reduction) in Singapore?

To know if your condition is claimable by insurance or Medisave, you must first ascertain that your enlarged male breast is medically necessary to remove it. We encourage you to consult with Dr Ivan Puah, who will be able to identify the root cause of your condition. 

During the consultation, please share with the doctor your complete medical history. A detailed physical examination and appropriate diagnostic tests will also be carried out for a thorough assessment.

Can liposuction be used to treat gynecomastia?

Liposuction (lipoplasty) is a body contouring and fat removal surgery to correct disproportionate body shape and remove excess stubborn fat resistant to exercise and diet. It is useful in treating pseudogynecomastia or in cases of mixed gynecomastia (where fat is involved). 

Who are the candidates for male breast reduction surgery?

Gynecomastia surgery is recommended for those affected psychologically, physically and mentally by overdeveloped male breast tissues, and their gynecomastia condition cannot be corrected through alternative medical treatments. Men who do not have underlying medical conditions, are physically healthy with realistic expectations and have a positive outlook on improving the physical symptoms of gynecomastia are also suitable to undergo this surgery.   

How big/long are the surgical incisions created for gynecomastia treatment?

Gynecomastia surgery carried out by Dr Ivan Puah involves endoscopic-line incisions, no larger than 4mm, strategically placed in the targeted area. 

Will the skin sag after gynecomastia surgery (male breast reduction)?

Dr Ivan Puah's experience shows that skin in small to moderate-sized gynecomastia cases tends to shrink back after healing. His 360°GTD® technique efficiently removes enlarged glandular tissue while inducing skin tightening. You must wear a compression vest 24/7 over six to eight weeks to reduce post-surgery tissue swelling. By doing so, it also encourages skin retraction. 

However, the skin laxity condition differs for individuals who have experienced significant chest tissue sagging due to excessive weight loss (or bariatric surgery) or lifestyle changes compared to those with loose skin concerns due to gynecomastia. 

What is the success rate of gynecomastia surgery (male breast reduction) by Dr Ivan Puah?

With nearly two decades of body sculpting experience and also based on patient statistics collected, gynecomastia surgery cases performed by Dr Ivan Puah yield a high success rate of over 90%. He has consistently achieved a high-patient satisfaction index for his local and international patients.

Can gynecomastia recur after the surgery?

There is a possibility that gynecomastia may recur, but the recurrence is very uncommon. A 2017 study published in the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Journal reported a mere 12.5% of people who had gynecomastia surgery experienced recurrence more than 10 years later. In other words, almost 90% of patients won't see their condition return. Ageing, hormonal changes, alcohol, opioids, anabolic steroids, and certain medications and drugs are usually associated with the onset of gynecomastia.

Dr Ivan Puah & his passion for body sculpting & gynecomastia surgery

Dr Ivan Puah, the Medical Director of Amaris B. Clinic in Singapore, has developed a proprietary gynecomastia surgical technique: the 360°GTD® technique. This approach enables him to perform a meticulous glandular tissue excision, closely following the natural distribution of glandular tissues. Not only does this technique effectively remove the affected breast tissues, but it also involves minimal scarring and reduces the risks of hematoma. 

Patients treated with this technique do not require post-surgery drainage tubing, which is known to result in unsightly scars and increases the risks of post-operative infection,  commonly used in the traditional gynecomastia surgical method.  

Each gynecomastia case is unique. The gynecomastia surgical approach developed by Dr Ivan Puah considers the grade of the gynecomastia, type of skin laxity, glandular tissue-to-fat ratio and parenchyma distribution of the patient. He will propose an individualised approach for the patient after carefully assessing the patient's clinical condition and understanding the patient's concerns.

Dr Ivan Puah holds the position of Chairman of the Lipo Peer Review Committee in Singapore and also developed the MDC-Sculpt® Lipo technique for liposuction. He has received various body sculpting and liposuction training in Argentina, Italy and also the United States of America. In cases where gynecomastia is accompanied by excess chest fat, Dr Ivan Puah utilises the MDC-Sculpt® Lipo technique to remove the stubborn chest fat, further contouring and sculpting the area to achieve a more defined chest contour. 

Gynecomastia is a medical condition that causes physical pain and discomfort and affects men socially and psychologically. But it is treatable with gynecomastia surgery. 

To schedule an appointment, call Amaris B. Clinic at 65364211 or Whatsapp 91524140 today.


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