If you’re plagued by man boobs or “moobs” – scientifically known as gynecomastia – you’re not alone. This affliction, where male breast tissues increase in size, is a real medical condition; it affects up to 65 percent of young and adult men globally.
This is according to Amaris B Clinic’s Medical Director Dr Ivan Puah, who has been performing gynecomastia surgery in Singapore for more than 15 years.
“The prevalence of asymptomatic gynecomastia in newborns is estimated to be between 60 and 90 percent. The second peak of occurrence is then at puberty, between the age of 10 and 16. The last peak of gynecomastia is seen in men between the age of 50 and 85,” says Dr Puah.
This medical condition is equally common among adults and youths (teenagers included). Hormonal imbalance, genetics and, in some cases, the use of anabolic steroids, can lead to the development of enlarged male breasts. Gynecomastia may also occur as a side effect from prolonged use of certain medications. Age and extreme weight loss are further contributing factors related to abnormal male breasts development. When pubertal gynecomastia doesn’t regress spontaneously, it can result in the enlargement of the glandular breast tissues. This in turn can lead to significant social and psychological impairment.
With all this in mind, it’s clearly important to research thoroughly before choosing your treatment and doctor for gynecomastia surgery.
There are different classifications of the condition. According to Dr Puah, true gynecomastia occurs when the glandular tissue is the only cause of the enlargement. Pseudogynecomastia, also known as lipomastia, is a result of only fat deposits on the chests, without glandular proliferation. Lastly, mixed gynecomastia is the enlargement of the breasts due to a combination of both diffuse fat tissues and what are known as subareolar fibrous components.
Exercise and diet can help with pseudogynecomastia as a first-line treatment. VASER Lipo, which removes fat permanently, is recommended when the fat tissues don’t respond to exercise or dieting. Patients with true gynecomastia will require surgical excision of the glands, whereas those with mixed gynecomastia will need both glandular excision and fat removal.
It’s important to consult a doctor with ample experience in the area of gynecomastia surgery. “Ask them how frequently they perform the procedure,” says Dr Puah. “It’s also crucial to find a gynecomastia doctor who not only performs the procedure regularly, but one who can consistently achieve a high satisfaction rate.“
It’s a good idea to check out before and after photos of cases performed by your doctor; they’ll show clear indications of the results. The doctor should display confidence during the consultation and give you a clear and concise explanation. After accessing your condition and medical history, they should be able to give you a simple and uncomplicated explanation of the recommended treatment.
At Amaris B Clinic, each appointment starts with a detailed consultation and physical assessment by Dr Puah, who is accredited by the Ministry of Health, Singapore to perform liposuction. After undertaking dedicated training in gynecomastia surgery in the US, Dr Puah further refined his surgical skills and developed a 360-degree Glandular Tissue Dissection (360°GTD) technique.
What’s involved? Firstly, an incision not bigger than 4mm is created to allow anaesthetic fluid to infiltrate into the targeted area, in order to remove the glandular tissues. This technique reduces the invasiveness of the surgery, and improves the surgical results and cosmetic outcome. VASER Lipo will be performed on those with fatty tissues enlargement of the breasts. The VASER probe delivers ultrasonic sound wave energy to break down targeted fat cells. Dr Puah carefully suctions the liquefied fat with a specialised cannula, and further contours the chest for a more masculine appearance. VASER Lipo has an added skin tightening benefit as it stimulates collagen production.
On top of his clinical practice in gynecomastia surgery, Dr Puah is also a certified VASER physician with years of experience in VASER Lipo and VASER Hi-Def Lipo since the procedure was first introduced in Singapore in 2008.