Aug 10, 2021
Apr 15, 2023
Though, there could be two conditions tied up to the common man’s boobs problems: Gynecomastia & Pseudogynecomastia. What is the difference between these two? How is one connected to the other?
“Man boobs”, or enlarged male breasts, are actually more common than we think. As man boobs generally cannot be hidden under clothing, it can bring about psychological distress to the individual affected by it. Though, there could be two conditions tied up to the common man’s boobs problems: Gynecomastia & Pseudogynecomastia. What is the difference between these two? How is one connected to the other?
To help you understand further, Dr. Ivan Puah, Chairman of Singapore Lipo Peer Review Committee and medical director of Amaris B. Clinic, who has more than 15 years of body sculpting and gynecomastia surgery experience, shares more.
Gynecomastia is a male breast disorder that affects 65% to 70% of males worldwide, young and old. It is the proliferation of breast glandular and may be accompanied by fatty tissue. This medical condition, which can affect male breasts bilaterally or unilaterally, is generally caused by hormonal imbalances. Other possible causes may include anabolic steroids, drug abuse, and prolonged use of certain medications.
Gynecomastia sufferers have excess glandular breast tissue and excess fat tissues in the majority of cases. The glandular tissue is firmer and more fibrous than fat tissue, and most importantly, it does not respond to changes in exercise or diet,” says Dr. Ivan Puah.
Non-surgical fat reduction treatments such as cryolipolysis (fat freezing), low-energy lasers, creams, and massages do not work on gynecomastia, as claimed. The only effective and proven treatment that works is gynecomastia surgery. This may entail surgical excision of the glandular tissues and liposuction to remove the fatty tissues for patients with mixed gynecomastia (where glandular and fat tissues are the culprit).
“I see a lot of young males with less than 10% body fat who are into fitness training and bodybuilding. The primary cause of enlargement for this group of patients is the development of enlarged glands, for which they will only require glandular excision. These cases are known as true gynecomastia, ” explains Dr. Ivan Puah.
Pseudogynecomastia (aka fake gynecomastia) is a condition with a similar appearance as that of gynecomastia but is a very different condition. Its cause is primarily an increased fat deposition behind, around, and under the nipple area.
“Pseudogynecomastia is less commonly seen when compared to gynecomastia. For such patients, I will recommend weight management and lifestyle changes as the first line of treatment. When these methods don't work, liposuction is recommended," explains Dr Ivan Puah. Liposuction is an effective and permanent way to remove excess chest fat.
Be it gynecomastia or pseudogynecomastia, both conditions pose a real problem for many males, from young teens to adults and even those aged 50 and above. Enlarged male breasts cause affects men physically and psychologically, adversely affecting their quality of life and self-confidence.
When your boyfriend, son, brother, or husband suffers from such male breast disorder, he may keep it to himself. However, you may notice a change in his behaviour or demeanour. He may become easily moody or even depressed. Hiding under baggy clothes is also a telltale sign that he lacks body confidence. Watch out if he gradually withdraws from social activities, finds no pleasure in activities he used to enjoy, avoids undressing in front of you or others, and observes his body language to see if he is constantly slouching.
Physically, he may complain about breast soreness or discomfort; in some cases, discharge may occur. It is essential to recognise these psychological and physical signs and address them as early as possible. Leaving them alone can adversely lead to deep-seated feelings of low esteem, social withdrawal, and for some, depression. You can help him by encouraging him to seek medical treatment for a proper clinical assessment so that he can understand his issue and know that help is available.
If he allows, you may want to perform a quick pinch and visual test on him to determine the extent of his condition. If you feel a mound of fibrous and firm tissue when pinching his breasts, it is almost certain he has gynecomastia. Apart from that, an enlarged male breast is also highly visible when he is wearing a form-fitting shirt. In some severe cases, the breasts look like female breasts with a certain degree of droopiness and loose skin present. The next best option is to see a doctor experienced in treating this issue to assess him and advise on the next best step, whether he would need further observation or if gynecomastia surgery is required.
It may sound gruesome, but gynecomastia surgery is less invasive than imagined. Depending on the patient’s clinical condition, Dr Ivan Puah may perform his proprietary technique known as 360°GTD®. This technique, combined with MDC-Sculpt® Lipo technique, can permanently remove enlarged glandular tissue and excess fat deposits.
“Each gynecomastia case is unique and requires an individualised approach to ensure that not only the glandular tissues and fatty tissues are removed effectively, but also, the chest is meticulously sculpted and defined,” explains Dr. Ivan Puah, who has received dedicated surgical training in gynecomastia in the USA.
Wanting to have surgery is a huge decision, so finding the right doctor with the knowledge, accreditation, experience, and keen aesthetic sense is crucial to yield the desired results. When looking for a doctor who does gynecomastia surgery, it is imperative to find one that performs the surgery regularly and has a proven track record with a high satisfaction rate and consistent results.
Not only that, the doctor must also display confidence, be able to present a variety of gynecomastia cases that he has performed, and answer your queries, addressing all of your concerns regarding the procedure.
This is Dr. Ivan Puah’s philosophy when it comes to body sculpting. Just like a sculptor who creates masterpieces with his chisels, Dr. Ivan Puah believes it takes both scientific know-how, attention to detail, and a keen artistic sense to create well-contoured results.
Dr. Ivan Puah’s “30% science, 70% artistic sense” approach to body sculpting treatments has earned Amaris B. Clinic multiple accolades, including the "Body Sculpting Service Provider of the Year Award in APAC" in 2019, "Body Sculpting Medical Centre of the Year Award in APAC" from 2020 -2022 and "Integrated Healthcare Medical Centre of the Year in Asia Pacific" in 2020. These awards are only given to entities that have maintained high standards in quality care and are judged based on market research, consumer survey, and a panel of industry and medical experts.