What works best for Man Boobs: Surgery vs. Exercise

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Across the world, millions of men struggle with an embarrassing problem.  Known colloquially as man boobs, it is the development of breast tissue or fat specifically in the chest region.  An annoying problem that can be anxiety provoking and stressful in public, finding ways to address man boobs and remove them can be more challenging then you would first imagine.  Below we look at two possible solutions, as well as explore the medical term for man boobs, Gynecomastia.
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Gynecomastia, Man Boobs, And A Subtle Difference

Gynecomastia is the medical name for when men have swelling of the chest that results in male breasts.  Also known as man boobs and moobs, Gynecomastia affects millions of men and boys every year.  Gynecomastia results when there is an imbalance in hormones.  Testosterone and estrogen are the primary sex hormones in the body, responsible for the creation of a range of secondary sexual characteristics including breasts.  They control where fat is distributed on the body and can result in the placement of fat on the breasts.  Gynecomastia can result from a hormonal imbalance, where a man has lower levels of testosterone and higher levels of estrogen.  When this occurs, man boobs can form.  Common causes of Gynecomastia include hormonal imbalances caused by excessive weight or steroid use.  A small percentage of men have naturally low testosterone and risk developing Gynecomastia from an earlier age.

You should be aware that not all man-boobs are Gynecomastia.  Gynecomastia includes the creation of breast tissue in the boobs themselves.  At the same time, it is possible to have only fat deposited as boobs without breast tissue growth.  When this happens, removal of breasts on men is far simpler as there is nothing permanently in place other than fat.  With Gynecomastia, exercising alone may not help you do away with what has already developed.

Exercise as a Means For Removing Man Boobs

In certain cases, a traditional way to remove Gynecomastia is exercise.  For many, having excessive weight brings on Gynecomastia.  Estrogen is stored in fat cells resulting in higher levels of estrogen in the blood if you are overweight.  By exercising, dieting, and losing weight, you can tone your body, remove excess fat, and return to having a lean frame where testosterone levels can suppress any estrogen in your body.  Exercise and weight loss becomes a numbers game.  You want to burn enough fat to get your testosterone levels a good distance above your estrogen levels.  With enough testosterone, the effects of estrogen will be halted.

Why exercise instead of simply dieting?  Well, while dieting helps with weight loss, exercise helps to burn fat from your body.  Removing fat through exercise is not a targeted process.  When you exercise, fat is removed from around the body in equal measure.  With enough exercise, you can reduce the fat that has developed around your chest.  Combined with weight loss, fat will stop being distributed in that area and be burned off instead.

Pros of Exercise

  • You can create an exercise routine and diet yourself or through the help of a coach/nutritionist
  • You can save a considerable amount of money by not electing for surgery
  • You will become far healthier, providing benefits that far exceed chest fat reduction
  • You will feel far more confident about your appearance when out in public

Cons of Exercise

  • Results take a long time and will be slow
  • Exercise may not work for all people with Gynecomastia, especially if natural estrogen levels are very high and testosterone levels are low
  • Every person has a unique physiology, and fat may just not budge from the chest region
  • Breast tissue growth may have occurred, resulting in the need for an operation


Surgery as a means For Removing Man Boobs

When Gynecomastia results in a great deal of breast tissue growth, then simple exercise will only be able to do so much.  Note that there are cases where Gynecomastia reverses itself.  However, it is rare that Gynecomastia fully reverses itself when breast tissue growth has occurred.  Thankfully there is another option.

Surgery has been employed in the past to remove breast tissue and fat on men’s chests.  Having been done for a myriad of reasons (Female to male transgender individuals, breast cancer, etc.) the surgery options are well known and the risks are quite low.  While it is invasive surgery, it requires a minimal amount of preparation.  Expect recovery to last a few weeks to 1-2 months.

Planning a surgery to address man boobs might be a pricier option that is not always covered by insurance providers.  Sometimes put into the ‘cosmetic’ category of procedures, it may be challenging to get insurance providers to pay up.  You can begin looking for a specialist by asking your primary care physician, or researching online the name of an experienced doctor who performs the operation in your area.  Setting up a consultation with your cosmetic surgeon, you will review what your options are and what the costs will be along with scheduling an operation date.  Any pre-operation specifics will be covered at that point.

man boobs gynecomastia male breast reduction

Pros of Surgery

  • Results are instantaneous
  • Results are much more certain than with exercise
  • Works on all cases

Cons of Surgery

  • Does not prevent fat from being stored on your breasts again if the underlying cause is not addressed
  • Can be relatively expensive and not covered by insurance
  • Can require some time in order to recover

Which option should you choose?

To answer this question, consult your doctor and/or a specialist.  They will be able to identify the nature of your Gynecomastia and provide you with a solution.  If you do not agree you can always seek a second opinion.  In addition, consider doing additional research on the subject as yearly advancements in addressing Gynecomastia have led to new and innovative ways to approach the problem of man boobs.

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