What is Gynecomastia?

If Madison, Wisconsin’s warming temperatures are filling you with dread of swimwear season and shirts versus skins pick-up basketball games, you may be suffering from a condition called gynecomastia, or man boobs, in common parlance. If you’ve been wondering, what is gynecomastia?–and have other men experienced this, too?

Read on to learn more about this common problem (Gynecomastia) affecting men and what can be done about it:

  • Symptoms
  • Prevalence
  • Causes
  • Treatment
  • Good Candidates for the Surgery


Gynecomastia is a condition that results in enlarged or swollen breast tissue in men. The condition can sometimes reach the point of looking like women’s breasts. Although usually harmless, gynecomastia can be embarrassing or emotionally painful to the men it affects. Men with gynecomastia may wear binding garments under their clothes to reduce its appearance or refrain from removing their shirts in public. 


As many as half of the men in the United States may experience gynecomastia at some point in their lives. Gynecomastia can occur at any time, though common periods to experience it are during infancy, puberty, and later in life.  


Why men experience gynecomastia is generally unknown. However, genetics, hormone imbalances, or the use of certain drugs and alcohol can contribute to the problem.


To treat gynecomastia, a male chest reduction can be performed. In this procedure, excess fat and glandular tissue are removed from the chest through a small incision under the areola. If excess skin is an issue, that may also be removed to achieve a firm, masculine look. If skin does need to be removed, the incision can be placed on a natural contour to mimic a skin crease. 

Male chest reduction patients are typically very pleased with their results. For many, it’s a life-changing operation.

Good Candidates for the Surgery

The best candidates for male chest reduction are healthy, at a normal weight, but possess well-localized areas of fat deposits. Having firm, elastic skin also helps produce a better final chest contour.

Men who are overweight and considering the surgery should first try to correct the problem through exercise and weight loss. Excessive alcohol, marijuana, and anabolic steroid use may also cause gynecomastia. Ceasing the use of these substances may diminish chest fullness and should be tried before considering surgery.

Schedule Your Consultation

The best way to know if gynecomastia surgery is right for you is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Thomas Bartell. Dr. Bartell is a board-certified plastic surgeon who has decades of experience in below-the-neck body recontouring procedures. Dr. Bartell will discuss your needs and options, explain the procedure in more detail, and share male chest reduction before and after photos from his practice. He can also provide a firm quote for your male chest reduction procedure.

Among other below-the-neck body recontouring services, Dr. Thomas Bartell offers male chest reduction in Madison, Wisconsin. To learn more about chest reduction surgery, watch this video by Dr. Bartell on treating gynecomastia and the kind of outcome you can expect from surgery.

Dr. Bartell Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery

6418 Normandy Lane, Suite 210
MadisonWI 53719
United States (US)

Phone: (608) 271-0500
Fax: (608) 271-0502

What is Gynecomastia? brought to you by Dr. Thomas Bartell