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The scientific term gynecomastia is used for enlarged male breasts and comes from the Greek term for "women-like breasts." This condition can cause a feminine chest because of the abnormal growth of breast tissue. Although rarely discussed, "male boobs" are a common cosmetic problem that many men feel self-conscious about. At SBA Dermatology, Dr. Ryan Couvillion is a caring Houston, TX plastic and reconstructive surgeon who treats each patient's cosmetic concern with the utmost compassion. Before undergoing surgery, Dr. Couvillion will complete a thorough consultation and try to help determine the underlying cause for the excess tissue. Many times, gynecomastia is related to an unknown hormonal condition. If you suffer from this condition, Dr. Couvillion proudly performs cosmetic breast treatment for men. 


"Dr Couvillion kept me talking through my procedure and kept me distracted and was wonderful. His staff is also wonderful. I truly recommend him for any procedure."

- T.L. / Healthgrades / Aug 07, 2019

284 Total Reviews



There are several factors that may make you a good candidate for gynecomastia treatment, including if you:

  • Feel anxious or self-conscious because of a more feminine chest
  • Are at an ideal weight
  • Are at an ideal age for the procedure
  • Have no underlying medical conditions

Before suggesting gynecomastia treatment, we may recommend working with your physician to review your hormone levels since imbalanced hormones can affect your results.


The surgical technique depends on the cause and size of the gynecomastia. For patients with small amounts of fat, we may use liposuction during surgery. Performed with general anesthesia, liposuction removes excess fat from the chest. In some cases, this may be the only treatment we use. Generally, most men require an incision near the nipple where the glandular tissue resides. For other patients with larger amounts of breast tissue, we remove it, tighten the remaining skin, and reposition the nipple. Dr. Couvillion will personalize your treatment and determine which technique works best for you.


After your gynecomastia surgery, Dr. Couvillion securely wraps the chest with a compression bandage to help reduce swelling. For complex cases that used more invasive techniques, you may need a small drainage tube to decrease fluid retention. You can almost immediately see your new results from gynecomastia treatment, and most men feel extremely pleased with their results. Incisions made during this procedure take a few weeks to heal, and you may have small scars. Dr. Couvillion can usually place the incisions in the skin's natural folds so they are easily concealed. With your new masculine-looking chest, you should wait for about six weeks before exercising. Dr. Couvillion will also provide guidance on the best time to resume exercising and weight lifting.


How much does male breast reduction cost?

Excessive male breast tissue (gynecomastia) is a medical problem that is best handled by an experienced surgeon. For this reason, Dr. Couvillion suggests that you focus on how to get your best results rather than costs. To help make male breast reduction surgery fit your budget, SBA Dermatology accepts several payment methods. We can also help you locate low-interest medical financing. While surgery for gynecomastia is typically not covered by health insurance, it's worth contacting your insurer to check as every company has different criteria for coverage.  

What causes gynecomastia?

Glandular gynecomastia develops in men when there is an imbalance of hormones. Sometimes, gynecomastia is connected to the long-term use of androgens and anabolic steroids. Gynecomastia might also be triggered by some medical conditions (for example, hyperthyroidism, hypogonadism, and tumors), as well as some medications, such as highly active antiretroviral therapy for AIDS, chemotherapy, and some anti-anxiety medications. Some patients with fatty gynecomastia seem to gain more weight in this area, which is usually due to genetics.

How can I tell if I have gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia occurs in men when there is an overgrowth of breast tissue in the chest, which can cause pain, swelling, and tenderness. Dr. Couvillion suggests patients try to lose weight by following an exercise plan and a healthy diet before considering surgery. If you still have excess breast tissue when you are at a healthy weight, Dr. Couvillion will perform a physical exam and order diagnostic tests. This might include a mammogram, blood tests, or a biopsy to look for other causes, like an infection of the breast tissue (mastitis) or cancer.

Can gynecomastia be treated with exercise or pills?

This depends on the cause of the gynecomastia. Fatty gynecomastia can respond to weight loss. For glandular gynecomastia, male breast reduction surgery is the most effective treatment. Currently, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) hasn't approved any medications for the treatment of gynecomastia. Upper body weight training to increase the pectoral muscles will not reduce the excess breast tissue and could even make the breasts look bigger.

Will this fix puffy or pointy nipples?

Glandular gynecomastia can cause puffy or pointy nipples. If you are concerned about this, be sure to tell Dr. Couvillion at your consultation. He will personalize your surgical plan to select the best incision pattern and technique to improve your nipples. Oversized areolas may also be corrected in surgery for gynecomastia. It is crucial to be open and honest with Dr. Couvillion about all your concerns and wants during your initial consultation so he can make sure you are happy with your results.


If you feel frustrated with the effects of male breast enlargement (gynecomastia), we invite you to contact our office and schedule a consultation with Houston plastic surgeon Dr. Couvillion to learn about our male breast reduction procedure at SBA Dermatology. Once you've undergone treatment for gynecomastia, you won't have to keep hiding your chest when you go to the gym and beach. We have helped many men in the Houston area and have enjoyed helping them regain their self-confidence. Keep in mind that the procedure results are significant, and with realistic expectations, the chances are high that you will be delighted with your new look.

 When it comes to treating your skin, it's important to choose a specialist who knows the skin inside and out. To meet with one of our board-certified dermatologists or other experienced practitioners, call our office at 713-850-0240.