Dr. Brian Eichenberg, who practices plastic surgery in Southern California's Temecula Valley, says one doctor's recent claims about marijuana and male breast growth may have some basis in science, but more study is needed.
Dr. Brian Eichenberg, who practices plastic surgery in the Temecula Valley, says more research needs to be done on a possible link between marijuana use and gynecomastia.
Online PR News – 23-December-2013 –Dr. Brian Eichenberg, who performs plastic surgery on women and men in the Temecula Valley, says a doctor's recent claims that marijuana causes male breast enlargement needs more research.
"There is some scientific evidence to support the claim, but there's no proven connection," he says.
The claim made national headlines after Detroit plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Youn published an opinion piece on CNN.com that linked marijuana use to gynecomastia – the condition of overly large male breasts.
"People should remember that this is one doctor's observation," says Dr. Eichenberg, one of a few board-certified plastic surgeons in the Temecula area who performs male breast reduction procedures. "The evidence to support this theory is inconclusive at this point."
Dr. Youn's assertion is based on some research that shows marijuana may decrease testosterone levels, creating a dominance of the female hormone estrogen. Gynecomastia is sometimes caused by, among other things, hormonal imbalance.
"There are many factors that can contribute to enlarged breasts in males," Dr. Eichenberg says, "And marijuana use may be among them. However, I perform many male breast reduction procedures each year, and the majority of those patients are not marijuana users." Possible causes of gynecomastia include a variety of medications, supplements, and medical conditions.
Gynecomastia is a surprisingly common condition. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery statistics, male breast reduction surgery was the 5th most common cosmetic surgery procedure for men in 2012.
"Enlarged breasts in males can be caused by excess breast or glandular tissue, isolated fatty deposits, or even redundant skin left after weight loss," Dr. Eichenberg says. "My male breast reduction patients sometimes have had the problem since puberty, and in other cases developed it later in life. We often can't identify the cause of the problem, but we can correct it with surgery."
He says male breast reduction surgery is a relatively simple procedure that removes excess tissue, and sometimes fat or skin. Board-certified plastic surgeons can use surgical excision, liposuction, or a combination of both to create a flatter, firmer chest for men with gynecomastia.
"The techniques I use for the surgery depend on the factors that are causing the enlarged appearance," Dr. Eichenberg says. "I am careful to minimize visible scarring, because these men typically want to be able to go shirtless after many years of being self-conscious about their chests."
Dr. Brian Eichenberg of Renuance™ Cosmetic Surgery Center (www.renuance.net) has earned a reputation as one of the top plastic surgeons in the Temecula Valley. Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Eichenberg obtained his medical degree from Georgetown University and completed a 6-year residency in plastic surgery at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Dr. Eichenberg has been a clinical associate professor of surgery at Loma Linda University Medical Center since 2000. His Murrieta, California, practice includes a 5,200-square-foot surgery center with 2 accredited operating rooms and 7 private treatment rooms. Dr. Eichenberg offers a wide array of cosmetic procedures, including breast enhancement, tummy tucks, facelifts, eyelid surgery, liposuction, and medical spa treatments such as BOTOX® Cosmetic, JUVÉDERM®, and laser hair removal.