Some men get fatty, saggy chests as they age. Some guys get puffy nipples. I had full on man boobs. And I got them when I hit puberty.

This is my story:

I was never a great eater, I smoked a bit of pot in highschool - but my man boobs are probably genetic. My dad and one of my brothers have fatty chests. But neither of them have it like I had it.

It all started at overnight summer camp. I never had any issues with my body or anyone elses, until it was pointed out that I was to be the shamed owner of a pair of breasts. I don't even know now how they looked when I was a kid. Was I that bad? I was a cubbier kid, for sure. Well the kids felt it was pretty bad, and liked to remind me. So I stopped wanting to take my shirt off.

I didn't want to swim, didn't want to shower, or even play a girl with several other boys who were also playing girls in the camp-wide tallent show.

When I got home I stopped wanting to take swimming lessons or go to camps with swim sessions. But it was insisted upon. I was probably visibly disturbed when I was forced, and I would cover myself with shirts sometimes or cross my arms awkwardly pretending to be cold. There was always the odd comment from a girl at school, or guy when playing sports. But I got better at avoiding those interactions. I removed myself.

When I went to high school I dropped some weight hoping to lose them. It didn't really help, but at least the occasional teasing stopped. I became a bit of a recluse. I didn't get a girlfriend. I had my close friends, but didn't really make any new ones.

I even went to the gym with a close friend. I remember I actually got pretty fit, and felt better about myself for a time. But there was no real ability to lose the fat on my chest. No matter how skinny I got or how I built up my chest I never looked really good.

I became obsessed with my chest. Every day I would get up and look at it. And think, how can I hide this? So I would wear baggier clothes and hunch. And in the mirror I saw how it was hidden. I became an expert. And some poeple wouldn't see it. Black became my favourite colour.

In university I got a girlfriend. I remember vividly how I admired her confidence when she got up naked from my bed. I would watch her from under the covers as she would dress. She was like a goddess then: Beautifully sculpted (normal) and no emotional baggage whatsoever (normal). She was so happy and comfortable with her body. I would get naked, but inside I was miserable, and never comfortable.

Now I'm 27. I went years feeling looked and gawked at. Was I actually being looked at? I tried not to be. I was always thinking about it, walking around. I would look at myself every morning and whenever I catch a glimpse in a mirror: How's that angle?

"Oh, I look alright, fine." Or "Oh, I can see my true form, shit."

I've had few relationships, a couple new girlfriends and some sexual flings. I expect that most girls spot it from a mile away. The girls that don't spot it find out eventually. They're mostly nice about it, even if they're being rather blunt. I try to keep the lights off or keep my shirt on during sex.

I looked like crap in a dress shirt. I had to look for very boring, loose fitting clothing.

Not sure why it took so long. But my self-hate only grew and grew. I couldn't try clothes on or put clothes on without hating myself. I couldn't even look at my image in the mirror anymore. I don't even know how to describe the reaction I had to my image. I averted my eyes, and when I forced myself I tried to look anywhere but there. Anywhere but there. I burned with hated and disgust.

So I did some research about gynogamastia surgery. I always knew it was an option.

And I struggled with the idea that I was paying to be surgically altered. And I struggled with the fact that I fundimentally hated myself for years because of a physical feature of my body, and how shallow and angry it made me. And I struggled some more. And I shrugged and sighed. And I scheduled an appointment. And I paid $7000. And I admitted my years of shame to everyone. And I drove to the clinic. And I lay on a table and suddenly awoke with a normal man's chest.

Day before: Day of: "Do I really need to do this?" Day after: My scar today:


I had man boobs. I obsessed. I hid it. I looked at myself every day and hated what I saw. I hated myself more and more with every passing day. I got them removed surgically. It was a great decision.

edit: imgur links edit 2: more photos

Comments: 1599 • Responses: 47  • Date: 

advicevice3742 karma

Have you considered reposting to /r/offmychest?

Thewumbles2012 karma

Thanks, I'll do that now.

Etchy16991 karma

I have this too! Reading through your post makes me realise I do all these things! Hunching over, black clothes, lack of self esteem. Unfortunately, I don't think I can afford the surgery where I stay. :(


My question is - how permanent is this? Did the doctor say anything about a recurrence? I mean, say you put on weight at some point in the future, what are the chances you'll develop again?

Thewumbles627 karma

Recurrence is rare. It's only really possible if I have a hormonal imbalance or if I gain 50-100 pounds (and fat will develop everywhere).

Also, not all of the tissue that was removed was fat, there was also glandular tissue. I don't think that can grow back.

I'm not particularly worried.

I can only suggest that you stay healthy, and try to be happy! Don't let it stop you from meeting people and doing cool things. This whole ordeal has made me realize how laughable the whole situation was. Having boobs wasn't a huge deal, and I don't feel like I've gained anything valuable beyond the realization of how lucky I am to have such great family and friends. And that just makes me want to eat better and take care of myself.

falloutkid300 karma

how would you have reacted to this advice you gave before your own surgery? Not being a dick, but your frame of mind changed with the surgery and you lost a lot of emotional baggage as well. I am sure there were a lot of people who gave you this same advice when you shared this concern with them.

Thewumbles193 karma

I never got the advice directly from a sufferer. But I agree, who knows if this would have changed things for me. I was just so bitter - it's a joke.

But I also never let this stop me from doing what I liked to do or meeting new people. I was only beating myself up most of the time. DO NOT beat yourself up. Fix it somehow. Learn to love yourself.

Thanks for the comment.

Alienqueen10 karma

I am honestly and really happy for you feeling happy and comfortable now, but please please please just don't say it's a laughable situation! Many men are in the same shoes as you were until the day of your surgery. Having gynecomastia indeed shouldn't be a problem, but honestly and realistically, i don't know how many men actually aren't bothered by it. Men actually don't want to take certain meds that have risk causing gynecomastia.

Thewumbles6 karma

You're very right. It's not that funny. But the sense of relief and big ordeal just creates a rush of emotion and joy. You want to laugh!

sexybirdchick22 karma

Have you ever thought about binding? Check out underworks products!

Thewumbles57 karma

I never binded. At least not intentionally. Tighter undershirts made my chest looked more muscular than it was - which helped a bit. I'd suggest people try this if they want to be more confident in public. I was accused once by a guy in highschool of binding though. So that would be ammo.

Chevleon_1 karma

A person shouldn't be judged by how they look. only by how they act around others.

Be nice to others and looks mean nothing. You helping others is what makes you look good.

but be a complete asshole to people and you are Uglier than any disfigured person on the face of the earth.

Thewumbles9 karma

Completely agree. I think this shaped me into a more bitter and angry and vain person than I would have been otherwise. I hope this message and my story can help others realize this. Upvote THIS guys!

tptguy83387 karma

I have this too. How long ago was the surgery? Are you feeling more confident and less depressed now? Did insurance help at all? What kind of surgeon did you go to? Congrats, and thanks for doing this!

Thewumbles410 karma

The surgery was Dec 23rd.

I think emotionally things are going to take a while. The results aren't perfect.

There was a day a few days afterwards where I felt they were very asymmetrical and was extremely depressed. I thought: "I've exchanged $7000 and my one insecurity for two holes and another".

That said, the swelling went down significantly since then, and while there is some asymmetry and odd fat patterns (for lack of a better word?) nobody is perfect.

Also, I'm an EXPERT on my chest and being negative about it. So it's expected that I can find the absolute worst angle to scrutinize with a magnifying glass.

I'm sure now that I'm going to be a lot happier and more confident. It was a good decision.

Here in Canada this is not covered under our public health system (OHIP).

I went to a plastic surgeon with great SEO. Dr. Frank Lista at The Plastic Surgery Clinic.

Thanks, hope it helps!

sugarclit242 karma

You looked like a normal man before the surgery, and honestly, I found your before chest to be rather erotic, but what matters most is how you feel about yourself. I hope that the surgery will give you the peace that you have been looking for. Btw, were you ever with someone who enjoyed your chest, or would you not have let them if they even tried?

Thewumbles119 karma

Thanks. I appreciate it! Not sure why you're being downvoted.

Some friends said this, but I never found anyone who liked them. Only ever found girls who were tolerant of them. And I would just scoff and wonder why they would settle for something like that. And as you said, it's mostly about my feelings and confidence.

ilyemco191 karma

wonder why they would settle for something like that

Simple... There is more to a person than their chest.

Thewumbles82 karma

Yes :) My previous mindset was quite obsessive and negative. It's important for anyone with this condition to understand this.

jakeattack64 karma

I have found that the the fluid build up takes a while to go away, also, the drainage keeps going for a bit. I had mine done on december 10th, and there is still some fluid buildup, and still some drainage.

Have you had any fluid removed? From what I can tell, one will absolutely feel odd fatt patterns from the lypo, but it should visually look even.

Thewumbles42 karma

Hey, congrats!

Yes, I had fluid removed from the flatter of the two sides on my second follow-up visit. And I still felt fluid when I was massaging that side, as well. It has since gone away. This wasn't bad.

GhostRider22178 karma


Thewumbles39 karma

No, I never tried binding. Though it certainly worked to wear a tighter t-shirt.

Thanks for sharing your story. My mom was always supportive of me - but also never suggested alternatives other than losing more weight. I would have probably been the same as you if that had happened.

All the best!

DejaNewb169 karma

$7000? Is this considered something that the insurance wont cover?

Thewumbles191 karma

In Ontario this is not covered under public health insurance (OHIP). I'm not sure about private insurance, but it is a condition with no physical harms or risks. Just a kick in the nuts for your self confidence :)

proudofya22 karma

Woah..I'm from ontario and have had the exact same issues growing up. 26. Even after losing 100 pounds I still have them but I've learned not to care way back in my highschool years. Luckily I have an amazing girlfriend that actually likes my body despite being slightly out of shape. I find keeping good posture helps.

Thewumbles21 karma

Hey, good for you! I pretended not to care. But it ate me up. Really happy you found somebody to love.

TheMeanCanadianx110 karma

Hi, I'm transgender, and I'm interested in how this effected your Gender Identity. Did you ever question your gender identity as a result? Did you ever have the thought of "I guess I could be a girl if I really wanted to" Or was it simply "I don't want these, this is not me"?

Also, how does this effect your view on transgender people?

I obsessed. I hid it. I looked at myself every day and hated what I saw. I hated myself more and more with every passing day. I got them removed surgically. It was a great decision.

Sounds exactly like how I feel about my masculine traits that I never asked for, I can really sympathize.

Edit What did I say wrong? I'm being nothing but polite! This is suddenly my third second most controversial post of all time.

Thewumbles77 karma


Sorry, wish I could have traded chests with you at an early age :)

I've never questioned my gender identity or sexuality. I'm a straight male, but maybe like an 8/10, not like a 10/10. I probably watched too much porn growing up, haha.

I hid them because they were feminine and looked down on by everyone. I never associated them with my sexual identity or my gender. They were just embarrassing.

I am understanding of people of all genders and sexualities. I think this helped (it also made me more vain and bitter and judgmental about bodies, too).

Good luck with your transition.

offmymoobs57 karma


Thewumbles35 karma

I'm still wearing compression - and will keep it up, thanks! My doctor said the skin should mold well in 95% of cases.

There doesn't seem to be any loose skin, at least not yet.

I can understand being self conscious about that. My one nipple looks a tiny bit folded and higher than the other (due to less swelling, or more tissue removed). The other side looks more natural, but is also more swollen. I think I'll get over it okay. A few days afterwards I was very depressed due to the perceived asymmetry. I thought I would never be comfortable taking my shirt off during sex or to swim. Now I think I'm at a place in my head now where I just don't care. I'll admit the surgery to anyone, and just be happy being naked!

j-mar2 karma

Since OP hasn't addressed it ... what about scarring? Is it an issue?

Thewumbles4 karma

My scar 5 minutes ago:

TheBlueFrog48 karma

Thanks OP.

I got my moobs in middle school before I was overweight. I haven't lost a lot of weight yet, but I'm nervous that as I do, they will only become more noticeable.

So for a question: What was the after surgery pain like?

Thewumbles38 karma

Yes, the pain is a non-issue as Kilrohg says.

The pain is as if you've ever worked out your pecs hard without having worked out in a few months. That ache lasts for 3-4 days. Then there is just swelling and a bit of tenderness. Nothing a bit of Tylenol can't fix.

NorbitGorbit46 karma

how much fluctuated with weight loss?

Thewumbles59 karma

Everyone is different I guess, I'd lose mass in them dead last.

I'd recommend that people try to lose weight and work out a bit first, especially if they're heavy.

I'm a pretty small guy to begin with, and if I went underweight I'd still have them.

nombski152 karma

I'm a pretty small guy to begin with, and if I went underweight I'd still have them.

To be fair your body fat is relatively high. I'm not saying you're fat, you're just not lean. If you went down below 10% bodyfat and maintained that for awhile [it may be many months] you'd have evetually lost enough fat to drastically reduce your gynocomastia to reasonably acceptable levels. Granted it's better to stop it before it gets to a severe point but it's still possible to fix this problem without expensive surgery.

I'm not discrediting your choice, though. Congratulations of bettering yourself and making a decision to improve your self-confidence.

Virgence9 karma

I have ''moobs.'' I've been working out, but not enough time has passed to see if it's making any difference yet. I don't have enough money for surgery anyway, so I'm going to try to workout seriously for a year or two to see if I'm getting any positive results.

Thewumbles11 karma

Good for you. A quality diet and hard work in the gym and I'm sure you'll see some improvement. Best of luck.

Edit: If it doesn't, this is an option. No need to be unhappy.

NorbitGorbit2 karma

what other remedies had you tried before surgery? how effective were they?

Thewumbles6 karma

I worked out a lot in high school. I felt and looked better, but I really don't remember or have any photos to really show the differences.

I'm not the best eater or most active guy. I agree with nombski, I could have drastically changed my lifestyle to reduce the issue. I recommend everyone try that first. I just hate artificial feeling of a gym environment, and wish I could have a more systematic approach to staying fit outdoors and eating better (I love camping, biking, hiking, etc... I rode my bike to Montreal in September!). It's a cop out - I need to do better!

Moobsarenofun20 karma

I had this same procedure done, too, pretty much the same story as OP. For me, the revelation didn't come until my early 30's when I really slimmed down and a doctor said " yeah, it's not fat." My childhood pediatrician in the 80's used to give me shit about my chest saying I'm eating too much and it was all my fault, and it was more or less traumatizing.

What did doctors tell you growing up (if anything?)

Thewumbles3 karma

Doctors did not say anything. It wasn't their business to police my image, and it did not affect my health in any way (beyond mental and emotional). At that point it's difficult to talk about alternatives with parents etc... So kudos to them for keeping their thoughts to themselves?

kingphysics13 karma

You are a Nexus warrior. Do you frequent /r/androidcirclejerk ?

Thewumbles25 karma

Nope, I've given up caring about my phone. I have niggles about all current phones - but I'm getting off the hamster wheel (or slowing down anyway) to smell the roses.

CharlieDeBeadle17 karma

I have no idea what that last sentence means.

Thewumbles21 karma

Sorry. I'm quitting with the yearly upgrade cycle of "better and newer and cooler" to slow down and enjoy what I already have, and to (hopefully) figure out what is really important to me.

I don't mean to sound sanctimonious! I love technology.

DeeJayDelicious12 karma

Do you still like boobs?

Thewumbles14 karma

Love boobs! All kinds :)

crankfive11 karma

I'm curious, was there any sort of diagnosis process at this clinic? Obviously if your chest wasn't the way you wanted it, then that would be your primary motivator for the surgery. But as someone who's struggled with this, I've often considered going to the doctor and saying "hey, I realize I'm a bit overweight, but it seems like a disproportionate amount of that is gathered up here - what's up?" Was anyone able to tell you "yes, you have gynecomastia and it's not going to get better without surgery," vs. "this will improve with more exercise/losing weight, etc"?

EDIT: Just wanted to add my support for your decision, bro, and that I can absolutely relate to the struggles you described. It's tough for guys like us. You look great!

Thewumbles21 karma

Realistically, the guy wants your money. He doesn't care as long as you're healthy enough for surgery. If your body image is VERY distorted he will comment. Otherwise, mine and your self-confidence issues are his car payment.

Redrot8 karma

Damn, this makes me think that I have them too... I think I have unusually large pecs but I'm not sure.

How could I be sure?

Thewumbles9 karma

It's all about how you feel about yourself. There is nothing to worry about if you're happy!

trivialretort6 karma

I've read through most of this thread and haven't seen it mentioned yet...but have you ever had a doctor check for Klinefelter's Syndrome or some other type of genetic disorder?

Klinefelter's Syndrome is a disorder where you have an extra chromosome. Guys typically have XY, while girls have XX. KS guys are XXY.

This is a very basic summary, but the point is that sometimes guys with KS tend to have some female characteristics...including real boobs. Everyone varies, but I thought it was worth mentioning and potentially looking into as there may be other things that you are not aware of that treatment could help.

Thewumbles4 karma

I responded to the first comment that brought up Klinefelter's. The answer is no, nobody checked or even mentioned. This is surprising. I hadn't heard of it until now. My guess is it's because it really doesn't affect the outcome - though I'm surprised they didn't even suggest getting my hormones tested. Everything else in my life and body are 100% go.

iBleeedorange5 karma

Did this make the woman in your family have large or small chests?

I honestly don't think it was that bad OP. I think kids are just insensitive, but all that matters is how you feel.

Thewumbles5 karma

Regular sized, I think. Nobody is extremely obese. Nobody has had any reductions to my knowledge.

TheKookySpooky3 karma

You know you've made the right decision when you feel happy afterwards. I have a question. Has any doctor considered the possibility of having too much estrogen in your system? I've heard that man-boobs are often caused by this. Too much soy in the diet? Or just an imbalance?

Thewumbles4 karma

As I explained I appear genetically predisposed (my male family members have breast tissue - albeit less). I might have lower testosterone than the average male (not very aggressive, no receding hair) - but I'm very normal in terms of sexual performance / interest.

stumbleandgrumble2 karma

Will the scaring go away? My SO has this and I honestly couldn't care less, but the only times he's comfortable naked in front of me is in bed lying on his back, and we've been together six years... It bums me out, and I want him to be happier with himself, but I don't know if scaring will give him a new insecurity.

Thewumbles4 karma

There are two options for this surgery. One is they cut around the nipple, the other is they go in through the side.

The nipple method is way more invasive, and you will have scarring.

Here is what my scar looks like right now:

Psycle2 karma

Hey man. Looks great! Seriously. I was wondering if they took any blood test before the surgery to check out your test and estrogen levels? Was just wondering cuz I'd be interested to know if high estrogen caused them or it was something else. Also, did they remove the entire gland? If not you definitely want to have your estrogen levels checked because it can always come back. Hope all the best!!

Thewumbles4 karma

They didn't. I feel this is mostly genetic, and is probably hormone related. Though my urges and functions are all man, I am a bit less aggressive and have no receding hair / very little body hair. I'm not concerned. Thanks!

glowbright2 karma

You look like a very handsome men good for you for confronting something that caused you such pain. What was your down time/recovery time and restrictions after surgery?

Thewumbles4 karma

Thank you! I was up and shopping for groceries the day I got out (though I shouldn't have). I went to a Christmas dinner, the day after, too.

Downtime is like 2 days in bed. That's about it. Recovery is still ongoing, but I feel 80% healed in my chest. Just wearing a thin compression tank top.

Toto14090 karma

Gynecomastia often occurs due to liver complications. Did you get a blood test or your liver enzymes tested?

Thewumbles5 karma

I've had a wide range of standard blood tests. Nothing specific to do with my liver though. Like I said, my family has a bit of a genetic disposition. I chocked it up to that.