Gynecomastia is a medical condition that is common in teenage boys and young men. This happens when men appear to have enlarged breasts due to excessive growth of the breast glands.
According to KidsHealth.org, about 50 percent of pubescent men have some degree of gynecomastia. Some have them in one or both breasts.
One of the common reasons for enlarged breasts in men is a hormonal imbalance. Moreover, obesity can aggravate this condition.
Gynecomastia usually resolves on its own. But, some situations need surgical intervention to correct this condition.
What Causes Gynecomastia?
There are different causes of gynecomastia; the most common is being idiopathic. This means that there is no identifiable cause for this condition.
Drugs such as anabolic steroids, spironolactone, H2 blockers, or even marijuana can also cause enlarged breasts in men. Often, ceasing the use of these drugs can help resolve it. But not all patients see a reduction in breast gland even after stopping the medications.
Another possible cause is the excessive subcutaneous fatty tissue in the breast. These adipose tissues can convert circulating testosterone into estrogen. As a result, men develop breast glands. Weight loss can be beneficial in these situations.
Also, men who are very athletic and muscular often notice cases of gynecomastia. This is due to the peripheral fatty tissue being less prominent in the chest. Thus, it reveals a slightly enlarged gland.
Things You Need to Know
It’s essential to find a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience treating gynecomastia. You can do this while undergoing an evaluation of whether you have this condition.
Treating enlarged breasts in men doesn’t require any laboratory evaluations. Nonetheless, it’s important to determine the extent of excess fat versus the enlarged breast gland. The reason for this is that the treatment is different for each type of tissue.
Most men will have some degree of both tissues contributing to breast growth. This condition requires liposuction to remove the excess fatty tissue. There should also be an excision of the firm, rubbery glandular tissue. The reason for this is that the glandular tissue is not readily removed with the liposuction cannulas.
In some patients, their specific condition requires only one modality. This is determined during an inpatient consultation.
In severe cases of gynecomastia, some men will develop legitimate female breasts. In this case, the patient can be a candidate for surgery like a mastectomy. This procedure removes all breast tissue and reduces the skin to represent a male chest better. However, this can result in extensive scarring.
Nonetheless, it’s better to have a scar on the chest rather than excessive female breast tissue.
If you want to know more about Gynecomastia and suitable options, call Marin Aesthetics at 858-638-9800 to set up an in-person consultation.
*The content in this blog is developed to spread the awareness towards plastic surgery. Our blog is not intended to serve as a replacement for an actual in-office consultation with Dr. Marin. As such, the information within this blog reflects the unique cases of our individual patients.