Gynecomastia in Men: What You Need to Know
Posted in General
Male breast enlargement is clinically known as gynecomastia. It starts with a dense, somewhat elastic mass developing under and around the nipple and can extend over the chest. It can affect either one or both sides of the chest, and in most cases, this breast tissue growth comes with tenderness or discomfort when touched.
Though an enlarged chest in men might initially trigger concerns about breast cancer, gynecomastia is harmless in terms of cancer risk. With that said, the psychological and emotional effects can be profound. The term “man boobs” is not exactly helpful and can exacerbate feelings of shame or embarrassment. These feelings can cause men to shy away from situations where their chests might be visible, such as swimming or wearing certain types of clothing.
👉Also read: How to Maintain Results After Liposuction?
What Causes Gynecomastia?
More often than not, gynecomastia occurs due to an imbalance between two hormones: estrogen and testosterone. Although estrogen is considered a female hormone, men have it too. Gynecomastia happens when there is relatively more estrogen or less testosterone in the body.
During puberty, hormone levels fluctuate, which is why many male teenagers may temporarily develop enlarged breasts. As their hormones stabilize, the condition usually resolves itself.
In adult men, these hormone changes can occur due to aging, as testosterone levels naturally decline. Other factors like certain medications, steroid abuse, obesity (which can increase estrogen levels), or health conditions affecting hormone production can also lead to hormonal imbalances.
In relation to this, it can be caused by:
- Gaining weight
- Consumption of alcohol
- Decreased levels of testosterone
- Overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
- Diseases affecting the kidneys or liver
- Use of anabolic steroids
- Undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments
- Use of narcotics and amphetamines
- Various prescription medications such as those for heart conditions, mental health, stomach acid reduction, infection control, and HIV/AIDS management
To diagnose gynecomastia, doctors do a physical examination and may ask for blood tests or mammograms and ultrasounds.
How to Tell If You Have Gynecomastia
Several signs can indicate the development of gynecomastia in males:
- Tenderness or sensitivity in the breast area
- Swelling in one or both breasts (it could be uniform across the breast or more localized around the nipple)
- Firm or rubbery feel in the enlarged male breasts
- Tenderness, puffiness, or size changes in the nipple (the areola may also increase in size)
- Discomfort or pain in the enlarged breast tissue
Beyond physical changes, gynecomastia can also cause emotional or psychological distress, such as feeling self-conscious or embarrassed about the appearance of the breasts.
What is Gynecomastia Surgery?
At Hadeed Plastic Surgery, our double-board certified gynecomastia surgeon, Dr. Hadeed uses two techniques to eliminate the excess breast tissue – liposuction (for excess fat removal) and/or excision (removal of male breast tissue).
During liposuction, a small tube (cannula) is inserted through tiny incisions in the skin. Dr. Hadeed uses this cannula to suction out unwanted fatty tissue from the breasts. This method is likely to be recommended if your gynecomastia is primarily caused by body fat deposits rather than breast gland tissue. Liposuction is less invasive, and recovery can be quicker compared to more extensive surgeries.
The excision method, on the other hand, is used when the gynecomastia involves more glandular breast tissue, which is denser than fat cells and cannot be effectively removed with liposuction alone. Dr. Hadeed makes precise cuts to remove this surplus tissue, and sometimes skin, to achieve a flatter, more masculine chest contour. Excision might also be necessary if you have stretched or sagging skin around the enlarged breasts that need to be tightened.
The surgery generally takes 1-3 hours, and most patients feel well enough to return to work and light daily activities within a week. Still, any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise should be avoided for at least six weeks post-surgery.
Transform the Way You See Yourself with Hadeed Plastic Surgery
Are you ready to reclaim your confidence and get rid of the stress and self-consciousness caused by gynecomastia? With a proven track record of over two decades and state-of-the-art facilities in Beverly Hills and Miami, double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Hadeed is dedicated to delivering attractive yet natural-looking results for the breast, body, and face.
Contact us online or call us at 310-970-2940 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hadeed and take the first step towards a more confident you.