Gynecomastia is the enlargement of male breast tissue that results in a feminine appearing chest. This is often beyond the changes seen with weight gain. Men with gynecomastia will have more dense breast tissue overall sometimes this is even without weight gain. Gynecomastia is different from lipomastia or increased fat deposits along the chest and breast region in men or boys who are overweight. Gynecomastia can occur in one or both breasts.
Do I have GYNECOMASTIA?
Gynecomastia can cause social embarrassment, decreased self-confidence and localized breast pain. As many as 65 percent of all American males experience gynecomastia at some point in their lives. The breasts will often feel firm or “rubbery” to the touch. Some men may experience tenderness or sensitivity of the breasts as well as reports of firmness or fullness in the breast. Gynecomastia can cause the breast to be tender in a cyclical manner as well, so this man can come and go. Physical examination can help differentiate Gynecomastia can from lipomastia.
Why do I have GYNECOMASTIA?
Gynecomastia is usually associated with a hormonal imbalance between testosterone and estrogen levels. This imbalance can occur from the body’s reaction to weight gain (most commonly), certain medications (including antibiotics, corticosteroids, anti-anxiety medications), illicit drugs (anabolic steroids, opioids, meth, marijuana) and other medical conditions (hyperthyroidism, obesity, kidney failure, liver cirrhosis).
What if I lose weight will that help?
Weight loss can help to reduce the overall size of the breast, but sometimes it may actually make the gynecomastia appear worse. Surgery is the best form of treatment.
Male breast reduction surgery which comes in three treatment options is the most effective way to treat gynecomastia. Option one uses laser assisted liposuction without direct excision (removal) of the breast tissue. Option 2 uses both liposuction and direct removal or excision of the excess breast tissue through strategic small cuts around the nipples. Lastly, the incisions are used directly remove skin and tissue from the affected breast. The recovery time is typically about 10 to 14 days.
Dr. Tony Weaver is a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon. He is board certified general surgeon & board eligible in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.