Gynecomastia is a condition in males where the breast tissue is swollen. (It is commonly also referred to as “man boobs”). At any age and whether just one or both breasts are affected, the appearance of swollen breast tissue can cause emotional discomfort.
What Is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia refers to benign enlargement of the male breast tissue. It usually is considered a minor medical problem and may disappear on its own. If gynecomastia persists for an extended period of time, surgery and treatment may be necessary to eliminate the problem.
Who Suffers From Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia can affect newborn male infants, preteen and teenage boys, and men. However, Mayo Clinic notes gynecomastia most frequently arises in men between the ages of 50 and 80, and other research indicates between 40 percent and 60 percent of men are affected by gynecomastia.
What Are the Key Causes of Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia occurs due to a combination of changes in an individual’s testosterone and estrogen levels. It commonly arises if a male patient possesses too much estrogen or too little testosterone. Preteen boys may suffer gynecomastia caused by an estrogen-producing tumor. At this stage, preteen boys may notice breast buds, nickel-sized lumps under one or both nipples. Without treatment, breast buds often will dissipate on their own within about two years. Teenage boys may experience gynecomastia due to puberty. Hormone changes occur during puberty that may result in swollen breast tissue. Typically, this condition will dissipate without treatment over the course of six months to two years.
In adult men, gynecomastia may occur as a result of other conditions, including:
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Liver or lung cancer
- Overactive thyroid
- Various hormone problems
Also, taking the following medications may lead to gynecomastia:
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Cimetidine and other medicines that are used to treat ulcers
- Epilepsy medicines
- Heart medicines
Medical professionals may perform a physical examination and review a patient’s medical history to diagnose gynecomastia. In addition, if medical personnel discover a breast lump that is one-sided or extremely tender or hard, they may request a biopsy to rule out other medical issues. Medications to control hormone levels may be indicated if an imbalance is discovered.
How Can I Treat Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia surgery also remains a popular option to reduce breast size, remove excess skin and minimize the size of the areola. This procedure flattens the chest contours, thus reducing breast swelling.
Dr. Gilbert Lee of Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa uses Ultrasound-Assisted Lipectomy (UAL) for gynecomastia treatment. UAL involves the removal of fat and/or glandular tissue from the breasts and commonly delivers extensive fat removal with less swelling and bruising than many traditional surgeries. Plus, UAL permanently eliminates fat from the breast area.
To learn more about gynecomastia and other cosmetic treatments for men provided by Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa, please contact us today at 858-720-1440 or fill out our contact form below.