Dr. M. Prashanth

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Reviewed by

Dr. M. Prashanth

Consultant - Plastic and Cosmetic surgery

Manipal Hospitals, Vijayawada

Gynecomastia: What Everyone Should Know?

Reviewed by:

Dr. M. Prashanth

Posted On: May 31, 2023

blogs read 4 Min Read

Plastic Surgery Hospital in Vijayawada

Gynecomastia (also referred to as man’s boobs) is the condition of breast enlargement in males due to excessive growth of male breast tissue that results in a feminine-looking chest. It occurs when the body's two hormones lose their proper balance. Gynecomastia has affected approximately 50% of men at some point in their lives. It may have a psychological and social impact on those individuals who encounter it.

Gynecomastia may affect males of any age but mostly during puberty due to hormonal changes that affect breast development in males. It is characterised by a rubbery or firm mass that develops from underneath the nipple and then spreads outwards over the breast region. This condition affects either one breast or both breasts. The growing male breast tissue may sometimes be painful.

So what exactly is gynecomastia? Let us know in detail from the case studies of the best cosmetic surgeons in Vijayawada and study the phenomenon of male breasts.

How Common is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is quite common in men and often develops during puberty. Most men develop gynecomastia in their puberty due to the enlargement of breast tissue, which may reduce in size with time. Sometimes, ageing in men also results in the development of gynecomastia.

Cause of Gynecomastia

Hormonal imbalances, mainly higher levels of oestrogen or a deficiency in testosterone, are the primary cause of gynecomastia. Although both these hormones are produced by men and women, men normally produce more testosterone than women. Gynecomastia can occur during adolescence, or older age, due to certain medications, or health issues such as testicular cancer, liver disease, or renal failure. Medications such as anti-androgens, anabolic steroids, anti-anxiety drugs, certain antibiotics, and chemotherapy medications can also cause hormonal imbalances that lead to gynecomastia. Gynecomastia can also result from poor diet, drug use, and excessive alcohol consumption. This disorder affects at least two-thirds of men above 50 years of age and almost half of adolescent boys.

Signs and symptoms of Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia does not show any symptoms in the majority of males, but some common symptoms observed include:

  • Pain, mainly in adolescents

  • Swollen breast tissue

  • Breast tenderness

  • Sensitivity in the nipples when rubbed against clothes.

Diagnosis for Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is diagnosed by undergoing a physical examination and the healthcare provider examining the patient's medical history. The following tests are also recommended by the healthcare providers to diagnose the related illness:

  • Blood tests, such as liver function assessments and hormone analysis

  • Urine tests

  • A breast X-ray with low radiation (mammogram)

  • A small sample of breast tissue (a biopsy) may be removed and analysed for cancer cells.

Sometimes tests are not mandatory to diagnose this condition. The healthcare provider may recommend the individual visit an endocrinologist (a specialist in hormones) to analyse how they affect various organs.

Treatment and Procedures

The course of treatment of gynecomastia, at a plastic surgery hospital in Vijayawada, is determined by the underlying cause of gynecomastia, the likelihood of changes, and any cosmetic issues that may be present. The most common treatment for gynecomastia include:

  • Surgery

  • Medication

  • Conservative treatments.

Conservative treatment mainly involves observation and close monitoring as most cases of gynecomastia resolve on their own over time. Gynecomastia in men without underlying hormonal problems may be treated with drugs such as Tamoxifen, which aims to restrict oestrogen. When medicine hasn't worked to treat gynecomastia or when it's been a long time, surgery is a possibility. After surgery, compression garments are frequently used to decrease excess skin and prevent fluid collection. Excess breast tissue is removed via liposuction or by excising it through an incision below the nipple.

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